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14-mile Canoe Kayak Race Rules

Carefully review the 14-Mile Canoe Kayak Race rules before registering.

This race is challenging and should be attempted only by those who are conditioned, experienced paddlers. Paddlers will need a knowledge of the river, and must stay hydrated. All safety considerations and laws must be followed, especially PFD/life jacket laws. The race committee is not responsible for providing food and water to participants. A designated support team captain, two USCG life jackets, two pea-less signaling devices (whistles) are mandatory. All required equipment safety gear must be present upon inspection. Teams are required to race as indicated on their entry form.

  1. Minimum age to participate – Contestants under 18 years of age must have written parental/guardian consent on their entry form.
  2. All contestants must check in on Friday, July 21 or Saturday, July 22, 2017 at Veterans Freedom Park, Clinton St., La Crosse, WI to receive their race number.
  3. Canoes and kayaks must be presented for inspection in “race ready” condition. Any canoe or kayak that does not pass inspection will be disqualified.
  4. A single blade canoe paddle for canoe paddlers and a double blade kayak paddle are the only means of propulsion each contestant may use.
  5. Each contestant shall have at least one U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket per contestant and sound signaling device (pea-less type whistle) in the canoe or kayak at all times, that are easily accessible. The whistle may be either attached to the life jacket or to the contestant. Life jackets may not be taped in or otherwise permanently secured and will be inspected. Life jackets shall be the correct size for the paddler, not have holes in the material or holes covered with tape; properly made repairs to life jackets – stitched up rips or tears – are acceptable. Contestants should ensure that they have all of the above required safety equipment when they present their canoe or kayak at inspection; this required safety equipment will not be available for purchase at the event.
  6. No one is allowed to help convey or advance a contestant, canoe or kayak.
  7. Canoes and kayaks must remain in the riverbed. Leaving the riverbed to advance the canoe constitutes an illegal portage. To remain in the “riverbed”, contestants must be in the water, shoes wet. There will be race officials at unspecified points along the race course. Canoes or kayaks may be removed from the river by the contestants for repairs or due to illness or injury, but must reenter the river at the point of exit. All repairs must be performed by the contestants.
  8. A competing canoe or kayak shall not benefit from a non-competing watercraft by means of a tow or pull, wake riding, pacing, leading or feeding from a non-competing watercraft. In the event a competing canoe or kayak capsizes, (or incurs significant damage such a hole or bailer problem which threatens its ability to stay afloat), the contestants may receive assistance from a designated safety patrol boat or other watercraft. This activity is limited to returning the canoe or kayak to an upright position, assisting the contestants to get back into their canoe or kayak, or bringing the canoe or kayak safely to shore. Also, in the event a paddler requires medical attention the contestants may seek such assistance from a designated safety patrol boat or other watercraft. If as the result of one of these procedures the canoe or kayak has moved forward, it should be returned to the previous spot before the team continues the race.
  9. Contestants are responsible for their own food and water. Per Coast Guard & MI DNR Regulations contestants are not to throw trash such as jugs, cups, plastic bags, etc. into the river, and per common courtesy and any WI or municipal laws are not to litter on the ground. Contestants who litter the river or land are subject to a penalty. **The Catgut Paddle Committee has established a specific list of persons who will act as monitoring group for this issue. They will include but not limited to all Catgut Paddle Committee Members, all law enforcement personnel, plus designated volunteer spotters. Enforcement and penalty assessment shall be the responsibility of the Catgut Paddle Committee. The first violation, witnessed by a member of the monitoring committee will result in a penalty of 10 minutes added to the contestant’s finishing time. The second violation by the same contestant will result in an additional 20 minutes added to the team’s finishing time. The third violation by the same team will result in disqualification. Any violation not witnessed by a member of the monitoring committee will result in a verbal warning to the team at the next official timing location. Littering includes water as well as surrounding land areas.
  10. Commonly accepted rules of sportsmanship will prevail. Intentional capsizing or damaging an opponent’s canoe, or other flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct, will mean disqualification.
  11. It is illegal to use “cuts” (flowing shortcuts) to unfairly advance in the race.
  12. Under no circumstances shall any illegal drug be taken. Any contestant who has a physical ailment for which it is necessary to ingest a controlled substance (prescription medication) shall so declare in writing to the Catgut Paddle Committee.

