FFCK and WRF open the new center of excellence in L'Argentière-la-Bessée

The agonistic field of Rafting has never been a reality in France, despite several athletes from the French slalom and whitewater canoe have been paddling and winning worldwide competitions for years and thousands of tourists a season run the French rivers in rafts.
Since the WRF foundation the FFCK started looking at this paddle sport from another perspective and after a few meetings between the WRF and FFCK delegations on 15th February 2019 the WRF President Danilo Barmaz, Mr. Jean Zoungrana (FFCK President), Mr. Bruno Carlier (Presidént du Comité Régional Canoe Kayak), Mr. Marie Patrick Vigne (mayor of L'Argentière-la-Bessée), Mr. Drujon D'Astro (Président ComCom Cyrille), the Député Mr. JoEl Giraud and Mr Jean Conreaux celebrated the inauguration of the WRF Centre of Excellence in L'Argentière-la-Bessée in presence of Mr. Didier Lafay (Directeur du Centre de Formation Canoë Kayak region PACA).

As Mr. Zoungrana declared the FFCK gladly recognizes WRF as the solid world governing body of sport Rafting for the developement of every aspect of it.
The President declared the French Federation proud about this recognition, considering it a trusting investment based on the high level of the history of French "eau vive".

The competent authority at local level are excited about this new challenge, that is both an end and start point. Indeed the construction of the present centre's buildings started after the demolition of the Péchiney aluminium factory in 1989, when Jean Giraud (who was the current mayor) and local authorities, including Patrick Vigne and Michel Baudry, saw in "la fin d'un époque" a new opportunity for the population.

30 years later the centre provides a number of facilities that people from the whole region join, including office and studios, a weight room, an indoor swimming pool, a cinema, a library and rooms for canoes and kayaks that now will share the Durance river (100 m far from the centre) with competitive rafts.

The first competition will be in 3 months, on 19th May, the first National Champs of Rafting in France that will become the 12th agonistic discipline under the umbrella of the FFCK and Bruno Carlier guarantees that it will be an excellent start point, bearing in mind that the collaboration with WRF will spread the idea of Rafting in the clubs not only as a play activity, but as a sport in all respects. As the other authorities said Carlier affirms that in this centre the WRF Training Programme of guides and coaches will be soon put into practice and the technicians will be finally recognized in every nation WRF member.

Jean-Louis Orly (C2 canoeist, World Champion at Bourg St. Maurice in 1969 and Olympic medalist at Munich 1972) and Michel Baudry (worldwide athlete and coach; since 2017 the Stadium d'eau vive in L'Argentière-la-Bessée is named after him) were present and wish good luck to the first rafters who will compete and represent France for the first time at the World Rafting Championship, in June.

L'Argentière-La Bessée and FFCK ready to host the French Open

On 12th May 2019 France will hold the first National Championship of Rafting: L'Argentière-La Bessée will host professional athletes and beginner rafters (who will be guided by a stag trainer) who will compete in the middle of the Alps in the southeastern France for the first time in the history of French Rafting, in order to win the National title and to represent their country in the international competitions of WRF.

Associated with the sports event "A popular Trail" organized the day before May 11, the event organized on the River Durance by Fédération Francaise de Canoe Kayak (FFCK) will allow future participants to live a beautiful sports weekend in a dream mountain scenery, taking part to the historical moment of the Rafting World and of every National Federation and athlete who accepted the challenge to grow with it.

Registration: https://www.genialp.com/inscription/1er-championnat-de-France-open-de-rafting 

President's annual report: Happy New Rafting Year

President's annual report: Happy New Rafting Year

Dear Friends,

it is with great pleasure that I write to all of you and wish you a wonderful 2019.

2018 is getting to an end and we will all carry with us all the memories of this historical year: a year that saw our birth and our steady growth; a year that, beside all successes, is the first step of a new era for rafting.

In a year (not even a year, actually, as we will celebrate our first birthday at the end of January) many things have been achieved: we overcame several difficulties and, even when we made some mistakes, we always acted in good faith.

