Paddling Information

What is Paddling

Paddling is sport which offers kids the chance to improve balance, strength, confidence, make new friends and have FUN. The summer program is geared for kids who would like to participate in paddling and perhaps go to some competitions (regattas). The main focus of coaches for first year paddlers is to ensure then athletes gain balance make new friends and become comfortable paddling on the river.

Athletes will learn basic skills in both canoeing and kayaking as well as War Canoe. Along with paddling, we do many other activities such as soccer, swimming, water safety, capture the flag and many more.
For more information click here.

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What is Sprint Canoe / Kayak

Flatwater sprint racing is a contest of speed, strength and endurance in which athletes compete head to head on calm bodies of water. Paddlers train and compete in canoes and/or kayaks as singles, in pairs or in fours over a variety of distances. Paddlers race in lanes separated by markers over 200 m, 500 m and 1,000 m distances on straight, one way courses. There are also races over longer distances.

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Sprint Racing Age Classes

In sprint racing the rules allow for age classes up to age 18, then athletes compete based on their ability to win points at the national championships. The rules are stated below, but in general, the age classes are in two year increments. There is also a Masters class, for paddlers over the age of 25 (women) and 30 (men). In masters class there are often further age divisions, depending on the number of entries in the regatta. The master organization (CANMAS) has separate rules for the age classes in the national masters championships.

(Excerpts from Canadian Canoe Association - Sprint Racing Discipline - Competition Rules, 2011-2012)

In determining the eligibility of entries in the various events, Class status shall be determined as follows:

2.01                  ATOM CLASS

An Atom competitor shall be under 10 years of age on the 1st of January of the year of the competition.  All Atom events shall be at a distance as determined by the Division.

2.02                  PEEWEE CLASS

A Peewee competitor shall be under 12 years of age on the 1st of January of the year of the competition.  All Peewee events shall be at a distance as determined by the Division.

2.03                  BANTAM CLASS

A Bantam competitor shall be under 14 years of age on the 1st of January of the year of the competition.  All Bantam events shall be at a distance as determined by the Division.

2.04                  MIDGET CLASS

A Midget competitor shall be under 16 years of age on the 1st of January of the year of the competition.

2.05                  JUVENILE CLASS

A Juvenile competitor shall be under 18 years of age on the 1st of January of the year of the competition.

2.06                  JUNIOR CLASS

(a) Single Events - A Junior competitor shall be under 21 years of age on the 1st of January of the year of the competition for singles events only.

(b) Tandem, Four and War Canoe Events - A competitor shall be deemed to be a Junior Class competitor if he or she is 18 years of age or older on the 1st of January of the year of the competition, provided he or she has not qualified for Senior Status under the Senior Status rule.

(c) A Junior Class competitor competing in the Junior or Senior C-2, C-4, K-2 or K-4 events shall retain his or her Junior Class status in each of these events providing he or she has not accumulated a total of four (4) points in any one of them over two consecutive years at the Canadian National Sprint Racing Canoeing Championships after receiving his or her initial points in that event, using the following point system:

Junior Events

Senior Events

8 points for 1st place

8 points for 1st place

4 points for 2nd place

4 points for 2nd place

3 points for 3rd place

3 points for 3rd place

2 points for 4th place

1 point for 5th place

(d) If, after attaining 1 to 3 points in an event, a Junior Class competitor does not accumulate a total of four (4) points in that event over the next two (2) Canadian National Sprint Racing Canoeing Championships, the next following year he or she shall be deemed to have zero (0) points in that event.

(e) An age class competitor i.e., Atom, Peewee, Bantam, Midget or Juvenile, who qualifies for Senior status by the foregoing method of qualification shall still be allowed to compete within his or her age Class so long as his or her age permits them to do so. He or she shall only be permitted to race Junior if and when his or her Senior status expires.

