Blog Archive

2015-11-27 2015 World R6 Rafting Championships

We have arrived! After some lengthy travels for many of us, we are almost all assembled at the venue for the 2015 World Rafting Championships in West Java, Indonesia. Still to arrive are Bill (and most of our paddles), and Jenny our team nurse. All being well, we will see them tomorrow more...

2015-06-07 2015 Canadian R4 Rafting Championships

We again headed over to the Rouge river and New World rafting for a very well organised race. The first day was certainly busy, with the first 3 events all happening in one run down the river. The field was the biggest seen in recent years more...

2014-10-19 2014 World R4 Rafting Championships

On Oct 8th, 2014 I started my journey to the south, escaping the soon to be cold of the north yet again. This time however for a much better reason then usual. Myself and a few other Canadian boys were elected to be the R4 national Canadian team in summer of 2013. We trained hard up 'til the date of departure more...

2013-11-08 2013 World R6 Rafting Championships

We are all now in Rotorua, New Zealand, ready to get some training in for the upcoming World Rafting Championships. The team managed to converge on Okere Falls today for a few familiarisation runs down the Kaituna river. For some of us, it was the first time down, and it really is as good as everyone says! more...

2013-06-10 2013 Canadian R4 Rafting Championships

The first day of the Canadian rafting championships saw some great racing from the ladies teams. The Petawawa river was the venue for the sprint course, down Lovers and Catwalk rapids. Water levels were good, and provided challenging conditions for all the entrants. more...

2012-09-21 2012 Pan-American R6 Rafting Championships

At the end of September we made our way to Quebec to compete in our first international rafting event; the World Cup/Pan-American Championships. This event was not only our first international rafting competition but it would also act as the Canadian Championships, deciding which team would represent Canada at the 2013 World Rafting Championships in New Zealand. more...

2011-06-04 2011 Canadian R4 Rafting Championships

Fresh from our recent success at Hell or High Water 2011, we were determined to do well at the Canadian championships, our aim being to win and thereby qualify for the 2012 R4 worlds. On arriving at the Jaques-Cartier river north of Quebec city we found a quality run of fairly continuous grade 4 water on the Tewkesbury section. more...

2011-05-07 Hell or High Water 2011

The annual Hell or High Water festival is fast becoming an established Ottawa valley boaters favourite. After having had such a great time at last year's event; Hell or High Water 2010, we put in some training in the week leading up to the race - more...

2010-09-02 2010 Canadian R6 Rafting Championships

This is it! After countless early mornings training hard we were on our way. We had arrived in the Saguenay region of Quebec the previous night after a long drive from the Ottawa. Keen to hit the rivers and get some practice in before our first race against the Qubec teams, we drove up to St Stanislas and the Mistassibi. It did not dissapoint - more...

2010-06-08 The Rouge - Seven Sisters

Fresh from our successful run of the Kipawa, we set our sights on the series of drops on the Rouge river in Quebec. As soon as we could get a team together, a check of the levels confirmed that the waterfalls known as the Seven Sisters were all good to go. This time we bought some kayakers with us to run safety cover. more...

2010-05-07 The Kipawa

After having taken delivery of our brand new raft (thanks SOTAR!), we were keen to get out and run some rivers. The only problem - the driest spring and summer in living memory! With our plans for adventures further afield scuppered, we settled upon a low water Kipawa trip. more...

2010-05-01 Hell or High Water 2010

A fresh Mayday weekend in the Ottawa valley - what better opportunity to get out for the first run of the season? We wrapped up warm and headed to the superb Hell or High Water event. This event usually sees the Petawawa river in full spring flow, and this year was no exception. more...

