Following a number of incidents over the past 12 months, race organisers are reminded of the recommendation in Part C of the Marathon Racing Rules. See below for a summary of Item 3 from Part C.
Safety measures are largely at the discretion of the organiser, since courses and conditions vary considerably. All paddlers ranked in Divisions 7, 8, & 9 or competing in GST and fun races must wear a buoyancy aid [Rules 5 (a)(v) and 56 (a)]. Make sure you have adequate safety cover for all GST and Div 9 races.Â On the open sea it is wise to insist on buoyancy aids for all. On open water, rescue boats are very important. Ensure that no one is stranded or lost halfway round the course; it is important to account for all competitors. On calm water it is usually sufficient to have a back marker paddling the course.Â Marshals at turns and portages should carry safety equipment including an absolute minimum of space blanket or similar, throw line and mobile phone. Where possible a checklist of boat numbers will help marshals tick off those who have passed them.
All Race organisers shall appoint a Safety Officer, prepare a Risk Assessment and Safety Plan well ahead of their event and put in hand appropriate safety measures. Risk Assessments must be forwarded to the Regional Marathon Advisor before the event.
Paddlers, parents & Team Leaders are also reminded how important it is to keep race organisers informed of information such as health issues, retirements or incidents that may occur during a race.