2.07             SENIOR CLASS

A competitor shall be deemed to be a Senior by accumulating a total of four (4) or more points at the Canadian National Sprint Racing Canoeing Championships as outlined in the Junior Class rule; or by winning a Junior or Senior War Canoe event at the Canadian National Sprint Racing Canoeing Championships. A competitor classed as Senior in a specific event as per the foregoing, with the exception of war canoe and Junior Men's C-4, shall revert to Junior status with zero (0) points in that specific event upon failing to gain one (1) point in that event for three (3) consecutive years at the Canadian National Sprint Racing Canoeing Championships. Any competitor who is a member of the National Team in any one year shall be deemed to have gained the necessary one (1) point in all events that he or she is classed as a Senior in that same year, whether he or she competed at the Canadian National Sprint Racing Canoeing Championships or not.

2.08             SENIOR STATUS WAR CANOE & SENIOR/JUNIOR C-4

(i) A Senior Status war canoe competitor is a competitor who is a member of a winning Junior or Senior war canoe event at the Canadian National Sprint Racing Canoeing Championships. A competitor classed as Senior in the war canoe event as per the foregoing shall 7revert to Junior Class if he or she fails to be a member of a winning Senior war canoe crew for three (3) consecutive years at the Canadian National Sprint Racing Canoeing Championships. The Captain of a war canoe shall have no Class status.

(ii) A Men's C-4 competitor shall be deemed to be a Senior by accumulating a total of four (4) or more points at the Canadian National Sprint Racing canoeing Championships as outlined in the Junior Class rule. A competitor classed as Senior in the Men's C4 event shall revert to Junior after the three (3) years immediately following attaining Senior Class status.

2.09             MASTER CLASS

A competitor shall be deemed to hold Master Class status if he or she:

(a) has not competed as a member of the National Team in the previous year in the discipline for which they acquired National Team Status.

(b) a masters competitor shall be 35 years of age or older on the first day of January of the year of the competition

(Source: CanoeKayak Canada)

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What is Racing and Competing

Flatwater racing takes place on a straight course divided in lanes, on calm water. The distances recognised by the ICF for international races are 200 m, 500 m, and 1000 m. Each boat has its own designated lane, except for races over more than 1000 m, where there also may be turning points. Men race in canoes and in kayaks, women only in kayaks except for in Canada, where women's canoe is an event raced at both Canada Games and National Championships. For each race a number of heats, semi-finals and a final may be necessary, depending on the number of competitors.

Flatwater racing has been part of the Olympic Games since 1936 (Berlin) for men, and since 1948 (London) for women.  List of Olympic events:

C-1 1000 m (canoe single) Men
C-1 500 m (canoe single) Men
C-2 1000 m (canoe double) Men
C-2 500 m (canoe double) Men
K-1 1000 m (kayak single) Men
K-1 500 m (kayak single) Men
K-1 500 m (kayak single) Women
K-2 1000 m (kayak double) Men
K-2 500 m (kayak double) Men
K-2 500 m (kayak double) Women
K-4 1000 m (kayak four) Men
K-4 500 m (kayak four) Women

In World and European Championship competitions, C-4 races are also held, as well as the women's races in all classes. 200 m races are also held although not for juniors.

In Canada there is a 6000m race for Midgets and under. This race has up to 30 paddlers at a time. Just as in the shorter distances, all the paddlers start at the same time.

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What is Training

CanoeKayak Canada Long-Term Athlete Development Plan

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Equipment and Costs

The official boats recognised by the ICF (International Canoe Federation) as 'International Boats' are the following: K-1, K-2, K-4, C-1, C-2 and C-4, where the number indicates the number of paddlers, “K” stands for kayak and “C” for Canadian or Canoe, depending on location.

Kayaks have a steering rudder, which is operated by the (foremost) paddler with his feet; in a kayak a paddler is sitting, while in a Canoe he is kneeling on one knee. The ICF rules for these boats define among others the maximum length, the minimum weight and the shape of the boats. For exact specifications see below. In 2000, after the Olympic Games in Sidney, the ICF withdrew width restrictions on all boats, spurring a fury of innovations in boat designs. Modern boats are usually made of carbon fiber and/or aramid fiber (e.g. Kevlar) with epoxy resin.

In Canada, a racing class exists for the C-15 or WC or "War Canoe”, as well as a similarly designed C-4, Bear Mountain C-4 (which is much shorter and more squat than an 'International' C-4). An antiquated boat class is the C-7, resembling a large C-4 which was debuted by the ICF with little success.

