Canal Kayak Safety

Safety on the water

The local Coastguard will provide support boats for competitors while on Lake Ruataniwha and Lake Benmore. There will be no safety boats in the canals. If you see a fellow competitor in strife please render assistance if you are able to safely do so. The lakes are open to the public so there will be other boaties using the lakes. Please be aware of them.

While we will endeavour to provide as safe a race as we can, please remember that YOU are ultimately responsible for YOUR own safety/decisions. Conditions on the water can be changeable. Please paddle a boat that you feel comfortable in. If conditions on the day are such that you would choose not to train in them, then please choose not to race in them!

If the predominant northwest wind is quite strong, we will consider starting the race where the Ohau River joins Lake Ruataniwha. This avoids having to paddle up into the wind and crossing the lake at the top. Competitors will then have the wind behind them going down the southern side of Lake Ruataniwha and can keep close to the shore in case they get into difficulties. Note that this option will cut about 4.4 km off the total distance.

If the weather is too bad, we reserve the right to cancel the event completely.

Compulsory Gear – must be presented at scrutineering.

  • A kayak in floatable condition
  • Two airbags for the rear of the kayak or fitted bulkheads. Airbags must be suitable for the kayak – no wine bladders!
  • PFD in good condition.
  • Suitable footwear for the portage sections.

Optional Gear – not required for scrutineering but recommended.

  • Spay deck – please note if conditions are rough then these will be a must.
  • Food/fluid for the race.
  • Dry bag containing winproof jacket, polypro top and warm hat.

Support Vehicles. It is possible to follow most of the race in a vehicle and to be at the portages to watch your competitor. Please note that you cannot give your competitor any assistance during the race. Please be aware that the roads are busy during this weekend with holiday makers and fishermen.

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