It’s the rainy season in Costa Rica. Only a subtle difference from all the other seasons, and it might be difficult to tell the difference unless you’re a local. Or unless you’re competing in the International Rafting Federation’s pre-world’s held this past weekend. Fortunately for the competitors the water levels remained the same for the past for days. It’s something that is virtually unheard of for this time of year, but a welcome respite from what everyone expected.
Teams from all over the globe competed in Sprint, Head-to-Head, Slalom, and Downriver competitions. The events kicked off on Thursday with practice runs. Friday the sprint and head-to-head competitions were held, then on Saturday the slalom events. Sunday the final downriver competitions were held and the overall winners announced at a closing ceremony in Turrialba over beers and some great local cuisine. No word on whether the two Czech men who took a swim during the Sprint downed the requisite “booty-beer.”
Brazil had two Men’s teams entered into the competition (Brazil-1 and Brazil-2), while the Czechs had three (TR Rafting Morava, Bestie
Stream Troja Czech, and Czech Raft Team TR CVOK).
In Friday’s competition, the same three teams dominated both events. The Men’s Brazil-1 team took 1st place in both Spring and H2H competitions. The USA team finished 2nd in the same two events, and the Czech TR Rafting Morava 3rd in the events. It might seem heavy at the top, but after the 1st day of competition the top 6 teams were separated by less the 100 points.
The Women’s events played out in similar fashion, only with slightly different (though, no less dominant) players. The Czechs, The Costa Ricans, and the USA team went 1, 2, 3 in both the Sprint and H2H.
In Saturday’s Slalom events, the Czech teams were at it again. TR Rafting Morava took the top spot, and their fellow country-men Bestie Stream Troja Czech took 2nd. Brazil-1 kept pace in the overalls by finishing 3rd.
In the Women’s Slalom it was a repeat of Friday, the Czechs took 1st, Costa Rica 2nd, and the USA team 3rd.
The Downriver event on Sunday was the crown-jewel of the weekend, and the points gained here would determine the overall winner of the IRF pre-worlds. It was no surprise that TR Rafting Morava put up the best time for 1st, but the previously unmentioned Czech Raft Team TR CVOK was able gain some overall points by taking 2nd. The Brazil-1 team took 3rd edging out the Americans by just over 2 seconds.
On the women’s side, you guessed it, the Czechs won again. The USA team however, managed to take 2nd over Costa Rica beating them handily by just under 25 seconds.
Final Overall Point Standings
1st Place 937 points TR Rafting Morava (Czech)
2nd Place 853 points Brazil 1
3rd Place 759 points United States Rafting Association
1st Place 1000 points TR Teva Czech
2nd Place 853 points United States Rafting Assosciation
3rd Place 817 points Club de Rafting Feminino Costa Rica