Class

Length (cm.)

Width (cm.)

Weight (kg.)

Canoe Singles (C-1)

520

-

16

Canoe Tandem (C-2)

650

-

20

Canoe Fours (ICF C-4)

900

-

30

Canoe Fours (Cdn C-4)

610

76

31

War Canoe (C-15)

915

91

86

Kayak Single (K-1)

520

-

12

Kayak Tandem (K-2)

650

-

18

Kayak Fours (K-4)

1,110

-

30

Paddles for propelling are double-bladed for kayaks, and single-bladed for canoes, and are usually made of carbon fiber with epoxy.

For kayaks so-called wing paddles are generally used, the blades of which are shaped to resemble a wing. These paddles are more efficient than traditional paddles, presumably because they create extra "lift” in the direction in which the kayak moves. The wing blade has undergone many evolutions in the past two decades, evolving from a flatter blade to one with a more pronounced curve to better catch the water.

For racing canoes, the blade will typically be short and broad, with a 'power face' on one side of the blade which is either flat or scalloped out. The shaft will typically be longer than a tripping canoe paddle, because the kneeling position puts the paddler higher above the surface of the water. More recent designs of canoe racing paddles will often have a slight bent-shaft (a concept conceived by Gene Jensen in the 1950s), but not to the degree used in marathon paddles. Many high-performance canoe paddlers prefer the feel of a carbon-fibre shaft mated to a wooden blade, while nearly all high-performance kayak paddlers use paddles made completely of carbon fiber.

(Source:  Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

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Water Safety and Weather Conditions

The SRCC takes safety very seriously and follows the rules and regulations as set out by the CanoeKayak Canada (canoekayak.ca). Below are highlights from the Sprint Code of Safety from CanoeKayak Canada.

  • All participants, at a minimum, should be able to swim at the Canadian Red Cross “Aquaquest 6” level. Participants who cannot swim at this level must wear a PFD during training and regattas.
  • Bantam, Peewee and Atom paddlers MUST wear a PFD during training and regattas, regardless of their swimming ability.
  • When the river temperature is below 8 degrees celsius, ALL PADDLERS BELOW THE AGE OF 18, must wear a PFD. Paddlers above 18 years of age are strongly advised to wear a PFD; if they choose not to, they do so at their own risk. During these cold water conditions, all paddlers should be accompanied by a safety boat during on-water training.
  • Paddlers may not be “tied”, “secured” or “strapped” to the boat or its floorboard, in any manner, during training and competition.
    • A foot strap or bar, which is used by all competitive athletes, does not interfere with exiting a kayak, therefore is allowed for training and competing.

For more information on the Sprint Code of Safety, please click here.

All coaches have participated in a water safety course and have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card as issued by Transport Canada. Often many of the coaches are current or former lifeguards.

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Participation Levels for the SRCC

Elite: Highest / most intensive level of training. Athlete is nationally competitve and is encouraged / expected to attend National Team Trials, Canada Cup, Nationals and other regional and local regattas.

National: Highest / most intensive level of training. Athlete can compete at a national level and is encouraged / expected to attend Canada Cup, Nationals and other regional and local regattas.

Regional: Moderately intensive level of training. Athlete is competive at a regional level (Western Canada) and is encouraged to attend regional and local regattas.

Developmental: Entry level of training. Athlete is encouraged to attend regional and local regattas.

Masters: Adult training group. Level of training ranges from beginner to advanced / intensive training. Encouraged to compete locally and on occasion compete at CanMas which is the Canadian Masters Nationals.

Learn-To: 2 week Learn - To paddle program. Designed as an introduction to canoeing / kayaking.

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Club Clothing

Our official racing uniform is a green shirt with black stripe down the arms and a black short. There is the club logo on the front and a maple leaf on the back. The official racing uniform must be worn by all paddlers at all regattas. We hope to have unisuit club uniforms this year as well.

Currently in stock are long and short sleeve club uniform shirts, shorts, white short sleeve with logo and green short sleeve cotton t-shirts with club logo. Paddlers will be allowed to compete in the cotton shirts at most regattas other than Divisionals and Nationals

To purchase clothing visit:  Row West Clothing.

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