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 R4 Rafting Championships

2011-06-04 Canadian R4 Rafting Championships - Training day

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. The water levels were high, and we spent our first day getting the downriver racing lines sorted.

Canadian Championships 2011 - Team

2011-06-05 Canadian R4 Rafting Championships - Training day

Training day at Jonquiere slalom course where the first three events of the championships are due to take place tomorrow. Having an extra day here was just what we needed, to get some practice around slalom gates. We stayed at the CEPAL centre again, right next to the course.

Canadian Championships 2011 - Sprint

2011-06-06 Canadian R4 Rafting Championships - Sprint, Head to Head and Slalom

The first day of racing dawned fine and still - a welcome change from last year's event. We felt better prepared than last year, with much more race experience under our belts. Soon it was time to head up to the start line for the sprint event. It went smoothly, just like we had been doing in practice. We managed to get first place by the narrowest of margins, and so seeded us for start positions in the Head to Head race.

Canadian Championships 2011 - Head to Head

The organisers had improved the starting positions this year, making the choice of lane less important. Again, everything went to plan, and we steadily progressed through the rounds, seeing off the current Canadian team in the finals to win our second event.

Canadian Championships 2011 - Head to Head

The slalom course was set up over lunch and we had a chance to inspect and choose our lines. Our first run was quick, but we got a few time penalties for touching some of the gates. After all the teams had had their first runs, we were lying in second place, a few seconds behind the current Canadian team. Again, we were going for the win, so it was important that our second run was fast as well as 'clean' - with no gate penalties. Everything was going well until we came out of the upstream gate 5 and realised that we had cut into the current too sharply and were going to miss gate 6. In the scramble to get all of us through the gate lines we dove to the right, caught the side of the raft in the oncoming current and flipped over. This was obviously the end of our run, and we had to settle for second place in the slalom event.

2011-06-07 Canadian R4 Rafting Championships - Downriver

The final scores from the first day of racing had left us in a tie for first place. That meant that the event results depended upon the final downriver event. We knew that this was going to be a tough race as the Jaques-Cartier was the home river of our main competitor for the championship title. River levels had dropped since we had done our practice runs a few days ago, so we had to scout the river again and revise some of the line choices available. We lost the coin toss for choice of starting position, so were chasing the current Canadian team from the start line. We definitely had the upper hand on the flatter parts of the course, but lost some ground in the bigger rapids as we weren't as familiar with the fastes lines. We finally saw our opprtunity to pass in the outflow of the last section of rapids, and after some battling, we managed to edge ahead into some faster water. With the finish line in sight, we had to make sure that we kept the lead, and upped the pace to drive hard for the last few hundred metres.

Canadian Championships 2011 - Head to Head

It took a moment for events to sink in - we had just won the Canadian championships! We celebrated as we watched the remaining teams come in over the next few minutes. After getting together for a photo of all the competitors, we loaded rafts and headed over to a local rafting base for a BBQ and party.

Paddlers; Graham Ball, Gwyn Ashcroft, Jon Booren, Andy Hill, Westley Etherington

Good days on the river

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