ABOUT THE USRA

The USRA is the governing body for whitewater raft racing in the United States. The USRA works with the International Rafting Federation and other national governing bodies throughout the world to make sure the United States is represented in international competition. The USRA also strives to promote the sport of raft racing in the United States from a local level to a national level. Teams selected through the National Championship Series represent the United States in international competition. The USRA continually strives to grow the sport within the USA and is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

WHAT'S NEW

We are delighted to announce we have finalized dates and location for the 2023 USRA Whitewater Rafting Nationals Competition. The location is the Arkansas River, around Cañon City, Colorado, including the infamous Royal Gorge. The Organizer, Chris Moffit, held a regional competition last year at this location that met with rave reviews. The current dates planned for this event are June 23 through the 25th, 2023. We will be sending more information soon about the event, including registration, through the USRA webpage.In addition to National titles, the purpose of this event will be to select teams to represent the USA in international competitions sanctioned by the IRF in 2024. ... See MoreSee Less
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With our forced cancellation of the US National Rafting Championships in September this year, we are now looking to the future. Please keep reading this post to see plans for Nationals and Team Selection races in 2023. A small informal California Rafting Championships was held in October. This included three cadet teams (age range between 11 and 16 years old), one women’s master team, and the U19W team that went to Bosnia this spring, the California Poppies. The Poppies were in great form, having worked on some flatwater drills this summer that have really improved their teamwork. They scored the highest by far at this state Champs (see video of time trial sprint). For team selection in 2023 and 2024, this is the process proposed by the USRA. 1) 2023 - Teams submit a written/video bid to compete in a scheduled IRF sanctioned event in 2023, as representatives of the USRA. The narrative portion of the bid should be no more than two pages. The narrative should include a short rafting/ racing biography for each team member, the national and international racing history for the team (even if members have changed), and clear identification of which 2023 IRF event(s) the team is interested in entering. The video portion should be three to five minutes and demonstrate the team’s paddling ability in flatwater, in whitewater, and a short slalom clip showing an upstream and downstream offset sequence. Narrative portions of the bids should be submitted by December 15th. Video portions should be submitted by March 30. We are currently seeking bids to host team selection races in the winter/spring of 2023 (Feb-April) for all classes where two or more teams in the same class are applying for the same event. If a venue/event is successfully scheduled teams will be selected at that in person event. If no venue is found, a 3-person impartial and qualified evaluation committee will be formed by the USRA to assess bid applications and vote for the most qualified team in each class. For classes with two or more bids, teams will be given until March 30 to submit video of their team. 2) 2024 – We are currently seeking bids for an in person National championships and team selection for a potential IRF world championship in 2024. Bids for this event are requested for the summer of 2023 (May thru August). Please help spread the word to solicit proposals for either of these two national team selection races. If interested in submitting a proposal, please send an email to susannorman@att.net by December 15, and a bid application will be sent to you. Happy winter training and planning everyone! ... See MoreSee Less
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It is with deep sadness and utmost respect for our friend, teammate, and paddler Mike Edwards that we share this post. Mike was an incredible boater and human being. Even if you met him just once, you felt like you'd known him for a lifetime. His guiding and paddling was second to none and he could make the boat move magically through the water. Thank you for all you have given to the sport and the profession. Julia McCarrier Edwards Team WV Masters - World Rafting Championship 2019 ... See MoreSee Less
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USA Whitewater Rafting Nationals Update-It was with great sadness we had to cancel our National Championships scheduled for September 2022 on the South Fork of the American River in California, because of smoke from a nearby major wildfire. No out of state teams had the ability to reschedule for this fall, so the soonest is seems we can hope for a National event will be Spring of 2023. We are hoping to have a smaller Regional event on the South Fork of the American in October 2022 for local teams. For 2023, the USRA BOD is actively seeking bids from potential race directors to host a National Championships and USA Rafting Team Trials for both 2023 Teams and 2024 Teams. National team selection event(s) will be used to select teams in categories that have more than one team contesting a spot, to represent the USA in international races sanctioned by the International Rafting Federation in 2023 and 2024. Will be trying to find a host for a 2023 team selection race in the spring and/or a team selection race for 2024 teams later that same summer. If we cannot find a host for a National Team Selection Race, the USRA BOD will prepare an application process, including the creation of an independent review committee to select teams in categories that have more than one team contesting for that category. This committee will also verify competency for teams which have only have one team competing for that category. The only race currently on the IRF 2023 schedule is the European Championships in the Czech Republic at the end of August 2023. At the European Champs, the USA teams would not be scored for placement against teams representing countries in the European Union. They would be competing as guests (countries not in the European Union) at this event, and scored against any other guest teams that may be there. I encourage everyone to look closely at footage of past events at this venue to verify their interest.I also want to clarify that the USRA is a member of the International Rafting Federation (IRF), and recognizes this organization as the only legitimate governing body of international raft racing. Therefore, internationals events not sanctioned by the IRF do not receive support from the USRA.I am sad that we lost so much momentum to restart US raft racing due to the wildfire that forced us to cancel the 2022 Nationals. Hopefully we can build momentum back next year, with high quality National level races. Sincerely, Susan Norman, PresidentUS Rafting Association (footnote: the Karnali Challenge currently advertised on the IRF website for November 2023 is a different kind of event, and there is meager information regarding how teams are selected to participate. This event is likely an event that teams pursue on their own with the organizer to gain entry, and the USRA could then provide support to those teams, through social media posting, and soliciting sponsorship. I encourage teams that are interested to keep a close eye for future information regarding this event.) ... See MoreSee Less
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