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2017-10-09 WRC2017 - Downriver

The final event, the Downriver is the one that most of the teams concentrate on, as it is worth the greatest number of points. We were starting in the second heat, alongside Argentina, Slovenia, Russia, and Costa Rica.

The start was a bit messy, with many of the teams contacting off the start line. We got tangled up with Costa Rica, and as a result slowed down. Once the field separated a bit, we were playing catch-up for the whole race. Despite several attempts, we were unable to overtake, and once all the results came in, we found ourselves in 12th/17. This was definitely not our best performance in the downriver, and this dropped our overall standing to 12th/17.

Whilst we have not placed as well as in previous World Rafting Championships, the hospitality of our hosts, Japan, and their extremely well run event made up for this in part. The general feeling amongst the team was that the standard of the other teams here was the highest that we have raced against. We have some more work to do in preparation for the next time that we race internationally.

Many thanks to all of the people and organisations that have helped us train and made our journey to Japan possible; Shaggy Designs, River Run rafting, Level 6, Anthony for the awesome coaching and Ottawa River Runners for access to the Pumphouse.

Paddlers: Graham Ball, Lars Romeskie, Jacob Suchorab, Bill Leslie, Gwyn Ashcroft, Andy Hill, Drew Sellen.

2017-10-08 WRC2017 - Slalom

The Slalom event has not been our strong point in past competitions, as we have struggled in the past to get enough training with gates. This time though, we have been fortunate to be able to train at the Pumphouse in Ottawa, and get some valuable coaching from Anthony, the Canadian Slalom team coach. So we were expecting to improve our performance quite significantly.

Slalom, gate 9

Our strategy was to get a good first run in, making sure that we got all the gates as clean as possible, and then try to pick up the pace on the second run. This strategy played out well, with just one touch on each run, and a 4 second time improvement between runs. The number of touches compared well with the other teams - none of the open teams managed to put in a clean run. Our performance put us 7th/17 in the slalom, and 8th/17 overall so far. Our best result ever in the slalom at a WRC put us in a much better frame of mind in the run up to the final event tomorrow.

2017-10-07 WRC2017 - Sightseeing

While the Youth and Junior competitors were competing in the slalom event, the Open and Masters had a day off to go sightseeing. We chose to go and check out the Unpenji Buddhist temple.

Unpenji Buddhist temple

Photo: Gwyn Ashcroft

The temple is on a peak not too far from our hotel, so the afternoon was spent walking back, followed by another fantastic meal.

2017-10-06 WRC2017 - Sprint and H2H

After several days of training to get to know the river sections that we are racing on, our first day of competition! We were a few seconds off the pace in the sprint, finishing 14th/17. This was a disappointing result for us, as we have done well in the sprint event in the past.

Ladies team sprint

Photo: Gwyn Ashcroft

After lunch, the Heat to Head races started. We were paired against the USA for our first race, but did not have choice of lanes. The USA team managed to slip ahead of us, and kept the lead to the finish. Again, not what were hoping for. We at least had a fast time, and finished 10th/17.

2017-10-02 WRC2017 - Arrived in Japan

After a long flight, and a night in an airport hotel in Osaka, we have made it to Miyoshi city, Japan. Our accommodation overlooks the Yoshino river, and the food is fantastic.

The view from our hotel

Photo: Gwyn Ashcroft

The next few days will be spent training on the river, getting to know the fastest lines. The opening ceremony is tomorrow afternoon.

2017-07-16 Petawawa Article

Our favourite whitewater writer Carmen Kuntz has written a fantastic piece about the Petawawa river and the Hell or High Water festival. Check it out at the NRS Duct Tape Diaries.

Good days on the river

All images Copyright Petawawa Raft Team

Updated: 20 November 2017 Valid HTML 5