New Zealand's open men's and open women's R4 rafting teams have swept aside the competition at the 2018 IRF Yushu World Rafting Plateau Championship.

The two teams, which both feature Rotorua paddlers, took first place at the championship, held in Yushu on the Tibetan Plateau last month. The New Zealand masters men's team also competed at the event.

The open men and women both finished on the podium a month earlier in Ziyuan, China.

The men were third behind Brazil and Czech Republic and the women were second behind Czech Republic.

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Rafting championships comprise sprint, head-to-head, downriver and slalom races.

In Yushu the New Zealand men won the sprint, head-to-head and downriver, and finished third in the slalom to take first place overall.

The New Zealand women won the sprint, head-to-head and slalom, and took second in the downriver, to also finish first overall.

The conditions in Yushu kept the competitors on their toes. Yushu is well and truly on the Tibetan Plateau.

Weather during the competition ranged from blistering sunshine to torrential rain, calm breezes and rolling clouds.

The international competitions in Yushu and Ziyuan served as valuable momentum builders for the New Zealand teams ahead of the R4 World Championships in Argentina in November.

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New Zealand R4 Raft teams
Open Men: Bernd Sommer, Tyler Fox, Bradley Lauder, Brendon Bayley
Masters Men: Paul Eames, Troy Dolman, Dai Edwards, Mike Nuku
Open Women: Denise Martin, Geni Walters, Nikki Whitehead, Marnie Fornusek