Race Organisers Guide

Dont Panic!

When you first run a race or run a race at a new venue there is a lot to sort out and think about e.g. risk assessments, access, facilities etc.  BUT once you have got it sorted the first time, your next race or the race there next year will be much easier and quicker.

The WWR Executive has put together a range of documents to guide you.  Do not be put off by how elaborate or extensive they look.  Races can be run with two watches, two people and pen and paper if you have to.

The documents are not exhaustive, they do not fit every race, location, risk or situation they are a guide and you must and should adapt them to make them fit your race, circumstances and available resources.  Of course there are some key elements you should not skimp on and these include:

  • Risk assessment
  • Insurance
  • Safety before, during and after race
  • Changes to race safety due to weather/flooding etc.

But in the main despite the plethora of forms etc. running a race can be relatively simple and enjoyable.

British Canoeing also publishes some very comprehensive documentation, some of which is included or referred to in the WWR organisers’ documentation.  None of the WWR Organiser guidelines are intended to replace any British Canoeing guidance or procedures.  The WWR organiser documents aim to introduce issues and point the way to more detailed guidance if applicable and/or give some specific Wild Water Racing examples rather than some of the more generic British Canoeing documents.

Also whilst you may have planned and organised well before your race be prepared to have a contingency plan, which will mainly mean you have to be flexible and adaptable, and if things are really bad, be prepared to cancel for the safety of paddlers, no matter how much it hurts paddlers and you/your club.  Some examples of situations which may result in a need to change plans are:

  • Weather rougher than anticipated
  • Water levels too high or low
  • Your support cancels
  • Computer battery runs out or no connections or printer will not print
  • AND a true story, a tree has blocked the river and no one checked beforehand so racing paddlers either limbo danced under it or had a very steep and muddy portage in and out of the river.  This has happened in more than one race and is potentially lethal to a paddler in the wrong place.


Have back up plans

So with all this in mind here is a list of what is available to assist you in running the perfect Wild Water Race.  The documents in most cases consist of a blank or partially completed proforma (where actions/issues would be relevant to any race) and in most cases some real race documents completed to give you an idea.  Please adapt/change them as you need to for your unique race and only use the ones you want to, you are not obligated to use all of them.

Race Organisation and Safety
Doc Ref  Name of form/Notes/Guide Examples  Mandatory to complete/have
OS1  WWR Rules Yes
OS2  Race Organisers Guide


 Race Organisers Powerpoint Presentation 
OS4  Race Organiser Checklist
OS5 Organisers form OS5A: River Hamble Yes
OS6 WWR Safety Policy Guidelines

Yes - Mandatory to read and apply as applicable

OS7  Risk assessment guidance Yes - risk assessment must be done
OS8 British Canoeing risk assessment guide Yes - risk assessment must be done
OS9 WWR generic risk assessment Yes - risk assessment must be done

Canoe risk assessments done for existing events or rivers by WWR, Slalom or Long Distance Race Organisers

These can be used to build your risk assessment if suitable to your event

OS10A River Dee Llangollen

OS10B River Hamble, Hampshire

Yes risk assessment must be done
OS11 WWR Objectives, Race Insurance, Entry Process and Fees and Age Groups Yes - Insurance is mandatory
OS12 Key contact numbers emergency OS12A River Hamble Hampshire Yes - publicise at event
OS13 Race safety anc coaching tips OS13A River Hamble
OS14 Power boats rescuing canoe swimmer guidelines
OS15 Key Numbers, Water Safety Procedures Including Treating Hypothermia OS15A River Hamble
OS16 Race finances OS16A Example attached to proforma


Race entry, finish and results
Doc Ref   Name of form/Notes/Guide  Examples   Mandatory to complete/have
REF1  Race software manual
REF2  Race Software (Start Lists and Results)  This will be sent to you a few days before your race if you want to use it Yes but you can send results to be uploaded to this if required 
REF3 Race time 2 user manual
REF4 Ubeep user manual
REF5 Polifemo user manual
REF6 Excel start and finish entry template An alternative to ranking entry system and paper options
REF7 Consent Form

Race Entry form (Fuller version)(paper version)

To be replaced with Nov 2014 version

Yes by paddlers

(Unless already ranked)
REF9 Race entry start and calculating finish times sheet (paper version)
REF10 Race Finish sheet (paper version
REF11 British Canoeing Day ticket proforma Yes if Paddler has no relevant insurance cover 
REF12 Prizes options, Logos and Certificates


REF13 Race Certificate  

REF13A River Hamble Hampshire

REF13B Burrs



 Advertising your race   
Doc Ref Name of form/Notes/Guide Examples
AD1   Advertising your race guidelines AD1A River Hamble  
AD2   Race Flyer (short and long)

AD2A River Hamble 

AD2B River Dee

AD2C River Dee (small posters)

AD3   Race Programme AD3A Dee programme
AD4  Race Advertising Tickets

AD4A River Hamble

AD4B River Dee

AD5   WWR DVD Contact the secretary for a copy
AD6  Example of post event press article  AD6