In these few months,

- we founded a democratic, operational and legally recognised International Sport Federation, a platform where all members are equally important and to which all can (must) contribute;

- 25 national federations were created and/or structured, so that they could be recognised by their respective National Sport Authority, Government or Olympic Committee (with all the related pros) and consequently enter the WRF as full members;

- the judges’ pool was enlarged and structured, as well as the data collection and management system;

- new competition formats were created: RX, RX mixed, World Cup, biennial World Championships, national competition system, international youth training camps, coaches’ seminars;

- the national/international guides system was structured and made operational in many different nations, helping the national WRF members to create a virtuous circle between competitive and commercial activity;

- a Junior and U23 World Championship was organised and successfully delivered: this event was a first timer for many different reasons. Notably, the first event where canoe slalom and rafting happened together and the first time where so many youngsters (120) were at the start of an international rafting event;

- the first para-rafting event was organised, paving the way for a more inclusive and accessible sport;

- the WRF social media and press department grew under the impulse of young and committed people and we can now enjoy a truly global reach;

- important interventions and initiatives for the protection of rivers all over the world were supported and implemented.

All these achievements gave rafting and the WRF a brand new positioning in the international sport world: thanks to the recognition by the International Canoe Federation (ICF, still maintaining a full autonomy) we are now under the direct observation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The signature of the Memorandum of Understanding with the ICF was the first important step toward a fruitful and friendly cooperation between two organisations that speak the same language: the language of paddlesports.

In a few words, many goals were achieved; others are about to be achieved or are developing quickly. However, much is still to be done and achieved by all of us: we were born with a great team spirit and we must keep growing operating as a team; this is why proactive discussions and critics will always be welcome, as there is no growth without debate.

Next year will be a very important one: we will need to confirm what was already done and improve and correct what must be improved.

World Rafting Championships, World Para-Rafting Championships, World Cups, National Championships, Youth Training Camps will be the most important events happening in 2019.

In addition, the new WRF Training Centre will soon open in Argentière la Bessée, France, thanks to the cooperation with the French Canoe and Kayak Federation.

Finally, 2019 will also see the opening of continental confederations headquarters.

I want to thank all of you (athletes, coaches, officials) that believed in this project and gave and are giving valuable contributions to it.

Special thanks go to:

- National Federation Presidents: I know that for many of you the last months were not easy, as the fear of the unknown often freezes us and it is hard to change our habits so quickly.

The past is part of our background and we can only look at a bright future if we look at the past with a positive attitude. Passion drove our first steps, and passion must always drive us toward the achievement of positive results. Polemics for the sake of polemics are not part of our DNA: we are proud of what we are achieving with the goal of giving a bright future to our sport and to our athletes.

- “my” Board, that contributed wholeheartedly to the WRF development and always put the collective interest ahead of their personal or national interest.

- the “small” rafting nations, that represent our added value and gave our sport a truly universal dimension and demonstrated that rafting really is a sport for all.

- the heads and the main members of all commissions: Oleksandr, Stefan, Zdeslav, Xavier, Huenchuleo, Francesco F., Francesco C, Nikita, Pavlina, Claudia, Caterina, Misha, Max M., Murat and all others led by a great Secretary General, Matteo, the heart and soul of WRF!

- the ICF, the ICF President, Mr. Javier Perurena Lopez, and the ICF Board and staff. They all welcomed us in Budapest (at the ICF Congress) as if we were life-long partners and are working with us on common projects that will ensure a bright common future.

- Mr. Ivo Ferriani, a great friend of rafting and of sports. He is the one that first believed in our potential and made it possible for us to pursue our goals and dreams.

- all our young rafters that are proving to be the real WRF asset.


I wish you all the best for a great 2019!

Your friend,

Danilo Barmaz

Glad to announce a new Member: Iraqi Canoe Federation

WRF announces that in December 2018 the Iraqi Canoe Federation (I.C.C.F.) sent the WRF membership application.

