We are happy to share messages of support for Balkan Rivers Tour 2 by some most influential kayakers from all over Europe and a very special skier. The community is growing bigger and so are we!



Nouria Newman (25)
Nouria Newman loves nothing more than whitewater kayaking. From freestyle, canoe slalom or steep creeking, she is at home in every type of whitewater and every kidn of boat. Racing has always been a big part of her kayaking world (freestyle junior World Champion in 2009, Slalom vice World Champion in 2013, Extreme Kayaking World Champion in 2013 and 2014), but for Nouria, nothing beats being out on natural and free-flowing rivers with friends.

As a kayaker I’ve got nothing but love and respect for the river. It has brought me the happiest moments of my life – and the saddest one too – but there is no place I would rather be.

Rivers are like life. There are only so many lines and options. Everyone has to make their own choices and take their own path but once you put on, there is no turning back once you’re going down with the flow. The past can’t be changed but by protecting our rivers, the places we live or our fundamental values, we protect our options for the future.

I wish to live in a world where we still have options and where we can still make choices. And where the rivers are still flowing. The Balkan Rivers Tour is helping to protect these rivers and keeping our options open and our rivers free-flowing.



Gerd Serrasolses (28)
My name is Gerd Serrasolses and I was lucky enough to start enjoying rivers when I was 14 years old and my love and respect for them is enormous; I can’t imagine my life without free flowing rivers.

Rivers are threatened all around the world and something has to be done about it, we can not allow Governments to sell our rivers, our water… to private companies to build dams and produce power, drying our rivers while becoming richer and more powerful. But at the same time we have to be conscious and reduce our water and power footprint; we have to use less water, use less power, eat less meat, reduce, recycle, be more aware of our actions and its impacts on this planet, we need to change, now, and change starts within each one of us.

I personally think the BRT is a great initiative and something I’d love to see in many other places around the world. I have deep respect and admiration for this project and I wish I had the will, commitment and the guts to do something like this and save the rivers that matter most to me. I hope one day I will. Thank you BRT and good luck on your project protecting our rivers, make sure to enjoy every water drop!



Mariann Saether (36)
Born and raised in Norway, Mariann Saether is one of the most decorated whitewater kayakers, holding a number of titles ranging from big volume freestyle competitions to canoe slalom. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, and enjoys nature even more than books – which says a lot concerning her 9-year university degree in history, Spanish, English and Norwegian. She is dedicated to standing up against hydro-power schemes in Norway and abroad, helping the Norwegian Paddling Federation limiting the amount of dams being put on rivers in her home country. She lives in Voss, Norway, and Futaleufu, Chile. 

River conservation is about more than securing our rivers for future kayaking. To protect the waterways of the planet is only one piece of the puzzle – but an important one. With more than 50 000 large dams in the world it is self-explanatory that we have a big job to do.

The Balkan Rivers Tour is doing a great job in this regard – trying to keep safe the last of Europe´s untouched watersheds, making sure the message is being heard: Rivers are life.



Simon Charriere
I met Rok a year ago during a Patagonia event. A committed kayaker. He then told me about the project he was involved in to save rivers from abusive dam construction. Today, the second edition of the tour is well on. It is crossing 5 countries, numerous rivers and quite some mountains. From Slovenia to Greece through Montenegro and Albania.

As a professional skier, I am obviously very supportive to river conservation, even though I am no kayaker. I prefer a colder type of water: snow. The areas these rivers cross stand as a fantastic playground for skiing and alpinism. Ski touring in those beautiful regions is still on my list of mountains to explore. I would be very happy if the landscapes remained wild. Are there no alternatives to an aggressive form of development?

I have always been sensitive towards renewable energies. Going beyond the mere notion of profit, there must be smart solutions, which would allow a healthy development for man and nature. Practicing a lot of outdoor sports, skiing of course but also enduro bike, climbing, surfing… I am always in touch with nature. It still has a great deal of secrets to unveil to us. It is up to us to understand it. Caring about the environment is caring about man.

Join the tour!!

Simon’s graphic to round up the words of support: