A team of local girls recently returned (24thMay) from the International Rafting Federation R6 World Rafting championships held in Queensland, Australia on the fierce Tully river, 44 teams from 17 countries battled it out to ‘Tame the Tully’.
The GB U23 Women’s Rafting Team was:
West Bridgfords Rachel Brown (19), Abi Burgess (19), Jess Taylor (18), Izzy Fry (18) and from down South Kayleigh Parsons (18), Emily South (18 – reserve) all of whom were captained by Kelly Daley (20).
The team who train local at Holme Pierrepont National Water sports centre and attend Universities in Nottingham and Sheffield with one currently doing A Levels.
The competition is made up of four race disciplines, sprint, Head 2 Head, Slalom and Downriver.
The first days racing was Sprint and Head 2 Head, and an unlucky call in the Head 2 Head race saw the team sitting in 5thposition at the end of the day.
Day 2 was slalom, with the Tully course recognised as the most challenging and technical of WRC courses, the team performed an amazing run taking the silver medal and putting them in 2ndplace overall.
Day 3, with everything to play for, was a steady run on the 45 minute Downriver course which was a straight race over very challenging water whilst keeping one eye out for a local crocodile who had been spotted in the area!
The team came 4th and tied for joint 3rd place. In previous years a tie is determined by the team securing the most points in slalom however this year was the first rule change to default to the Downriver position.
Kelly Daley said “I am so proud of this team they gave me everything I asked of them and more. The team were only formed in early December 2018 to compete in the British Rafting selection event so we were not only the youngest and least experienced team to compete in the World Champs but only had 4 months training.
To come home with any medal especially a silver was a real bonus for the team. This is my 5thChampionship and it was good to meet up and introduce the team to the many friends made at previous competitions. We not only came away with a medal but are all now very proficient in performing the Haka as taught by the New Zealand U23 teams.”
The team are hoping to take part in the British Rafting selection process and compete in the R4 Championships which will take place in China in 2020 . Although they are a GB team, rafting does not receive any funding, so the girls rely on sponsorship. Any person or local business who would like to support the girls as they prepare for next year’s championships would be greatly appreciated