4-mile Fun Paddle Sponsored by J.F. Brennan Rules

Carefully review the 4-mile Fun Paddle rules before registering.

This fun paddle is meant to provide an opportunity for families, friends, and individuals to enjoy a morning of paddling. All safety considerations and laws must be followed, especially PFD/life jacket laws. Paddlers must stay hydrated and should consider food intake to sustain themselves during the paddle. The race committee is not responsible for providing food and water to paddlers. All required equipment safety gear must be present upon inspection.

  1. Minimum age to participate – 5 years of age. Participants under 18 years of age must have parental/guardian consent on their entry form. All watercrafts with children under the age of 16 must have a parent or guardian in the watercraft with them.
  2. Each participant shall have at least one U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket at all times, that are easily accessible. Life jackets may not be taped in or otherwise permanently secured and may be inspected. Life jackets shall be the correct size for the participant, not have holes in the material or holes covered with tape; properly made repairs to life jackets – stitched up rips or tears – are acceptable. Partcipants should ensure that they have the above required safety equipment when they participate in the event; this required safety equipment will not be available for purchase at the event.
  3. Per Coast Guard & WI DNR Regulations participants are not to throw trash such as jugs, cups, plastic bags, etc. into the river, and per common courtesy and any WI or municipal laws are not to litter on the ground.
  4. Commonly accepted rules of sportsmanship will prevail. Intentional capsizing or damaging another watercraft, or other flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct, will mean disqualification.

Catgut Paddle Event Rules

Carefully review the Catgut Paddle overall and water event rules before attending or registering.

Catgut Paddle events are meant to provide an opportunity for families, friends, and individuals to enjoy a morning of water and outdoor fun. All safety considerations and laws must be followed, especially PFD/life jacket laws. Participants must stay hydrated. The event committee is not responsible for providing food and water to paddlers. All required equipment safety gear must be present upon inspection for water events. Food will be available for purchase at the event.

  1. Minimum age to participate in water events – 5 years of age. Participants under 18 years of age must have parental/guardian consent on their entry form. All watercrafts with children under the age of 16 must have a parent or guardian in the watercraft with them.
  2. CHILDREN PARTICIPATING IN ANY ASPECT OF THE CATGUT PADDLE EVENT MUST BE SUPERVISED AT ALL TIMES. This event takes place on and near a body of water. Safety is of utmost concern. There are land activities for all ages and children must be supervised at all times whether on land or participating in a water activity.
  3. Each water event participant shall have at least one U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket at all times, that are easily accessible. Life jackets may not be taped in or otherwise permanently secured and may be inspected. Life jackets shall be the correct size for the participant, not have holes in the material or holes covered with tape; properly made repairs to life jackets – stitched up rips or tears – are acceptable. Participants should ensure that they have the above required safety equipment when they participate in the event; this required safety equipment will not be available for purchase at the event.
  4. Per Coast Guard & WI DNR Regulations participants are not to throw trash such as jugs, cups, plastic bags, etc. into the river, and per common courtesy and any WI or municipal laws are not to litter on the ground.
  5. Commonly accepted rules of sportsmanship will prevail. Intentional capsizing or damaging another watercraft, or other flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct, will mean disqualification.

It’s the law: PFD/ Life Jacket Law

WearableAll vessels (including canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards) must have at least one USCG-approved Wearable life jacket for each person on board.

 

ThrowableAll vessels 16 feet or more in length must have one USCG-approved Throwable personal flotation device on board that is immediately accessible.

 

WearableEvery person on board a personal watercraft must wear a USCG-approved life jacket.

 

WearableSailboards and windsurfers are exempt from life jacket requirement, but are highly encouraged to wear one.

 

WearableFederal law requires children under the age of 13 to wear a USCG-approved life jacket while underway in an open vessel on federally controlled waters.

 

All life jackets must be:

  • in good and serviceable condition, which means no tears, rips, broken straps or snaps;
  • readily accessible, which means you are able to put the life jacket on quickly in an emergency; and
  • of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for life jackets is based on body weight and chest size.

The above PFD/ life jacket law infographic is provided by Wisconsin DNR. For complete information, click here.