Rules for 2015 handicap race series
1. The Handicap Series runs from January to November. The race is held on the last Saturday of the month.
2. The aim of the handicap is to have all paddlers cross the finish line around 9.15 a.m. and handicaps are based on the race taking 60 mins.
3. The first time you race in the Handicap series you must nominate the time you expect to take to complete the 9 km course from Throwers Park to Wendt’s Bridge and return to turn around a buoy at Winders Park and back to Throwers Park heading upstream. The nominated time is then deducted from 60 mins to give the handicap. For example, a paddler who expects to take 45 minutes will have a handicap of 15 mins (starting around 8.30), while a paddler who expects to take 52 mins will have a handicap of 8 mins (starting around 8.22).
4. The second time you race, your handicap will be based on your previous time. So, if you thought you would take 45 mins in your first race but actually took 46 mins, your handicap next time you participate will be 14 mins. Similarly, if you actually took 44 mins your next handicap will be 16 mins.
5. Start times will be in half minutes. Up to 30 seconds rounds down to whole minute, 30 seconds and over rounds down to the half minute. For example, last race time was 51:26, so next handicap will be 9 minutes. Last race time was 51:47, next handicap will be 8½ minutes. See Do-It-Yourself Handicap Guide below.
6. Your handicap the third time you race will be based on the time in your second race, fourth time on third race, etc.
7. Paddlers who take longer than 60 mins start with zero handicap (start time around 8.15 a.m.).
8. All start times will be based on the Race Timers’ clock. While paddlers may like to synchronise their watches with the Race Timer’s, they may only start according the Race Timer’s call.
9. You must start and finish between the shore and the start/finish marker buoy.
10. Boat numbers will be issued at registration before each race. Registrations will be taken from 7.30 a.m. at Throwers Park on the north side of Currumbin Creek.
11. Donation of $2 is required to participate in the race, or $5 for paddlers who are not members of Australian Canoeing. Monies will be used to buy prizes during and at the end of the series.
12. Points will be awarded to the first ten paddlers to cross the finish line – 10 points for 1st, 9 for 2nd, 8 for 3rd, etc. Points for position will not be awarded the first time you race. All paddlers will receive 1 point for participating in a race, regardless of their finishing position.
13. There are no prizes for each race – improving on your personal best will be your reward! But there will be mid-year incentive prizes presented after the June race.
14. Every effort will be made to start promptly at 8.15 a.m., but the Race Timer may start the race later if circumstances dictate.
15. Start times will not be delayed for paddlers simply running late. You are therefore strongly encouraged to be at Throwers Park well before 8.15 a.m, but if you arrive late you may join in the race at your handicap time as long as you check in with the Race Timer at the start/finish line, collect a boat number and pay your $2.
16. A record of paddlers’ previous race times will be held by the Race Timer.
17. If two or more paddlers wish to start together for competitive reasons, you may do so as long as all start at the handicap time of the fastest paddler.
18. When possible a buoy will be placed before Wendt’s Bridge but, if there is no buoy, you must turn around the bridge pylon, keeping well clear of the pylon. Turns must be made anti-clockwise. There will be a buoy in line with the shower on the south shore of Winders Park. You must turn anti-clockwise around this buoy and complete the race at Thrower Park heading upstream.
19. You must stop and assist any paddler who is in trouble. Your time will be adjusted accordingly.
20. All paddlers must wear at least a race singlet and sunscreen as protection from the sun. A hat and long sleeves are recommended.
21. Paddlers aged 14 and under must wear a PFD. Although our younger paddlers are mostly competent swimmers and dislike wearing a jacket, this is an Australian Canoeing racing standard so it is to the children’s benefit to get used to paddling with a PFD. Older paddlers should wear a PFD if not confident swimmers.
22. In the event of a points draw at the end of the season, the outright winner will be the paddler who has competed in the most races.
23. The above rules may be amended during the year if we think of a better way to run things!
24. A shorter course will be available for young paddlers, or for novice older paddlers who feel they cannot race 9 kms yet, but short course participants will not be included in the point score.