Posted May 29, 2017
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
Cassowary Coast Regional Council
International Rafting Federation
Australian Rafting Federation
29 MAY 2017
Tully will host the 2019 IRF World Rafting Championships in a major coup for the Cassowary Coast region.
The Australian Rafting Federation has won the bid for the high-profile event which will be staged over eight days on the Tully River and is expected to bring up to 700 athletes and thousands of spectators to the region.
Cassowary Coast Mayor John Kremastos said he was thrilled with the announcement and the opportunity to showcase the region's natural beauty, adventure tourism and liveability on a world stage.
"The Cassowary Coast is an adventure capital with the nation's top white water rafting river, world heritage rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef, sky diving onto tropical beaches and so much more,'' Mayor Kremastos said.
"The world rafting championships are a perfect fit, and testimony to more than 30 years of world-class white water rafting in this region.
"Cassowary Coast Regional Council is thrilled to have helped win this bid and to now help stage this event and welcome visitors to our region and to the Far North."
National representatives from 90 countries, ranging from open crews to masters and youth teams, will compete at the championships in a range of events from sprints and slaloms to head-to-heads and downriver racing.
International Rafting Federation President Joseph Willis Jones said the federation was proud to announce that Australia had been selected to host the championships.
"This is the first time Australia has been selected and it is fitting that the event be held on such an iconic river,'' Mr Jones said.
"The Tully River is well-known by rafting enthusiasts around the world to be a great white-water river. Our athletes are looking forward to testing themselves against its rapids, and of course enjoying the region's many other attractions and its famous hospitality during their visit to North Queensland."
Australian Rafting Federation Bid Coordinator Graham Maifredi said the event would boost the Cassowary Coast region's sports and adventure tourism status.
"This is an exciting prospect for our community, our region and Australia as a whole,'' Mr Maifredi said. "This is the first world championship that we know of for this region and it was won after a competitive bidding process also involving Canada.
"I have had the honour of going to multiple world championships as a competitor, judge and event organiser and I've seen what a world-class event like this can do to boost a region."
Australian Rafting Federation President Darrell Daveson said it has been a long-held dream to have a home-based world rafting championships. He said the major event would be preceded by a pre-worlds-Australian titles event on the Tully River in May 2018, also bringing exposure to the region.
Cassowary Coast Regional Council's Cr Ben Health welcomed the tourism and economic benefits. Cr Heath said planning would start soon on event bases in Tully and Cardstone and on an across-region accommodation plan.
"We are now officially on the road to 2019 IRF World Rafting Championships,'' he said.
"As a region we work better together and the Australian Rafting Federation will be working with key local stakeholders in Council, Stanwell, the Wet Tropics Management Authority, Queensland National Parks, Raging Thunder Adventures, the Girringun Aboriginal Corporation and traditional owners, Tropical Coast Tourism and Tourism Tropical North Queensland to host this event in the region."
Tully wins the IRF World Rafting Championships Bid: (L-R) Cr Ben Heath, Cr Wayne Kimberley, Cr Glenn Raleigh, Cr Jeff Baines, ARF Bid Coordinator Graham Maifredi, Mayor John Kremastos, Council's Richard Blanchette and Raging Thunder Adventure's Paul Porteous.
Photo Courtesy of Cassowary Coast Regional Council