25 July 2007

2007 Junior World Wildwater Championships

This year the Junior Wildwater Championships were held in Columbia. Participants from all around the world came together for the event, in efforts to take home the championship. A total of90 competitors from over 15 coutries joined in the competition and made their way down to Columbia.

Held July 16th through July 19th, the competition was held on the Saluda River, Columbia. Known as a wild and wide river, it boasts a tough race. So who actually took home the gold?

You can visit the junior wildwater championship website for mroe details, but here is the run-down:

C1- Men- Czech pretty much dominted the top positions in this sprint
K1 Womens- GBR took 1st, FRA 2nd, CZE 3rd, GBR 4-5

K1 Mens- FRA 1st and 2nd, CZE 3rd, CAN 4th

K1 Womens team- GBr 1st, GER 2nd, CZE 3rd

K1 Mens Team- CZE 1st, GER 2nd, SUI 3rd

Individual K1 and C1 second heats and sprints were mixed, but as you can see CZE had a sound domination of the overall competition. USA came in about 5 or 6th in many of these sprints. Better lick next year on the river!

River Rafting and Booze Still A Controversy

The use of alcohol on river rafting trips varies around the country and internationally. It has always been a debate as to whether alcohol should be allowed, if so, can customers bring their own, should it be limited to........ and so on.

The American River in California has seen a large impact with restrictions on alcohol use one the river. Right now, the government prohibits alcohol use on any river on holidays and holiday weekends. One report quoted an outfitter saying that because of the ban, the river is much quieter and more peaceful. The Fourth of July this year did not turn out so many fights and problems, which can be directly correlated to alcohol consumption on the river.

So with one successful story of how bans on alcohol have affected river patron, what other locations can follow suite? Larger rafting outfitters (Grand Canyon, Idaho, Glacier Park) with longer multi-day vacations allow guests to bring their own booze, but it is limited and controlled to a certain point (hopefully). But smaller operations and daily rental places may not have the control over what customers bring on the river.

Either way, I think it is still in every one's best interest to limit/prohibit alcohol consumption on the river.