INternational Whitewater guide race 2010

With optimal water levels and brilliant sunny weather the first ever INTERNATIONAL GUIDE RACE took place on the slalom section of the Salza river in Wildalpen testing all competitors in Swiftwater Rescue skills.

There were 3 different events to compete in; the first was the individual race, then the two man team head to head inline-raft cross and lastly the team competition.

The set courses for the individual and team races were a mix of basic river running and whitewater rescue skills that every guide and kayaker should know. The courses were a real challenge even for experienced river guides.

In the individual race tested each river guide with swimming across the river to rescue an inflatable canoe and swimmer in distress, then a precise throwbag throw followed with a raft re-flip and rescue of 2 dummies. Towards the end of the course was also a pined kayaker to assist and the rest of the slalom course to paddle down before getting yourself and your equipment back to the start and showing the judges that you can still tie a figure of eight knot.

Despite warm weather the cold water of the Salza River was one of the factors that competitors said made the race so hard, robbing them of energy before they were halfway through the course. Competitors that have previously taken part in the dolomitenmann said that the individual course, although a shorter race was at least equal in physical difficulty.

The line up for the start was impressive with competitors from Hungary, Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic racing against the local Austrians. Racers included members from the Hungarian national rafting team and the standing down river racing world champion.

The main prize for first place in the individual race as well as the team competition was a 3 day Swiftwater Rescue Technician course, kindly donated from Neil Newton Taylor, in 1st Place was Laszlo Nagy, 2nd Place went to Daniel Toros, closely followed in 3rd Place by Matthias Fischer.

In the team event three guides had several tasks to solve right from the word go! No less than four victims had to be rescued and all equipment to be used had to be recovered from the river first. Re-flipping rafts, freeing pined kayaks and the right handling of a patient with a unstable neck fracture were all included just to keep things interesting alongside the normal swimming and throw bagging that ended up being done.

Unbeatable were the Austrian trio "Team Riversliders" comprising of, Bernard Ochaya, Daniel Toros and Matthias Fischer who had the fastest time, and that along with good team work and a well timed throwbag throw preventing disaster let them slide into first place. The other podium places went to the Hungarians with Team Alpes Rating coming second and Team Alpes Rating II third.

The event organizer was Gaspar Goncz head of the Guide Training & Education Committee for the IRF.

A big thank you to the Wildalpen town council and especially the Mayor Frau Bürgermeister Karin Gulas for hosting such a well run and accident free event.

Also thanks to Tamas Vrana, CEO of "Raftwerk" for the use of his boats and the organization of safety for the event.

The event was a great success and will be taking place next year just before the start of the rafting season. Next year we would like to see more competitors from more countries taking part with the option of great training courses running both before and after the races.

Stay safe on the river.

Results list and Photos from the event can be viewed here

We would also like to thank the sponsors for their support:
Bernard Ochaya:
Gaspar Goncz / White Water Training Center:
Neil Newton Taylor:
Naturelle Sport Club:
Tamas Vrana:
Gemeinde Wildalpen: