British Rafting selected seven teams to represent Great Britain at the International Rafting Federation (IRF) World Rafting Championship in Miyoshi, Japan. The British teams were made up of a real mix of experience from rafters on their first ever international competition to teams very seasoned in competing and being on the podium.
The races were held on the Yoshino River in Miyoshi, Tokushima, Japan over four days with the weather ranging from heavy rain to baking sunshine.
The Sprint and Head-to-Head stretch of the river saw nail biting conclusions and produced some unexpected results, especially for the GBR Open Women's team, who were expected to rank well but a simple mistake proved costly. However dusting themselves off and coming back stronger than ever, the team made up for their earlier mistake and claimed the gold medal in Slalom.
The Slalom course for the Open and Masters categories was very technical and steep meaning there were no clean runs from any team and although the Slalom course for the Juniors and Youth was on calmer and less steep water, it was by no means less technical.
The grueling Downriver was again split by age category but was not for the faint of heart with rapids to navigate whilst chasing or being chased by other teams.
With an impressive medal tally of 13 across the categories, the teams ranked high on the world stage, bringing home:
Youth Women (U19): Head-to-Head Bronze, Overall 5th place
Youth Men (U19): Sprint Bronze, Head-to-Head Bronze, Slalom Silver, Downriver Bronze, Overall Silver
Junior Women (U23): Head-to-Head Gold, Downriver Bronze, Overall Bronze
Junior Men (U23): Overall 6th place
Masters Men: Overall 6th place
Open Women: Sprint Bronze, Slalom Gold, Overall Bronze
Open Men: Head-to-Head Bronze, Overall 4th place
Congratulations to all the teams who competed at the World Championships. If you're feeling inspired or want to learn more about rafting, head to the British Rafting website and sign up to a taster session.