Raft Racing should be a sport featured in Obscure Sports Quarterly,
Have you ever seen the movie Dodgeball? If so, you’ll understand the reference to Obscure Sports Quarterly, a fictitious magazine mentioned in the movie that gives the characters in the movie the idea to compete in Dodgeball (as adults).
For many people, raft racing is a new concept. Once aware that there are USA teams that represent internationally in whitewater, curiosity is piqued.
Whitewater Raft Racing has 4 disciplines that teams compete in. Depending on how a team finishes, the team receives points that are totaled at the conclusion of the competition. The team with the highest total from all disciplines is the overall champion.
Competition takes place yearly at different venues throughout the US and world. The four disciplines are Sprint, head to head, slalom and downriver. For more information on those disciplines, check out the International Rafting Federation Rules.
Individuals interested in becoming involved with racing beyond their local events face challenges when starting to understand the nuances that make up the US teams and training for the events. “How do I get on the US team?” leads to several other questions.
Here are some easy steps to familiarize yourself.
- “Like” the United States Raft Association Facebook page. Find updates on teams in your area, ideas for training, races you can participate in, and information about racing nationally and internationally. Respond to or ask questions to posts. The USRA is the governing body for the Raft Racing in the United States. Part of our responsibility is to ensure that teams are fairly and credibly chosen to represent the US internationally.
- Join general interest and/or specific groups in your area and ask questions or respond to posts about racing. Ladies of the Whitewater Community, Coloma Lotus Junior Whitewater Team , Whitewater Rafting Addicts, IRF Women’s Community, The Animal Upper Gauley Race are just a few groups you can find through facebook to connect.
- Research and ask for advice from already established teams. Animas Amazons, Sweets of the East, CORT, US Men’s Raft Team, US Women’s Raft Teams are just a few teams that have been established for years.
- Get involved with the USRA
Here are a few ways you can get involved with the USRA
- Volunteer at a National Rafting Event – look through our blogs for more information on specific volunteering opportunities.
- Donate to or consider being a sponsor for the USRA or any USA Team – follow the teams for fundraising events that you can support any team with
- Form a team, train, compete at Nationals – Look for Announcement of location and time on USRA Facebook page or website!
- Compete at your local river events and share knowledge. Ocoee River Championships, Animal Upper Gauley Race, Clackamas Whitewater Festival, Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival, CKS paddlefest, Fibark, Mother’s Day Whitewater Races, Animas River Days , Pagosa Springs Paddle are a few places you can race.