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PUT IN : MARCH 2017 ~ Featuring Team GB U23 World Champs!

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK: Dirt Bag Paddlers is an international community. Wherever rivers flow and whitewater roars, you will find us. No matter the local language, there we communicate. No matter where you call home, you will be at home. That is our firm belief, as stated in our mission statement.

OUR MISSION STATEMENT: All Forward Thinking. That’s what it’s all about! Flow Together, Grow Together… Expanding our sport’s horizons is something we are actively doing… Reminding each other that our community is the same no matter where the River is, the color of skin or language spoken. On The River it’s all one language, the language of Flow.

To celebrate this we dedicate our March issue to the theme of International community. Along those lines we will be featuring articles about two of our greatest worldwide friends: the International Rafting Federation and International Rivers. What better way to fire up the month than with a cover photo of Great Britain’s Under 23 Women’s Team?

Photographed on the amazing modern course at Wadi Adventures in the desert of United Arab Emirates by photographer Max Buzin, these young ladies competed to win – AND WON – at the 2016 IRF World Championships. From left is Hana Oliphant, India Wayland, Hannah Clements and Vanessa Humphrey. Held from 31st October to 5th November at the world’s longest man made whitewater channel in Al Ain, the team competed against 75 different teams from 28 different countries, including teams from Japan, Brasil, Russia, Czech Republic, and Indonesia.

Video of the Ladies on the Winner’s Podium-

Earlier in the year, the team won three golds and a silver at the European Cup in Italy, preparing them for victory at the Worlds. The ladies won Gold in Sprint, Gold in Downriver (gruelling laps of the course including lake paddling in the desert heat), Bronze in Head to Head, and Bronze in Slalom. They also were awarded Silver for Overall Placing, making them the second best rafting team in the world. Congratulations to these outstanding Women of Whitewater!

The original photo used by Design Editor RJ Dowell to create our cover was the work of renowned photographer Max Buzin, who covered the Championships, taking the many stunning photos that grace this article. For more of his fantastic work, check out his work on his page on Facebook-

We’ve got more coming from the International Rafting Federation with an inside look at what the Race community is all about, with an in depth interview with IRF official Sue Liell-Cock. You’ll see how the leaders of this organization are growing our sport and developing new teams around the world.
IRF homepage-

We also will take you across the globe this month for stories about great rivers threatened by man, such as the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, the Zambezi River in Africa, the Rio Maipo in Chile, and River Conwy in Wales. You’ll read how some have been preserved for future generations to enjoy in their pristine condition, and others are in imminent danger of being dammed and lost to us.


All of this ties in with our third year of partnering with the non-profit organization International Rivers, dedicated to preserving rivers and clean water everywhere. In years past we have simply raised awareness of their fantastic project, the Day of Action, on March 14. This year we have partnered with IR to host our own series of river cleanups across America in a joint contest with our sister group DBP ACTIVE!! we call SHOW US YOUR JUNK. Our events will happen over the next two weekends, and the staff of IR will be choosing a winner that will be declared here in the Magazine on the 14th. The winning team will be awarded these sweet shirts, won by submitting the best photo of their cleanup. Will it be because they took a shot of a huge pile of trash, or maybe a particularly outlandish hunk of junk pulled from the river? Tune in on the 14th to find out…

A link to the IR Day of Action official events around the globe, including ours-

Join our open and public group DBP ACTIVE!! on Facebook today!

We’ve got more good stories as well, such as the continuation of Tim Marozick’s solo adventure down the Grand Canyon, Part Two of Taz Rigg’s musings on losing The Bio-Bio River to a dam, and an excerpt from Joe Norwood’s epic whitewater memoir. So strap down the gear bags and get set to run some stouts with us! Thanks for the support.

“Chicago” Mike Toughill



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By Chicago Mike

Editor-in-Chief "Chicago" Mike Toughill is co-founder of Dirt Bag Paddlers and former Peshtigo River Manager at Kosir's Rapid Rafts in Wisconsin. He's been Wallacing since 2003.

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