Getting your race on the calendar
Ok great!, you have decided to run a wildwater race. Getting your race early onto the calendar is the first start. To get your race up you will need to complete the race details and risk assessments (files below) and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also include a landscape promotional image that can be added to your event – it really helps to make the website look good, and to push your event to the fore.
Running your Race
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
- 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.