Race Rules

Race for the Rivers Rules

The 40 mile race will officially start at 9 AM central time on August 23, 2014 - rain or shine. The starting point is at mile 68 in Washington, Mo. All boats will start together. The end of the race will be at Frontier Park in St Charles, MO mile 29.5. The safety talk is mandatory and will take place on the boat ramp in Washington, MO at 8:30 AM.

The 40 mile race will officially end exactly at 5 PM on August 23, 2014 or when the last boat has reached mile 29.5-whichever comes first. A team’s participation, in this event ends when they have landed at Frontier Park mile 29.5 before 5 PM on August 23, 2014 OR when they notify race headquarters that they have withdrawn. Teams still on the Missouri River after 5 PM on August 23, 2014 are electing to continue independent of the race.

The 20 mile race will officially start at 9:30 AM central time on August 23, 2014 - rain or shine. The starting point is at mile 43 at the Weldon Spring Boat Ramp. All boats will start together. The end of the race will be at Frontier Park in St Charles, MO mile 29.5. The safety talk is mandatory and will take place on the boat ramp at Weldon Springs fifteen minutes prior to the launch of each wave.  There are two waves.  All K1 classes.  Everyone else (all classes not K1).  Everyone else will have the mandatory safety talk at 9:15 and launch at 9:30.  K1 will have the mandatory safety talk at 9:30 and launch at 9:45.  

 The 20 mile race will officially end exactly at 5 PM on August 23, 2014 or when the last boat has reached mile 29.5-whichever comes first. A team’s participation, in this event ends when they have landed at Frontier Park mile 29.5 before 5 PM on August 23, 2014 OR when they notify race headquarters that they have withdrawn. Teams still on the Missouri River after 5 PM on August 23, 2014 are electing to continue independent of the race.

Each race craft must be propelled exclusively by paddle power (double or single blade) while on the water. DOUBLE BLADES ARE PROHIBITED IN CANOE CLASS RACES. No rowing configuration is permitted. No sail or kite is permitted.  For any "shortcut" to be legal, it must have a flow of river water through it. Overland portages are not allowed. Portages over exposed "wing dams", for convenience, are not permitted. Outside assistance is not permitted.

Outside assistance that provides intentional aid in the forward progress of a canoe/kayak is not allowed. This includes towing, wake riding, deflection of wind and "rafting up". However, limited interaction between the competitor race craft, as is the case in most canoe and kayak marathon races, is acceptable. This will be restricted to only wake riding and wind deflection. No towing of race craft is permitted.

Ground support is allowed for racers, but is not mandatory. Ground crew may not, in any way, assist with propulsion of the boat. They may only touch the boat when the boat is in contact with the shore. Physical contact with support can only occur when the boat is grounded. No contact on the water is allowed. No support provided from a support boat is allowed.

Paddlers are NOT allowed to stop on sand bars or the river bank unless there is an emergency. 

Infractions of any rule during the charity event will be grounds for time penalties or disqualification to be reasonably and fairly determined by the Judges Committee.

Deliberate littering of the river is illegal. Teams must keep their trash in their canoes/kayaks and either transfer it to their support teams or go ashore themselves to properly dispose waste.

All team members should understand there are serious risks involved in this endeavor. The hydraulics associated with many of the wing dams along the river are inherently dangerous. The greatest risk, however, is from the numerous large and small power craft that ply the great river. Constant vigilance, clear thinking, and quick reaction will be essential at all times. Good judgment must dictate when it is time to rest. All team members (racers and support personnel) will enter this race at their own risk and will not hold this Event's organizers, judges, officials and sponsors liable for accidents to personnel or damage to any property.

Anyone paddling in this event must be at least 18 years of age on August 23, 2014.

All participants in this Event, including paddlers and other team members must sign the "Amateur Athletic Waiver and Release of Liability". This waiver is required by the United States Canoe Association for participation in this event.

All participants agree to appear in any event related media coverage free of charge.

Entry fees for the 40 mile are as follows:

  • Solo racer: $50
  • Tandem team: $85

Entry fees for the 20 mile are as follows:

  • Solo racer: $40
  • Tandem team: $70


All racers are encouraged to use the on-line sponsorship tool to raise additional funds beyond the minimum entry fee.

Multiple teams may NOT share paddlers. Teams MAY share ground support.

Teams must make formal contact with race officials at each designated checkpoint. Formal contact is defined by boat or paddle contact with shore at the checkpoint and signing of clipboard. It is not required that you exit your boat. Checkpoints will be staffed, by volunteers and race staff, until the checkpoint deadline passes. If you are not going to make a checkpoint by the proscribed deadline, you MUST make contact with a race official by phone prior to that deadline. Racers that physically miss two consecutive checkpoints are out of the race. IF you elect to end your race you MUST make it a priority to contact race officials and let them know. Safety boats will patrol the length of the course throughout the race.

Each racer must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life preserver (personal flotation device -PFD) at all times while on the water. A whistle and an emergency chemical night light must also be attached to each life preserver at all times. Clean Water Challenge Racers will be required to wear their PFD at all times while on the water.

Craft Requirements:

  • There are no restrictions on the design of the canoe/kayak.
  • The original craft must be paddled from start to finish. Repairs may be made to the craft during the race, but other alterations are not permitted.
  • Any part of the craft (rudders, outriggers, etc.) which will be below the water line during any portion of the race must be "on board" from start to finish. A space must be available on the each side of the canoe/kayak close to the bow on which to affix the official race number. Each team may choose their own 4 digit number upon entry on a first come, first served basis. 
  • In formulating the rules that govern this Event, every effort has been made to foresee all situations and problems that may rise, however, officials of the Race for the Rivers and Clean Water Challenge retain the right to change or amend these rules at any time without liability or recourse from any party regardless of the circumstances. Should such changes or amendments be made, every effort will be made to notify all entrants.

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