Preventing the spread of non-native water species and disease

The Waterways and Environment Team at British Canoeing are keen to educate paddlers on the risks of non native species in our rivers and canals and how best to prevent them spreading.

With regard to the use of disinfection – there is no disinfectant that has been tested on non native species…therefore there are no guarantees for any disinfection to be effective to prevent the spread of these species. The following should be adopted where it is practical and reasonable to do so:

Check all your equipment and clothing for living organisms and plants fragments. Pay particular attention to areas that are damp and hard to inspect.

Clean and wash all equipment, clothing and footwear thoroughly away from water source… Wash down on site using available clean fresh water and leave any organisms or plant fragments at the water body where you found them OR on a hard standing or grass area away from a water source or drain system.

Completely dry out all equipment and clothing before going to a new site – particularly effective at killing crayfish plague fungal spores. Some species can live for many days in damp conditions

If any paddlers have specific questions relating to this issue please contact Richard Atkinson at British Canoeing

Race Organisers Info 2015

Race Organisers registered in the Racing Calendar should now have received their copy of the Racing Handbook and the attached letter which details the changes for 2015-16.

Please email Diane Bates if you are a registered Race Organiser and haven’t received your copy of the Handbook. If you are not a Race Organiser and would like a copy, these can be acquired for £9 from Marsport or by sending a cheque payable to the BCU Racing Committee to:-

Diane Bates, Waterloo Barn, Laughton Hill, Stonesfield OX29 8DY

Thameside 2 race assessment classes

The season’s first assessment race for the GB team takes place this Sunday at Thameside 2 (Reading to Marlow). The river is currently on red boards due to water management so special measures may be imposed. Participants must check the Reading CC website BEFORE travelling.

**Paddlers failing to respect the organisers’ safety instructions will be disqualified, not be liable for assessment and may face disciplinary action, so please take note.**

Assessment will only be based on the fast K1/C1 start at 10.40am. It is likely that all classes will start together.

The team for the 2015 Waterlands Marathon will be decided following this event, on the basis of performances this winter and at Thameside 2.


GB Team Assessment Events 2015

The following events have been designated as assessment races for the GB team in 2015. The selection process is detailed in this policy document. It should be remembered that teams are chosen through a process of continuous assessment, so athletes seeking selection should endeavour to do as many of these races as possible:-

1st March Thameside 2 (K1/C1)
3rd May Elmbridge (K1/C1)
17th May Norwich (K2/C2)
31st May Chester (K1/C1)
14th June Burton (K2/C2)
11th July Elmbridge (Short “World Cup” course K1/C1)
22nd/23rd August Norwich Nationals (all classes)

Race Organisers Notes: advice on starts

The annual Race Organisers letter is sent out in February with the arrival of the new Racing Handbook, and outlines any changes in rules or guidance that organisers need to know about. With the recent discussion on the MRC’s desire to improve the fairness of starts, here is the section on guidance for starters:-

The start of any race is critical and fairness and consistency is our aim. It is therefore highly important that you carry out procedures and endeavour to ensure everybody has a fair start.

The rules that will apply for a major competition are already laid down in the racing rules and included in the year book. They can and should equally apply to ANY race. Once competitors who push the line or jump the start realise that that will get a 2 minute penalty, or be disqualified and asked to leave the start line, they will start to comply with your instructions.

Our aim is to make these rules the standard to which every race organiser works.

Some important points come from these rules which should be noted and applied on all starts:-

  • If you control the boats at a no more than ‘walking pace’ as they come up to the line, then it is more likely you will control them on the line.
  • Make sure that your ‘marshalling line’ is not too close to the actual start line.
  • Do not ‘hold’ paddlers on the start line for too long – this will merely result in them ‘pushing’ it. Bring them very slowly up to the line and start the race quickly when there.
  • If the majority of boats advance over the line – the only way to bring them back is often to get them ALL to paddle round and start again.
  • Do not penalise those who comply with your instructions and are on the line; by starting the race when others are clearly in front of the line….bring those paddlers back round. Be prepared to warn twice and then penalise with a 2 minute penalty or disqualify.
  • Refer to boats by their numbers or by the club colours not by the paddlers name and be prepared to record – or have an assistant record – any penalties given – by boat number. 
  • If you issue a penalty it must apply – it cannot then be ignored or withdrawn. If you disqualify a paddler do not start the race until he/she has removed themselves from the line and preferably from the water.
  • Do not tell paddlers that there is ‘ 1 minute to go’ and them start them before a full minute has elapsed. Be consistent…if you say you will not start them for 2 minutes – make sure it is a full two minutes before you do start them.
  • Have a whistle ready to blow if there is a false start and you are recalling the whole race – make sure that the paddlers know that is what a whistle means – STOP – there has been a total false start – come back to the line.
  • If you have paddlers ‘hanging back’ well behind the actual start line – give them the opportunity once to come up to the line – if they are unwilling to do so after being asked, then concentrate on the front line to retain control and accept that those behind the line are more comfortable in the ‘second line’ position.
  • You are within your rights as a starter of an event to ‘warn’ coaches and spectators who are blatant in trying to encourage their paddlers to ignore your instructions and ‘push’ the start. Do not be afraid to do so.