Whitewater Rescue Challenge 2016: Day 2
If we thought that the first day of the White Water Rescue Challenge (WWRC) was cold, we were quickly corrected as Day 2 dawned with the icy, snowy conditions.
With so many competitors knowing what a good challenge the first day was, it was expected that no one would give up despite the crazy weather conditions, so we had 10 teams: 8 men’s, 1 mixed and 1 women’s. Re-organisation of the competition allowed the competitors to stay dry for longer before the start of the race.
For the Guide Race today taskswere set all over the river. Contestants had a variety of tactics and ways of solving the individual tasks, but the main task was to collect all the dummies and equipment in one place. As they were solving multiple tasks at the same time and it was difficult to follow them in any specific order. They all started with the fetching of two “swimmers” – dummies that were released in the middle of the river – by two competitors. Without set rules it was more pure luck as the contestants more or less just swam for each dummy. When a dummy decided to surf in a rapid the contestants had to just wait for it to come out. Dummy thing! And this time we also had turning upright of kayaker, but with the addition that the kayak with the dummy had to be brought ashore at the given location. Other tasks were: to transfer a dummy from one side of the river to the other with a raft; to pull a dummy out that was stuck under the raft; to empty a kayak of water and move it to the other bank (some used the raft for that, and some the zipline); to turn a dummy over which was face down in the water; to cut a dummy from a rope and bring to the shore; to pull a kayak full of rocks up onto the bank, which was the hardest task and the last one the teams solved.
What impressed me once again was the determination of the women’s team, and Katherina in the mixed team who, in silence, solved all the tasks, helping each other, not asking what their job was, not waiting for someone to help, from task to task. They looked like they have been working together for years, and not just formed the team. And again they spent more time in the water than the men.
- Mate Marton, Nenyhart Marton and Tibor Szam (HUN)
- Martin Mitterer, Michael Mitterer and Ernest Hammerl (AUT)
- Attile Nundzse, Rotand Mike and Balazs Orkeny (HUN)
Each of the top two teams had a pair of brothers, and this seemed to be a good combination this year.
Gaspar Goncz of the Whitewater Training Center (WWTc) said “The race is a one of its kind, and its mission is to spread and emphasize the need for trained swiftwater professionals and safe whitewater adventure services across the European whitewater landscape.
It is organized with the intention of returning annually to the same scene, and becoming THE event that symbolically opens the season of whitewater river services and rescue teams every spring.
This symbolic season opening is also dedicated to the aim of reminding the service providers of the high-standard of safety in swiftwater rescue teams and water based adventure services in the European region. We believe that the event soon will grow to become known world-wide and will step over its, so far, European boundaries.”
What I concluded from this competition was that to compete you need to be ready with a high level of technical skill as well as fit and have great endurance. You also need to be a good swimmer, and the way you pack your equipment in your PDF, as well as the size of the PFD and the sharpness of the knife are important. Correct use of the dry-suit that you use (a competitor did not release the excess air from their dry-suit and floated off like a dummy!) and other equipment is important as well. Tying of knots and knowing which knots to use when … all these things need to be in place if you want a good result.
For those of us that play in whitewater – we should all know and be able to do all this too. Those wanting to compete next year know they need to be better prepared. The standards were set high this year and the number of participants will be limited next year. So if you think you have the skills needed to participate and you want to check your own abilities and limits, as well as to learn something from others, plus have a good time, then start to practice and get ready for next year
Congratulations to the winners, congratulations to the participants, thanks to the judges, thanks to the volunteers and thanks to the organizers for a fantastic experience at the Whitewater Rescue Challenge. Greetings to everyone and I hope that we will all meet again next year at the 2017 WhiteWater Rescue Challenge.