The swirling river with rapids in France cannot be compared with the Wilhelmina Canal in the Netherlands. There is a huge difference between the training waters for the Tilburg raft’s Forward Motion team and the venue for the World Cup.
Rafting Team Forward Motion, part of Kano Club Tilburg, is participating this week with a men’s and mixed team at the World Rafting Championships in L’Argentière-la-Bessée. They compete against teams from Brazil, Italy, Monaco, Morocco and Spain, among others.
Canoeing at the World Cup cannot be compared to canoeing as a tourist. As a sport there are different parts. “It’s about speed, collaboration, accuracy and trust in each other. As a tourist, you can just let yourself float in the boat,” says Jenita Göbel of Roosendaal and a member of the Mix team.
Then you should not fall out of the boat, because there is a risk of falling into a trap or drowning
“When you go kayaking you get nervous and the adrenaline hits me. But it also gives a sense of connectedness. We represent Holland there. You also have to be able to build on each other as a team.”
After all, rafting is not without risks. “You have to deal with nature. The World Cup on the Dorrance River is relatively risk-free. You can swim there. The water is divided into classes one through six, six of which are non-navigable. Here is the third. Usually there is also a section with class four.” Then you should not miss the opportunity, because then there is a danger of falling into a trap or drowning.”
She didn’t test it herself. “One boat capsized and one of them dislocated her knee. Then the safety team took her out of the water.” Goblet is not afraid. I am a calm person by nature and I can easily keep an overview. The latter isn’t necessarily necessary, but it’s nice if someone on the boat can lay the lines. It’s also a good idea to rely on yourself in the water. There is no screening and rescue team ready.” She says that having a rescue rope, knife, whistles, and first aid knowledge is wise.
Despite the fact that the conditions on the Durance in the south of France are relatively risk-free, according to Goebel, they cannot be compared with the training waters in the Netherlands. There are no whitewater training facilities here since the Zoetermeer track went bankrupt. That’s why the team regularly travels to Belgium, Austria or the UK for training. This has not been possible recently, so it was necessary that the preparation be done. In the Netherlands, training takes place in Tilburg and Bergen op Zoom. The team trains in the boat about three times a week.
Forward Motion has been in business since 2012. I followed an outdoor sports training and kayaking. With a group we decided to participate in the Netherlands National Shooting Championship as a school team. It turned out to be more fun than expected and we hung out. If you win then once, it becomes even more fun. “It got a little out of hand,” the 29-year-old said with a laugh. She works about thirty hours a week.
Rafting can be done with two, four or six people. World Cup in France for four people. Göbel forms the mingling team with Mark de Wit, Kiki Roeling and Xandar van Os. The men’s team consists of Roel Packer, Bart Peters, Bart Roelofs and Tejmann de Vries.
At the World Cup, the organization supplies teams with an inflatable boat, so they all have the same materials. They compete against each other in different parts. In the section downstream where four teams start at the same time, a road of three to seven kilometers must be covered. This takes about fifteen to thirty minutes. The men finished 19th out of 28 participating teams. The mixed team was the second of the thirteen teams.
The slalom section where you have to sail around the gates, the green section with the flow and the red section against the stream, was less successful for the mix team. He finished twelfth. The guys finished again in nineteenth place.
The World Cup ends with RX, where two boats race against each other in a knockout system. On the basis of the three parts, a final classification is made. The last time the guys saw work was yesterday. Today the mixed team concludes the World Cup.
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