According to the Cooperative Agreement between ICF and WRF, WRF approved the application of the Iraqi Canoe Federation: I.C.C.F. is officially a Member of the World Rafting Federation.

"I hope to work well together to develop my national rafting team" said Mr. Majed Salih, President of the I.C.C.F.

"We are glad to support our new members. As a sport for all, rafting can be practiced without a special experience and that is a way to involve more people in the paddle sport activities. We believe that it will facilitate the development of the I.C.C.F. disciplines" said Mr. Hadi Ghaziasgar, Executive Board Member, who has closely followed the membership application of the Iraqi Canoe Federation.


Canoe and Rafting Federations of Brazil sign a historical MoU. Interview with Rebeca Fernandes, Vice-President of the Brazilian Rafting Association. 

- Rebeca, a new sport era began in Brazil, what do you think are the benefits about being with WRF? 

- I think that the membership of our Federation with WFR helps us in the battle we face every day behind the Olympic dream.

I really believe that in the worldwide Rafting there was a lack of organization about the agonistic interests: now WRF represents an istitution that is making the sport grow, reorganizing every aspect of it, working for new big goals.

Competitors and teams train daily and, as we all know, they seek recognition of their training and effort in international competitions. Becoming an Olympic Sport will certainly represent the opportunity of a reward for every athlete's sacrifice, a dream for every paddle lover.

- Brazil signed a MoU between Rafting and Canoe federations: what are the consequences of being under ICF for your Federation and for your athletes? 

- The Brazilian rafting association has now signed a collaborative agreement with CBCA (Brazilian Canoeing Confederation) that has been active in the last 16 years.

The consequences (that are only benefits) of being active within the Brazilian Canoeing Confederation is precisely the endorsement and credibility that rafting will reach during the national competitions, bringing more visibility to the sport and making us more publicized through TV and web media.

- What is your opinion about the Olympic project and about the Para-Rafting?

- We are very happy about the WRF Olympic project and we are starting to collaborate in order to reach our common goal as soon as possible.

Our athletes reached the podium in many international competitions in the last years and now they are looking forward to see their professional strenght and technique recognized in an Olympic way. We are ready to do the necessary to realize their dream.

Currently we have Brazilian athletes with physical limitation who, regardless, are able to compete so they fit in the official category. In the past these competitors received a limited accessibility to the sport because of the lacking organization, but now the WRF Para-Rafting category will give them support and the right opportunity to compete in official competitions.

- What changes do you expect about the Rafting world in a few month and as a long terms project?

- The Brazilian rafting competitors expect efficient changes, from this new project, in the worldwide organization of the sport, especially an increasing support to the beginning countries that need agonistic and commercial help.

Brazil is always in search of the best ways to realize the Sport's dream that is the recognition as an Olympic Game, in whatever category.

The President of the Confederation of Canoeing, Mr. João Tomasini, has proposed to add R4 Rafting to the Pan American Masters category of 2020 and we are looking forward to this participation and working to develop this project.

Brazil seeks this recognition and we are ready to develop any project in the field of competitive Rafting!

Great news from Argentina

WRF is glad to announce that on 24th November 2018 the FAC (Federación Argentina de Canoas) Directors Board Meeting celebrated in La Plata city signed the WRF membership application.
According to the Cooperative Agreement between ICF and WRF, WRF approved the application of the Federación Argentina de Canoas: FAC is officially a Member of the World Rafting Federation.

The entrance of Argentina represents another important step for the World Rafting in South America.

“With Argentina, Chile, Brasil and the other WRF Members we are ready to develop the WRF Pan-American Council” said Mr. Massimo Desiati, WRF Executive Board Member.

Successful meetings for WRF in Budapest during the ICF Congress


On 30th April 2018 WRF has been recognised by the the International Canoe Federation and, as an Associate Member, has been invited to the biennial ICF Ordinary Congress that took place in Budapest (Hungary) on 23rd-24th November 2018.
The WRF delegation was composed by Mr. Danilo Barmaz (WRF President), Mr. Matteo Benciolini (WRF Secretary General) and Mr. Francesco Fiorini (WRF Strategic Cooperation Manager).

