Results Men - Downriver:
Results Women Downriver:
The journey to Tara River, in typical fashion started an hour later than the planned 5am start and somehow the journey took forever. Traffic jams in Sarajevo certainly didn't help. The busses stopped in Foca for a procession and little ceremony in the town, which is the closest one to the Tara River. It was about 4pm by the time we arrived at the River Camp and immediately everyone got ready to get onto the river.
This was the opportunity for teams to train and for non-team members to get onto the river. This too was not so simple as we had to cross over the BiH border. About and hour of driving in Jeeps and Kombis we were at the start - not easy when you have 53 teams and all sorts of extras!
But already the stupor from the bus journey had fallen away as we entered the canyon (they claim it is the 2nd biggest after Grand Canyon). With its mountainous sides dropping away to the ribbon of pale blue below it was certainly spectacular and the anticipation of white water quickly took over.
The river is a beautiful Class 3. Fast flowing with nearly continuous rapids, many being wave trains, it is not technical but is a great and pleasant river to paddle. When paddling the river the Futaleufu immediately comes to mind with similar water colour, high surrounding mountains and greenery. Its the sort of river you'd like to linger over and spend a few days on. Unfortunately we were racing the dark and so could not dawdle. What also amazed me was the number of rafts on the river - we over took many rafts and yet there were always more! 53 teams is a LOT of teams and the logistics are enormous!
That night was spent on the banks of the Tara in River Camps which were wooden bungalows. Teams bunked down early.
The Downriver day dawned.
Teams were set off in groups of 5. The finish was at the bridge which forms the border between BiH and Montenegro, so the bridge was filled with spectators. The first heat came blistering in with a very close finish between Brasil and Russia with Japan coming in next. But further down in another heat was Hungary who placed the time that would win the day.
The first women's heat was also hotly contested but once again, Japan came in from another heat to claim the top prize with Netherlands next followed by the Czechs.
Although the journey to and from the Tara was long, everyone was very happy to have made the journe to paddle on the Tara and see its famous beauty.
Tomorrow is a rest day but not a rest night!
The Slalom training is tomorrow evening from 5pm until 11pm! This is in preparation for the highly anticipated night slalom under spotlights the next night. The teams who have already had the privilege of doing this say it is a most spectacular sight.