Race For the Rivers photo grid

Race Rules

General Rules

  • Infractions of any rule during the 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 of the waste.
  • All participants agree to appear in any event-related media coverage free of charge.
  • 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 in this event, including paddlers and other team members, must sign the Emergency Contact form as well.

Safety Rules

  • 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.
  • Paddlers are NOT allowed to stop on sand bars or the river bank unless there is an emergency.
  • 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 are essential at all times. Good judgment must dictate when it is time to rest.
  • All team members (racers and support personnel) enter this race at their own risk and will not hold this event’s organizers, judges, officials, or sponsors liable for accidents to personnel or damage to any property.
  • Safety boats will patrol the length of the course throughout the race.

Craft and Paddling Requirements

  • Each race craft must be propelled exclusively by paddle power (single or double 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, river water must flow through it.
  • Overland portages are not allowed. Portages over exposed “wing dams,” for convenience, are 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 competitor race crafts, 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.
  • There are no restrictions on the design of the canoe/kayak.
  • Voyageur class craft must have hand bailers, at least one tied to the boat. Inspections will be made at beginning of race.
  • 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.) that 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 each side of the canoe/kayak close to the bow on which to affix the official race number. 
  • In formulating the rules that govern this event, every effort has been made to foresee all situations and problems that may arise. However, officials of 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.
  • Multiple teams may not share paddlers. Teams may share ground support.
  • 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.
  • 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. You are not required to exit your boat.
  • Checkpoints are staffed by volunteers and race staff until the checkpoint deadline passes. If you are not going to make a checkpoint by the deadline, you must contact 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 contact race officials and let them know.

Age of Racers

  • Anyone paddling solo in the main race event must be at least 18 years of age on July 4, 2024, or at least 16 years of age if part of a tandem team accompanied by their parent or legal guardian. Parent or legal guardian must sign a liability waiver for the 16 or 17-year-old.
$0 raised of $10k goal
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The 2024 Race for the Rivers fundraising challenge is on! Our goal is to raise $10,000, all of which goes to the Greenway Network.

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