The Congress has been opened by the ICF President, Mr. José Perurena, who welcomed the World Rafting Federation in front of the 66 ICF Delegations present and thanked Mr. Danilo Barmaz for the attendance.

The presidents of the Organising Committee introduced the presentations of the next Olympic Games: Mr. Toshihiko Furuya for Tokyo 2020 and Mr. Tony Estanguet, who is the ICF Vice-President, for Paris 2024.

During the reports by the ICF Executive Committee the Canoe Federations gave several inputs about rafting. At first ICF President Perurena explained the structure of the Memorandum of Understanding between International Canoe Federation and World Rafting Federation to all the ICF Members: the two federations are cooperating in order to improve both the paddle sports and the river world.

After these bilateral meetings between WRF and the National Canoe Federations new countries manifested interest in the WRF project, sharing the aim of improving their national rafting organization and agonistic field: we are working in order to offer a chance to the federations to grow and a dream to their athletes, with the opportunity of a career to realize it.

"It was a great honour to be present and meet a lot of ICF Members - said Danilo Barmaz, WRF President - Our philosophy coincides exactly with ICF vision of paddlesports. There is a great synergy among us. We will keep working on the development of WorldRafting and the positioning of rafting in the paddlesport world."


Photo credit by ICF

WRF and FFCK signed a historical agreement

During the ICF Congress 2018 in Budapest Mr. Danilo Barmaz, President of the WRF, and Mr. Jean Zoungrana, President of the Fédération Francaise de Canoe Kayak signed the the Memorandum of Understanding: WRF and FFCK will cooperate through a common line towards programs and activities with the aim of enlarging the number of people practicing the paddle sport, cooperating on the Training Programme for Raft Guide & Coaches.

The parties, in fact, recognize the concept of sustainability as a key for the future of the paddle sport.

Many whitewater rivers and venues that are potential sites for international competitions are settled in France, especially the stadium of l'Argentière la Bessée, where Danilo Barmaz, monsieur le Marie Patrick Vigne, monsieur Bruno Carlier (Président du comité régional canoë kayak region Paca) and mondsieur Didier Lafay (Directeur du centre de formation canoë kayak region Paca) had the first meeting a month ago.

"We are honored to collaborate with FFCK: this MoU is an another big step for our movement" said Danilo Barmaz.

After Kiev Armenian NOC congratulates the Para-Rafting Teams

Today (14/11/2018), the President of the National Olympic Committee of Armenia, Mr. Gagik Tsarukyan, met and congratulated the Para-Rafting Armenian National Teams on their important results achieved in Kiev during the WRF Pre-Worlds (4-8 October 2018).

Mr. Gagik Tsarukyan agrees to further help the development of rafting in Armenia and he stressed that he will be always ready to support the worldwide development of this beautiful sport.

"World Rafting Federation is thankful to National Olympic Committee of Armenia for supporting Armenian Teams to participate in World Para Rafting Event. We admire your sportsmen and coaches for their courage to cover so long way Armenia - Ukraine and represent Armenia worthily" said the WRF President, Danilo Barmaz.

In the coming days the Armenian delegation will meet also Mr. Gabriel Ghazaryan, Sport Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs of the Republic of Armenia.


Watch the video of the meeting with Mr. Gagik Tsarukyan: https://youtu.be/hUBc6dBMVSU


Update: on 21 November the Armenian Delegation met also the Mr. Gabriel Ghazaryan, Sport Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs of the Republic of Armenia. 

"The meeting with the Minister Ghazaryan went great. He has confirmed his support in our work and in Armenian Rafting Federation" said Sedrak Zakaryan, President of Armenian National Federation of Rafting.

You can follow the Armenian Rafting Federation on its Social Platform at the following link.


First gold for Belarus and a successful Para-Rafting Conference in Kiev

First gold for Belarus and another successful WRF Conference in Kiev: the Para-Rafting Commission's Members, technicians, coaches and athletes defined the Para-rafting rules.

