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Race Rules

Space City PaddleFest

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Race Rules


    1.     Each participant must sign a Waiver/Release of Liability form at check-in. Signature and printed name, address, city, state and zip code are required.


    2.     All competitors will enter this race at their own risk and the Space City Paddlefest Organizers and its judges, officials, volunteers, and sponsors will not be liable for accidents to personnel or damage to any property or equipment.


    3.     The Race Director has the right to remove and/or disqualify a participant due to behavior or alcohol/drug influenced impairment.


    4.     Minimum age of participants for all races is 12. Participants less than 16 must be accompanied by an adult in their boat. All participants 14 years of age and younger are required to wear a PFD appropriate for their age and size while on the water.


    5.     All canoe, kayak and SUP races will start and finish in Mud Lake adjacent to Clear lake Park.


    6.      All participants must carry a whistle and US Coast Guard approved PFDs (personal flotation device) in or on their craft during the entire race. Any inflatable PFD’s must be worn.  

    Personal Floatation Device (PFD):  "While on the water, including on a SUP or in OC1, OC2, or surfski, each competitor comply with the following on lifejackets:


    a)     Each competitor must have in his or her possession during the entire race an easily accessible and immediately available Personal Flotation Device (PFD) which is marked on the PFD as being approved by the United States Coast Guard. The PDF carried/worn must be appropriate for the water conditions being paddled on.

    b)    PFDs secured to a vessel (e.g. bungee cords or straps) must be able to be released quickly with one hand (securing by duct tape is prohibited).

    c)     When the water temperature is below 50ºF, each competitor shall wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD.

    d)     Unless more restrictive by State law, all youth paddlers under 13 years of age are required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD designed for the water conditions at all times.

    e)     A race sponsor/organizer may require PFDs to be worn by all competitors if the Race Sponsor/Organizer feels the conditions warrant. PFDs must be adjusted to a snug-fit and worn as the manufacturer designed them to be worn.

    f)      Federal/State/Local regulations on PFDs that are stricter than USCA rules will prevail. Some States require wearing a U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD during certain times of the year.

    g)     PFDs must be in serviceable condition and the appropriate size and fit for the intended user, and legibly marked with its USCG approval number.  A PFD is NOT considered to be in serviceable condition if the PFD exhibit deteriorations that could diminish the performance of the PFD including:

    (1)   Rips, tears, or open seams in fabric or coatings, that are large enough to allow the loss of buoyant material;

    (2)  Buoyant material that has become hardened, non-resilient, permanently compressed, waterlogged, oil-soaked, or which shows evidence of fungus or mildew; or

    (3)  Loss of buoyant material or buoyant material that is not securely held in position.



    h)    Rules specific to inflatable PFDs:

    (1)  Must be U.S. Coast Guard approved.

    (2)  Must actually be worn to meet the U.S. Coast Guard requirement for having one PFD on board per person.

    (3)  Only may be used by youth under the age of 16 if the U.S. Coast Guard approves that specific model for use by youth under the age of 16 (currently none are USCG approved).

    (4)   Shall not be worn by non-swimmers, nor worn in Class II (The International Scale of River Difficulty) water conditions.

    (5)  An inflatable belt pack PFD shall be worn in the front at the waist.

    (6)  Must be inspected by the user prior to wearing including assuring that it is equipped with a properly armed inflation mechanism, complete with a full inflation medium cartridge and status indicators showing that the inflation mechanism is properly armed (green indicator)."

    i)      If a SUP paddler is further than 500 meters from the shore, he/she must wear a lifejacket (PFD)."


    7.     Safety Leash:  "If a race course takes a paddler further than 500 meters from the shore, and winds or wind gusts are possible on the race course in excess of 15 mph, the paddler must be connected to their SUP, OC1, OC2, or surfski by a coiled/straight quick release ankle/calf/waist leash.”


    8.     All participants must follow the designated race course. Any deviation from the designated course will be subject to a time penalty or disqualification.  


    9.     No third party is allowed to touch or help a contestant with his/her equipment during the race.


    10.  No contestant can assist another contestant during the race. The exception is a medical emergency or life threatening situation. In that case, any contestant nearby must render aid.


    11.  Intentional capsizing or damaging of another competitor’s canoe, kayak, or SUP is subject to disqualification.


    12.  All contestants must start the race with all other contestants to be eligible for race awards.


    13.  The Space City organizers reserve the right to change and /or modify the race course or race rules as may be needed.


    14.  Any protest filed by a contestant must be communicated to the Race Director no later than 15 minutes following the contestant’s completion of his/her race. The fee to protest is $20 but will be refunded if the protest is upheld.


    15.  All rules or course infractions will be subject to the Race Director’s decision. All decisions of the Race Director are final. 


    16.  In formulating the rules that govern this event, every effort has been made to foresee all situations and problems that might arise; however, Space City Paddlefest Organizers 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, all entrants will receive notification.