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International Rafting Federation
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12 May 2006 05:48 PM

South Korea to host IRF 2007 World Rafting Championship

Source: IRF (www.intraftfed.com)

Korea has been selected to host the International Rafting Federation 2007 World Rafting Championship, the IRF BOD announced recently. This is the first time Korea will host the biennial rafting competition organized by the International Rafting Federation.


The championship will take place on the Naerinchon River in the mountainous region of Gangwon Province, east of Seoul, from June 27 to July 2 next year. The area has been recognized as a world-class venue for raft racing due to its exceptionally clean water, easy river access, swift rapids and breathtaking scenery. The successful bid for the rafting competition is expected to have a positive impact on the nationís tourism industry and help promote the river area as a rafting venue.


Korea, Japan, Bosnia and the Philippines had made bids for the event, but the two Northeast Asian countries were close contenders for the host position after initial document evaluation. Last month, four IRF Board members completed a scouting trip on Naerinchon and its facilities in Inje County, the gateway to the river, a two-hour drive from Seoul. They also visited Japan`s Tone River in Gunma, a landlocked prefecture in the Kanto Region, famous for its hot springs and valleys.


The IRF inspectors included First Vice President, Rafael Gallo from Costa Rica and head of Sport & Competition, Robert Kazik from the Czech Republic.

"Through the inspectors` visit to Naerinchon and meetings with local community leaders, they confirmed the strong will to host the event by Inje County officials and local residents," the bid promotion committee said in a statement. "Our thorough preparations and proposals for various programs to make the event the largest of its kind decisively helped win the bid," said Sung-hoon Oh, the Korean IRF representative.


The IRF, which has 39 member countries, holds the World Rafting Championship every two years. It was held on the Gauley River in the United States in 2001, the Vlatava River in the Czech Republic in 2003 and the Quijos River in Ecuador in 2005 and previously has been held in Costa Rica, South Africa and Chile.

Rafting competitions consist of three disciplines - sprint, slalom and downriver. The points earned in each discipline are added together to determine the overall winner. Each team has six members and the option of having a reserve. (IRF)



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