Belarus is the first country that takes a gold in a WRF Para-Rafting Event, the competition that took place in Kiev, 4th-8th October 2018: a positive feedback for the 2019 Para-Rafting Worlds.

The competition showed many different aspects that has been analyzed by the WRF Para-Rafting Commission during the conference with several Para-Rafting athletes, keen to hear about future plans of their sport. Max Manfredi, italian member of the Paralympic Comittee, was one of them.

6 years ago he had an accident but now he paddles in the front-right of the Italian team and moreover Kiev was not his first international experience.

Indeed, before the amputation of the right tibia, he was a passionate high-level athlete of table tennis; after his surgery he discovered new worlds: "It is a new life. Someone says everything happens for a reason and I am not sorry for what happened to me: it seems it had to go in this way and I am happy with what I have now."

When he woke up in the hospital he saw a new opportunity: the Paralympic Games. 6 years have passed and since then he approached 6 other sports: in addiction to table tennis (at the moment he is the number 3 in Itlay) he practises at a competitive level, ice sledge hockey, sitting volley, windsurf, rafting and badminton "I am the italian numer 2 of single badminton and the Italian champion of double badminton: I have never heard of this sport before the accident and now I love it".

4 years ago he took part to the first Italian para-rafting team and since Kiev he is officially working with WRF in order to take our sport to the Paralympic Games.

In the Paralympic Committee physical, intellectual and visual disability are officially recognised. In Kiev there were teams composed only of the first two categories, but in the next months WRF Executive Board will approve the official para-rafting ones.


Photos of the event:

Welcome Romania

18th october 2018 - Romania becomes an official member of the World Rafting Federation. Mr. Catalin Campeanu, Responsible for the Rafting Department of the Federatia Romana de Kaiac Canoe declares:

"I am happy to announce that I have succeeded in having the adhesion signed by the President of the Federation: the Romanian Kayak-Canoe Federation is officially a WRF partner! We hope to meet WRF members as soon as possible in order to plan and organize many big projects that we will realize together."

Romanian Federation is ready to adopt WRF rules and looking forward to collaborate and host an international event on its rivers.
Welcome on board!

Tunceli and Turkish Federation come home with good news

Yesterday (7th October) the World Rafting Federation (WRF) and the Turkish Rafting Federation have signed an important agreement for the development of "WRF Training Program for raft and coaches" in Turkey. 

According this agreement signed in Kiev, during the WRF Para Rafting Test Event, Turkish Rafting Federation is being engaged by the WRF to act as "Program Manager and Coordinator" in Turkey for implementing and managing the WRF Chilean Guide Training Program.

Turkish Rafting Federation, as WRF Member, is entitled to certificate the WRF Turkish National Raft Guide.

The Turkish Rafting Federation will develop and manage the "WRF Training Program for raft and coaches" according the principles defined in WRF Rules and Programs.

Mr. Murat ALI ALAÇ has been appointed as Responsible for the administrative management of the Programme in Turkey. 

When it will be developed in all its aspects, the WRF Commission shall verify that the WRF Chilean Training Guide Program reaches the standards defined by the "WRF Training Program for raft and coaches".

Furthermore WRF Secretariat has received different turkish applications for hosting the 2019 World Cup. The bid of the Tunceli's city has passed the preliminary checks. The final decision will be taken by the Executive Board in the next weeks. "I'm very pleased with these important successes for my country - said Fikret YARDIMCI, WRF Vice President and President of Turkish Federation - Now we will keep working on the Tunceli's bid"


WRF launches its Training Programme for Raft Guide & Coaches

WRF has launched its Training Programme for Raft Guide & Coaches. The Programme is the result of the WRF Commission’s work started in Kosovo during the week of WRF World Cup in Zubin Potok (from 22nd to 24th June 2018). On that occasion members of the national federations had the first workshop about the competence's fields of a worldwide training programme for river guide and coach: safety, techniques, knowledges about environment and coaching.

