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 Canoe Sprint & Marathon Handbook from from Cathy Wynne.  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. Men and boys able-bodied kayak paddlers aged over 12 with a time of 5 minutes 37 seconds over 1000m or 2 minutes 38 seconds over 500m. Plus women and girls  over 12 with a time of 5 minutes 37 seconds or 2 minutes 41 seconds are advised to compete in regional regattas until they can achieve the minimum times to compete at a National Regatta..

icon_pdf  National Regatta Standard Racing Times

Lane regulations (BC 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 five-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 (BC Rule 15)

  1. Clubs must register with the Regatta Committee the colours of the clothing worn by the competitors.
  2. Competitors must wear their club colours so that they can be seen in all races.
  3. Competitors must not change these colours during the competition under any circumstances.

Display of lane numbers (BC 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 (BC Rule 11)

  1. The boat must be constructed so that it remains buoyant and floats in a horizontal position when filled with water.  Boats inherent buoyancy must be supplemented by additional and visible fixed flotation material or by the provision of seal bulk heads.
  2. All boats must be built symmetrically upon the axis of its length.
  3. The hull section and longitudinal lines of the hull of the kayak and canoe shall not be concave (horizontal and vertical respectively).
  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.  The use of a hull lubricant id not permitted
  6. No part of the boat (including the seat and the footrest) may have moving parts which can be used to help propel the boat in any way which would give athletes an unfair advantage.
  7. A boat or athlete may be equipped with a device which provides real time feedback on performance for use by television or sport presentation. Devices may be used by the athletes for analysis following a race but in no circumstances may the device be used to provide real time feedback to the athlete during a race.

Boat control (BC 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 (BC 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 (BC 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 international selection or 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 (BC 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 upon request to the Chief Official.

Penalties: (BC Rule 31)
Any infringement of the Sprint Racing Competition Rules or the Terms/Conditions of Participation will result in the imposition of a penalty.  At the discretion of the Competition Committee this penalty may be either Disqualification, or a Warning delivered to a competitor via his/her Team Leader.  A further option is the award of a penalty points in accordance with the National Sprint Regatta Disciplinary Procedures as described in Section B of the Handbook.  In determining the specific form, a penalty will take, the Competition Committee will consider factors including but not limited to, the nature of the race, the experience level of the competitor(s) involved and any further impact the decision may have.

  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, will be penalised.
  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 penalised.
  3. A competitor who is deemed to have received external assistance during a race including but not limited to  items thrown into the course, will be penalised.
  4. A crew that has been accompanied along and/or adjacent to the course by another boat, while a race is in progress will be penalised.
  5. The Competition Committee may discipline any competitor or Official whose behavior is detrimental to the good order and conduct of the competition. The Competition Committee may disqualify him/her from that competition.

Protests, appeals and the Competition Jury (BC Rules 13.7; 32 and 33)

  1. Final authority for National Championship Competitions shall rest with a Jury composed of a Chairman and four members.  Appointed by a quorum of  the SRC.
  2. A protest made during the competition must be handed to the Competition Committee not later than 20 minutes after publication of the results.  All protests must be accompanied by a fee of £15, which will be refunded if the protest is upheld.
  3. An appeal against a decision of the Competition Committee must be addressed to the Chair of the Jury and handed in not later than 20 minutes after the Team Leader has been informed, in writing by the Chair of the Competition Committee, of  the decision against the competitor or crew and has signed the receipt.  All appeals must be accompanied by a fee of £70 which will be refunded if the appeal is upheld.
  4. The decision of the Jury is final.