Seven young paddlers who were bought together in February to make up the first ever GB youth rafting team have won silver medals in their first two races at the International Rafting Federation World Championships in Rotorua, New Zealand.
Tring duo Ralph Hall, 17, and Jacob Hussain, 16, have joined forces with Andrew Skinner, Sam Daley, Elliot Taylor, Elliott Woodman and Matt Bishop and they said they were ‘ecstatic’ with their performance so far.
The team were joined for a celebratory dip in the Tarawera River by team manager Malcolm Ferris-Lay, also from Tring, as well as the Turkish team who pipped the boys to the finish-line to take gold.
The Championships include four racing disciplines and the team have so far completed the sprint – a flat out race – and the head-to-head which is a series of knock-out races.
The head-to-head race between Turkey and Great Britain to determine first and second place proved to be a nail-biter from the very start, with Great Britain taking the lead early on only to be beaten in the final few metres.
The GB team now have two races left which will test both their strength and stamina.
Next up will be slalom which will require all their skill as they will need to manoeuvre both the raft and team around a very challenging course on very fast water.
The team are hoping that all the training they have done at the Lee Valley White Water Centre in recent weeks will pay off.
The fourth and final race of the championships will be the Down River event which takes place on the Rangitaiki River.