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...
Pan-American R6 Rafting Championships
2012-09-21 World Cup/Pan-American Championships - Sprint and Head to Head
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.
The event was held over five days on two separate rivers; the Jacques Cartier and Riviere-aux-Sables. Teams traveled from Brazil, Slovakia and the USA to compete. Brazil came into this competition as one of the most decorated teams, boasting the top records in the international rafting scene with a gold and then silver in 2009 and 2010 World Rafting Championships. At the 2011 World Rafting Championships in Costa Rica Brazil, USA and Slovakia all had top ten finishes, 4th, 7th and 8th respectively.
We were excited to get back up to the Jacques Cartier after our high water experiences last spring at the R4 Canadian Championships. All five of us loaded into Andy's veggie oil-fueled van and headed for Tewkesbury, QC to start our practice runs on the Jaque Cartier.
The competition kicked off with Sprint and Head-to-head (H2H) races both on Day 1. They were held on an excellent whitewater course behind Hotellerie Cepal near the Town of Jonquiere in the Saguenay region. After the first day we were filled with mixed emotions, sitting in first for our National title, we were starting to wonder if we were a bit out classed as the three Canadian Mens teams were filling out the bottom of the rankings overall holding 5th, 6th and 7th.
2012-09-22 World Cup/Pan-American Championships - Slalom
Day 2 was dedicated to Slalom, our favorite event. We have always had lots of luck with slalom in the past, pulling off top times with very little opportunity practice or experience in the discipline. Years of practice surfing rafts on the Ottawa have given us an edge when racing slalom. Slalom is worth as many points as the first two events combined which gave us hope we could shift the rankings by the end of the day.
Photo: Stef McArdle
The excitement was high as teams wandered up and down the slalom course scouting the gate positioning. In the previous two national championships we have found the slalom course to be equally challenging and fun, this year was no exception.
After an excellent first run with only 5 gate touches and no misses out of 15 we were excited to be sitting in second place behind Bozo D'Agua from Brazil and just ahead of Behind the 8 Ball from the USA. Our second run started off beautifully as we were able to clean up a few gates that had caused us problems in the first run. One small mistake caused us to miss the last gate of the competition and allow the USA to best our first run pushing us into a 3rd place finish.
2012-09-24 World Cup/Pan-American Championships - Downriver
Sitting happily in 4th place overall we headed down to the Jacques for a day of training and then the down river race. After a big rain our first night of training the Jacques had pushed back up into high water range. No one knew what to expect upon our return but we were definitely hoping for more water as a low water race played heavily into the hands of the home teams, our competition for the national title.
The race was close from the beginning with a line of 8 boats heading across the first flat into the first set of serious whitewater. We managed to jump out in second place right behind our biggest rivals and the current R6 national team, Wicked Liquid. The lead changed many times throughout the race with some excellent moves made in very tight lines. The final class 3 boulder garden was the place that sealed the positions for the finish as we chased the Wicked liquid team through the rocks. One error found us hitting a rock in the final kilometer of race and sealing our position in 4th behind the two Brazil teams and Wicked Liquid.
The organizers did an excellent job with the championships; all events were held on time and in a very professional manner. We would like to thank the all the organizers of the event for hosting an excellent event and all the teams that traveled great distance to compete.
We started the trek home to the Ottawa with a bronze in Slalom, 4th place overall and the Canadian Title having squeaked past Wicked Liquid by 2 points out of 1000. We are all looking forward to the upcoming R4 national championships this spring on the Ottawa and have started training hard for the World Championships in New Zealand next November.
Paddlers; Graham Ball, Jon Booren, Lars Romeskie, Gwyn Ashcroft, Andy Hill, Bill Leslie, Tim Wintoniw.