Canadian R6 Rafting Championships

2010-09-02 Canadian R6 Rafting Championships - Downriver training day

This is it! After countless early mornings training hard we were on our way. We had arrived in the Saguenay region of Quebec the previous night after a long drive from the Ottawa. Keen to hit the rivers and get some practice in before our first race against the Qubec teams, we drove up to St Stanislas and the Mistassibi. It did not dissapoint - continuous big water features in the rapids culminating in the enormous diagonal breaking wave of Hawaii 5-0. This was what we would be racing on in the dowriver event - the last of the four disciplines, and often the decider for the overall winner. We spent the day scouting and choosing the fastest lines, where we could pass other rafts, etc.

2010-09-03 Canadian R6 Rafting Championships - Downriver training day

After camping nearby (thanks to Wally at Quebec Raft!), we went for another run down the Mistassibi - no stopping this time. Confident in our race lines, we packed up and headed down to Jonquiere where the first three events of the championships would take place.We stayed at the CEPAL centre, right next to the whitewater course used for the 1979 world kayak slalom championships.

2010-09-04 Canadian R6 Rafting Championships - Sprint, Head to Head and Slalom

We woke excited for the coming races, despite the rain which persisted for most of the day. First event was a sprint down the whitewater course - nothing complicated, just get to the finish line as quick as possible, one boat at a time. We were a couple of seconds off the winner's time,and came in third of six mens teams. This result then seeded us for start positions in the next event, the Head to Head. This event sees the teams paired up and started together, each team vying for the best lines and fastest water. The winner of each heat then progresses to the next round. Our first heat went well as we powered in front from the faster start position, but in the semi-final round we battled unsuccessfuly against a strong local team from the slower lane, again finishing third.

Canadian Championships 2010 - Slalom

After lunch, the slalom poles were put in place above the rapids and all the teams had a chance to inspect the course and choose their strategy. Despite never having done a slalom event as a team, we got off to as good start in our first run, managing not to get many penalties for touching the poles. A tough move to get across to gate 13 foxed us near the end of the course, meaning a large time penalty for missing the last two gates. As we watched the other teams complete their first runs, we realised that this was not as much of a disaster as we first thought; none of the other teams made gate 13 either. Between runs there was a great deal of discussion - do we go for gate 13 again, and risk missing two gates again, or play it safe and make sure that we get gate 14? We were fairly sure that the current Canadian team would try for the gate, so there was everything to play for. we decided to go for glory, and in our second run, we used an eddy above gate 12 to slow our momentum and set us up for the cross into gate 13. A few tense moments later we were over the finish line - the first team to make all the gates! Unfortunately the current Canadaian team also made all the gates, narrowly beating us into second place in the slalom. The end of the first day's racing had us in third place - not bad for our first 'proper' race! After the racing, all the teams headed up to the Mistassibbi, camping by Quebec Raft for the night.

2010-09-05 Canadian R6 Rafting Championships - Downriver

The day dawned cold and damp, and with the news that the Mistassibi river had risen from 130 to 200 cumecs since our practice runs a few days ago. This would make for some exciting racing in the downriver event, but meant that our race lines might need some modification. Many of the other teams took a practice run in the morning, but we opted to conserve our energy as much as possible, and just send two of us down in kayaks to check things out before lunch. The race was started Chinese downhill style, with all six teams lined up across the river at the start. The racing was tight and exciting, with the lead changing several times during the race. We were in the lead coming into Hawaii 5-0, but were passed briefly before regaining the lead in the following rapid. We managed to pull ahead as the finish line came into view and kept our lead to come first in the downriver! Our strong finish meant that we finished in second place overall, behind the current Canadian team.

Canadian Championships 2010 - Downriver

All that was left was to head back to Quebec Raft for the prizegiving and party, expertly hosted by Wally and his crew. Lots of conversation, race ananlysis, singing and banter in a mixture of broken French and English went on late into the night. We will definitely be back next year, with our sights firmly set on first place.

Canadian Championships 2010 - Downriver

Paddlers; Graham Ball, Gwyn Ashcroft, Jon Booren, Tyler Fox, Lars Romeskie, Andy Hill, Blake Mahoney

Good days on the river

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