The best young wildwater canoe paddlers from across the globe have arrived in Banja Luka ahead of this weekend’s 2019 ICF junior and U23 wildwater canoeing world championships.
Athletes from 18 countries will compete over four days in canoe and kayak events, including C1, C2, K1 and team events, on the Vrbas River in Republika Srpska. There will be sprint and classic races.
Europe will be strongly represented, but there will also be athletes from USA and Australia.
The 2017 junior and U23 world championships were held in Murau, Austria, with France and the Czech Republic winning the most medals. Czech sisters Martina and Gabriela Satkova picked up five gold medals between them.
Martina Satkova will compete this weekend, however her younger sister will miss the event after successfully defending her junior C1 canoe slalom world title in Krakow last weekend. Several athletes from last weekend will be in action again on the wildwater.
Slovenia’s Eva Alina Hocevar and Vid Ostrbenik, and Czech Tereza Kneblova are among a handful of athletes who come to Krakow in good slalom form after impressing at last weekend’s world championships.
Italy’s Cecilia and Alica Panato tasted medal success two years ago in Austria, while Slovenia’s Anze Urankar is a former senior world champion. They will be among the medal favourites when competition kicks off in Banja Luka on Thursday.
Vrbas river is a mighty fast mountain river with a numerous wild parts and it is one of the most attractive rivers in Europe with the degree of difficulty 3-4. Vrbas river makes its way through two canyons – the canyon Tijesno and the canyon Podmilacje. The length of the Vrbas River, which is suitable for water sports and adventures is 31 kilometers. The international degree of difficulty of the river Vrbas is 3-4 and in some places it is 1-2 so the river is suitable for people looking for wild adventure and adrenaline, but also for family enjoyment and peaceful activities.
Given that there is a dam which regulates the flow of the Vrbas, water flow varies from 25 to 100 m3, and in spring it is more than 500 m3. The average summer temperature is 17 degrees Celsius, but the air is 30 degrees, which enables a comfortable adventure, vacation and enjoyment on the water. VrbasRiver is one of the most beautiful rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Europe thanks to the canyon, the rapids and cascades. Every year Banja Luka and the river Vrbas, host numerous competitions kayak, canoe and rafting. Rafting on the Vrbas is possible during the whole year and the best period is the spring and the summer.