The aim of the Training Programme is to implement a federal worldwide system based on the competences and knowledges of different levels of guides and coaches. It is a tool to facilitate young people's access to the labour market and to implement the dual career goal for paddle athletes. According to the WRF philosophy the target is to improve the international mobility: following the water flow on the other side of the planet, because of rafting's seasonality, guides can work and promote the paddle sport in different continents in the same year.

Christian Huenchuleo (President of the Chilean Federation), Xavier Postiaux (Belgian experienced rafting and canoe instructor) and Andrea Gatti (Vice-President of the Italian Federation), representing their own federations and according to the others, shared their river experiences in the agonistic and guide's world.

"Taking part to this project is extremely important for Chile: I am very happy about this collaboration with a selected group of professional technicians and honored to transmit my own knowledge about rafting, developed during years of river life. The Chilean Federation wants to help in this movement that will professionalize this amazing discipline day by day. Working in line with the World Rafting Federation is essential for us, in order to develop the agonistic sport in our country and to facilitate the formation of qualified coaches and guides who can work abroad." said Christian Huenchuleo.

"When the president Danilo Barmaz proposed to me to take part in this working group I was immediately excited. - Xavier Postiaux said - I had the opportunity to work with passionate and competent colleagues and I hope that this document will be a reference for the WRF members, not only because of its nature but also because of the ideals behind the project: an international development of this sport, a common professionalization and also new possible opportunities for an international mobility. Step by step growing and performing!" 

Andrea Gatti, event manager of the WRC 2018 in Italy, introduces the Training Programme:
"For this project I had the pleasure of sharing my experience of more than twenty years in the Italian Federation with my colleagues and friends of the other federations.
The WRF training programme is a document that sets the common skills required by the guides and coaches's formation of the federations associated with the WRF. We shared our river experiences and knowledges in both the agonistic and commercial worlds and created this document in the clearst way we could. In the programme the skills required by guides and coaches are described with the progression of the different levels of formation. Agonism and commercial/touristic rafting are faced in parallel, with their different technical and pratical features. Every national federation is autonomous in the decision of timing and methods to led their athletes to reach the skills required, approved by WRF members. This common line (sharing levels, competences and knowledges) guarantees the international exchange and comparison of experiences and resources and also evens and improves the wolrdwide formation's quality. It is not a static and definitive document, but a platform that will be updated, completed and perfected as every training requires."

Read the full Programme

WRF is excited to launch new Para Rafting in Kiev

The capital of Ukraine is ready to host the event of the next week: Pre World Rafting Championship. It is a test event: for the first time, as a WRF's initiative, international athletes will meet and compete in this water sport.
On 4th October rafters, coaches, technicians and presidents from six selected nations will arrive to Kiev: Armenia, Belarus, Italy, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. On the next day the venue will be open for the official trainings and races will be on 6th and 7th, at 10 a.m.. The event, managed by the WRF member Bakanychev Olexandr, is open to the senior category and men, women and mix teams.

The Ukraine team will paddle with a special athlete who is also a member of the Ukraine federation: Kornienko Oleksandr. He is a new entry in the Pararafting team, but the paddle sport is his last challenge: we saw him at the Paralimpic Games in Russia 4 years ago, Sochi 2014, when he took the 8th place in cross country ski and the 6th place in biathlon. He will paddle with 3 other athletes (R4 teams only) at the Yacht Club "Fregat": there will be not only races and ceremonies but also meetings in order to test and approve the WRF rules, discussed in the last months and especially 2 weeks ago by the Belarus president, Aleksandr Skakun, who has been to Kiev and tested the venue.
It is the beginning of a long-term project and everything is ready to start.

Chilean athletes lining up for national titles in Pucon

Less than 1 month to one of the most important events of the South America: 23 days left until the National Championship in Chile!

