National Sprint Regulations

On this page are the salient points from the most commonly required rules and regulations. For all the regulations and more detail of the regulations shown below, please get hold of a paper copy of the 2014 Racing Handbook from Marsport or from Diane Bates. You can also look at the General Regulations and Policies page.

Racing times standards

  1. The SRC wants to encourage paddlers of all ages to take part in sprint racing but there are standard minimum race times for paddlers wanting to compete in national regattas.
  2. Able-bodied paddlers aged 12 and over that are slower than 5 minutes 30 seconds over 1000m and 2 minutes 38 seconds over 500m are advised to compete in regional regattas until they can achieve these minimum times.

     icon_pdf  National Regatta Standard Racing Times

Lane regulations (BCU Rule 26)

  1. All paddlers must comply with the rules concerning the use of the race lanes, pacing and wash hanging.
  2. In races up to 1000 metres, competitors must keep the whole of their boat within the four-metre wide central area of their lane from the start to the finish of the course.
  3. If a boat leaves the centre of the lane and does not return to it, the boat may be disqualified from the event.
  4. A boat which leaves its allocated lane must be disqualified from the event.
  5. If there is a capsize the competitor or crew is eliminated from the race.
  6. If a paddle is broken a competitor may not be provided with a new one by a supporter.
  7. Taking pace or receiving assistance from boats not in the race or by any other means is not permitted.
  8. For more information see the Lane Regulations page.

Racing colours (BCU Rule 15)

  1. Clubs must give the SRC the colours of the clothing worn by the competitors.
  2. Competitors must wear their club colours in all races.
  3. Competitors must not change these colours during the competition under any circumstances.

Display of lane numbers (BCU Rule 22)

  1. All kayaks and canoes shall carry a vertical number plate made of non-transparent material marked with black numbers on white background (for Internationals) or yellow background indicating the lane.
  2. The numbers on the plate must measure 15 cm in height and 25 mm in thickness.
  3. The plates shall be placed on the centre line of the afterdeck or thwart.
  4. The approximate size of the number plate shall be 18 x 20 cm.

Boat construction (BCU Rule 11)

  1. The boat must be constructed so that it remains buoyant when filled with water.
  2. No part of an athlete’s body should be attached to the boat in anyway. Such attachments must be removed.
  3. Section and longitudinal lines of the hull of the kayak and canoe shall not be concave (only horizontal and vertical).
  4. The deck construction may not be higher on any horizontal point than the highest point of the front edge of the first cockpit.
  5. No foreign substance may be added to boats which give competitors an unfair advantage.

Boat control (BCU Rule 12)

  1. No alterations in canoes and kayaks are permitted after the measuring and weighing and before the competition has taken place.
  2. Before weighing the boat all loose fittings shall be removed. This includes chamois leathers, sponges and other absorbent materials, with the exception of seat pads, within the boat. Do not try to hide absorbent material under your seat; the boat control officials know where to look.
  3. Permanent knee rests attached in a definitive way to the floorboard and buoyancy attachments consisting of water absorbing material must be absolutely dry at the first weighing prior to the race.

Minimum boat weights and maximum boat lengths (BCU Rule 9)

  • K1 – 12kg – 5.20m
  • K2 – 18kg – 6.50m
  • K4 – 30kg – 11.00m
  • C1 – 16kg – 5.20m
  • C2 – 20kg – 6.50m
  • C4 – 30kg – 9.00m

Paddlers are advised there is no advantage in making the boat the exact weight. For a K1, for example, a boat weighing 12.25kg or 12.5kg will have no more and no less advantage over a boat weighing exactly 12.00kg. Ask a coach or any experienced paddler. Speed through the water is dependent on paddler ability and the water displacement caused by the shape of the boat hull.

Classification of paddlers (BCU Rule 7)

  1. Junior: A Junior is a competitor under 18 years of age at the beginning of the current calendar year. A Junior will have junior racing status unless promoted to senior racing status. Each Junior status competitor will be nominated to compete in one of the Junior classes as laid down from time to time by the SRC. Juniors who have Senior status may race in the appropriate Junior class for National Championship events.
  2. Senior: A Senior is a competitor who is over 18 years of age at the beginning of the calendar year, will have Senior racing status. Each Senior status competitor will be nominated to compete in one of the Senior Classes as laid down from time to time by the SRC.
  3. Master (Veteran): The first year a Master can compete is the year that his or her thirty-fifth (35th) birthday falls in provided that he or she is not already nominated to compete in Men’s A or Women’s A.

Membership of more than one club or change of club (BCU Rule 5)

  1. When a competitor is a member of two or more clubs he/she shall, by 1st March, have declared the name of the club in whose colours he/she will race that year in individual events.
  2. A person joining a second club after 1st March must continue to race for his/her first club.
  3. A competitor who has changed his/her club is not permitted to race for his new club, unless prior consent of his/her old club has been obtained. The consent shall not be withheld in the case of a change of residence from one area to another.

Promotion and demotion

  1. Entry to and promotion between classes will be at the discretion of the SRC and will be based on results gained in competition at regatta venues nominated by the SRC.
  2. A competitor may, at the discretion of the SRC, be permitted to revert to a lower class at the end of a regatta season.

Disqualifications (BCU Rule 31)

  1. Any competitor who attempts to win a race by any other than honourable means, who breaks the Racing Regulations, or who disregards the honourable nature of the Racing Regulations, shall be disqualified for the duration of the race concerned.
  2. Should a competitor have completed a race in a kayak or canoe which is shown upon inspection not to conform with the classifications, he/she shall be disqualified from the race in question.

Protests, appeals and the Competition Jury (BCU Rules 32 and 33)

  1. Final authority for National Championship Competitions shall rest with a Jury composed of a Chairman and four SRC committee members.
  2. A protest made during the competition must be handed to the Competition Committee not later than 20 minutes after publication of the results.
  3. An appeal against a decision of the Competition Committee must be addressed to the Chairman of the Jury and handed in not later than 20 minutes after the Team Leader has been informed, in writing by the Chairman of the Competition Committee, of the decision against the competitor or crew and has signed the receipt.
  4. The decision of the Jury is final.