Organizing a kayak race (Read 1316 times)


    Hi, I've helped to organize many road races, but this is the first time I've been asked to help organize and put on a kayak race. Does anybody know where I might find some info about the basics of putting on a good flat water kayak race? I'm looking for input on course length and layout, course safety, timing the race, usual kayak race amenities, etc. Thanks, Jay

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    Upside-down Koala Girl

      Okay, keep in mind that I'm in Australia and it might be different here!! The flatwater races here generally have the option of doing different distances. Alot of them are run over, say, a 6km loop, and then offer the choice of 8km (need an extra buoy 1km from the finish), 12km, 18km and 24km. Others will just have different coloured turning buoys and which one you turn on depends on the distance you are doing. Can pretty much make any distance you want depending on the length of water available!! Depending on the race you can either choose which distance you want to do or it is determined by your age, sex (women and old folk get to go shorter!). So, you're gonna need buoys to mark the course. Safety boats - how many will depend on the length of the course. We generally have 2 or 3 on a course that is between 6 and 11km in length, depending which race. (We're on a river that is only about 50m wide so people should be able to easily swim to the bank with their kayak should they capsize). Your safety boats need to patrol the course, but not make a big wash - go slowly and if they pass in front of the kayaks, go diagonally across the river so the kayaks can go straight over the wash without changing course. Timing - we just have one of those split timers that prints out the splits. You need to press the split button for each start so you can subtract that from the finish times of the later starts. And obviously press it for each boat that finishes and record the boat numbers in order. I think our timer usually writes the times down as a backup as well. We just have a couple of people doing the timing. They usually blow a hooter of some sort when each boat crosses the line so they know they are done. Our races are all based at our club, so we have showers and toilets on site. We also run a canteen - just simple stuff like hamburgers, sausages in bread, steamed dim sims, maybe cupcakes or a slice, drinks and lollies. Hope that helps!! Ella Smile