Pucòn will host the biggest exponents of this extreme sport, fans and athletes from all the nation and the whitewater of Rio Trancura is waiting for their paddles. The city, 21 thousands inhabitants, is a tourist attraction, a famous ski resort and lies on the east shore of the Villarica Lake, that is the mouth of the river Rio Trancura, located in La Araucanìa region, through National Parks, woods and volcanic scenarios.

After months of work from the Chilean Federation and the local Raft Guides Association in order to organize a memorable festival everything and everyone are ready: from 26th to 29th of September women, men and the new mixed teams introduced by the WRF, of every category (U23, open and master) will compete in the four disciplines (in R4 teams): sprint, head to head, slalom and downriver. The rafters will compete to conquer the title of National Champions, so they will have the honor of representing their country all around the world in the next international races and rafting events.

This rafting Championship is going to be a big whitewater fest, but there will be much more than rafts and paddles: entrepreneurs fairs, sport workshops, ceremonies and live music will accompany the festival.

And it won't be only about the competition: adrenaline is about rafting in general, whitewater, sharing moments, laughs, waterfalls and rapids: on 28th of September there will be "Rafting por la discapacidad". At midday every person with disability will have the opportunity to try the river experience, paddling accompanied by the guides for free, because it's not only a National Championship and rafting is for everyone!

As Christian Huenchuleo (President of Chilean Rafting Federation) and Alvaro Bueno Abud (Secretary General of National Rafting Guide Association) say: No te quedes fuera de esta gran fiesta!

Erdogan meets the Turkish Rafting Federation

11/08/2018, Rize, Turkey - Before the Turkish Super League's football match Çaykur Rizespor VS Kasimpaşa the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had a meeting with the WRF Vice President and President of the Turkish Rafting Federation, Mr Fikret Yardimci, other members of the National Board and some national athletes.

The president Erdoğan was born in Istanbul in 1954 but his family is from Rize so he often visits the city. Fırtına Deresi is the big river that crosses Rize and many national athletes live and train here, between green valleys, white water and the Black Sea; so on 11th August Rize's rafters and members of the Rafting Federation met him and talked to him about the new born Turkish Federation that is now indipendent, developing and growing up.

Last year the Turkey Team had big international results: the U19 men team, took the gold at the European Championship in Borjomi (Georgia) in May and conquered the title of World Champion in Miyoshi (Japan), last October. Last April Dalaman hosted the first national race opened to international teams, so it was an important meeting for the WRF: members from eleven countries were there and met the local Governator. After the national's selections in Tunceli (one month later) the team Turkey joined the WRF Wolrd Championships 2018. 10 members of the Turkish board and 25 athletes flew to Italy and paddled waving proudly their red flag.

Erdoğan was amazed by the international results and the passion that animates young teams through hard trainings and sacrifices, so after this first short meeting he invited them to a official meeting in Ankara.

In September the Rafting crew will be received in the Presidental Palace and they will discuss about new rules of rafting, WRF activities and the Olympic project.

WRF Pararafting Sport Categories

KIEV, UKRAINE - The WRF Pararafting Commission chaired by Mr. Oleksandr Bakanychev has published the sport categories for Para Rafting competitions; according to the International Para Olympic Committee requirements, the Commission composed by Mr. Bakanychev, Mr. Andrey Batalov, Mr. Makar Sargsyan, Mis. Tetiana Kulbaka has presented its preliminary findings. 

During the WRF 2018 Para Rafting Pre-Worlds in Kiev (4-8 October) the new WRF Para Rafting Programme will be presented by the Commission.





          Class 1     A   (Only arms can work)

          Class 2     TA   (Only arms and torso can work)

          Class 3    LTA  (Legs, torso, arms can work )

           Spinal level impairment



          Cerebral Palsy









Down Syndrome

Autism spectrum disorders

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome


Cerebral Palsy with intellectual disability




Class B1: (a very low visual acuity and/ or no light perception)

Class B2: (a higher visual acuity  and/ or a visual field of less than 5 degrees radius)

Class B3:  (the least severe visual impairment eligible, the highest visual acuity and/or a visual field of less than 20 degrees radius)



Deaf athletes

Hard of hearing athletes

Armenian Minister of Sport met Mr. Seto Zakaryan

After the World Rafting Championship settled in Italy from 21st to 24th of July the President of the Armenian Rafting Federation and the Rafting.am club met Mr. Levon Vahradyan, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs.

During the meeting, in the capital Yerevan, Mr. Seto Zakaryan, President of the Armenian Rafting Federation, reported to Mr. Vahradyan the Italian experience of their athletes in Villeneuve and Ivrea. Rafting in Armenia is growing up under the World Rafting Federation, indeed after their National Championship on 11th August and the International Rafting Fest of the next weekend (18th and 19th August) they will discuss the opportunity of organizing a WRF event next year.


U23 & Juniors Worlds got their Champions


Villeneuve and Ivrea has hosted 40 teams competing in the 3 World Rafting Federation disciplines: downriver, slalom and RX, on the Dora Baltea river. Many surprises in the italian Valle d'Aosta and Piemonte regions led the young athletes tuned not only about the results.

26th  July 2018 - Athletes from 13 nations will remember this WRF Event thanks to the withewater, the adrenaline of the competition and to the international feeling of sharing a passion. This event confirmed the WRF intention to focus on young athletes, working to see them at the Olympics in the future.

After the first two traditional races of Downriver and Slalom the last one was a new spectacular discipline called RX, officially born in order to impress the public. It is composed by 2 parts: the first one is a qualification phase who's times will decide the starting position of the second knock out phase, where the couples fight in a direct elimination. It has been a race full of surprises.

Mix teams
The 2018 WRF's innovation are the mix teams: only in the new entry category RX there are 2 boys and 2 girls on the raft, creating an innovative perspective of team. The U19 mix has been conquered by the Italian hosts, after them Czech Republic and Turkey. Same nations took the u23 podium, but 1st Turkey, 2nd Italy and 3rd Czech.

Italian hosts won 3 golds in the general ranking. The 4th and last one was taken by the Czech u 23 women team, that beated Italy and Russia with an amazing show of team spirit.

World Rafting Spirit - International teams made by Armenia, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Albania and Serbia closed the races under the flag of wrf, that is working on the Olympic project and hopes to see some of this amazing guys in the future Games.

On the occasion of the World Championships, the WRF launched its TALENT IDENTIFICATION PROGRAMME (TIP), by involving an international team composed of athletes coming from different developing countries (Croatia, Chile, Czech Republic).

Did you miss the live streaming on Planet Canoe? Check it out here



RX - Knock out phase


A special thanks to: the town of Villeneuve, the department for tourism, sport, commerce and transports of the Regione Autonoma Valle d’Aosta, the Valle d’Aosta regional council, the International Canoe Federation (I.C.F.), the World Rafting Federation (W.R.F.), the Italian Rafting Federation (F.I.Raft), Piemonte and Valle d’Aosta Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI), Rafting Aventure in Villeneuve and Ivrea canoa club.


Supporters of the event are Albino Armani and Enervit. Albino Armani is a big fan of paddle sport and motorbike. Together with his winery, he has been encouraging for a long time many sports initiatives of international relevance.

At the Ivrea World Champs the energy was supplied by Red Bull. 






The second race of these World Championships is over. Today, in Ivrea, the athletes performed in the Slalom race discipline on the Dora Baltea River. 25 teams tested the water that comes from the Mont Blanc.

Yesterday, after the opening ceremony of the World Championships, the teams and the coaches were given a free hour to study the river before going back to the camp in Villeneuve (AO).

Besides memorizing the course of the river very carefully, this morning the athletes had the chance to train before the Slalom race. All the athletes said they had fun and felt a lot of adrenaline thanks to the amazing strength of the river and its rapids.

The gate number nine was probably the hardest one of the course. It was the most technical part that challenged all the athletes. In fact, some rafts got stucked and they were kept in the hole because of the centrifugal force, and were forced to come out of the water.

The teams go back to the camp in Villeneuve in order to rest and get ready for the last day of races.

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