Canoeing Ireland Skills Awards

Click the links to view syllabi for the Skills Awards.

The Canoeing Ireland Award Scheme is linked to Euro Paddle Pass see www.europaddlepass.com


Kayaking Skills Awards

1.00     General Aims

The Level 1 Skills Award aims to enable participants to:-

1.01     Perform fundamental Paddling Skills.

1.02     Understand and explain the fundamental safety rules of canoeing.

1.03     Foster further participation in canoesport

2.00     Requirements

Participants must successfully demonstrate the following:

2.01     An understanding of the Basic Safety Rules of canoeing.

2.02     An ability to Enter and Exit correctly.

2.03     Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, and Stop.

2.04     An ability to turn while stationary using Forward Sweep Stroke, Reverse Sweep Stroke and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep Strokes.

2.05     Capsize Drill

3.00     Assessment

3.01     There is no formal assessment for the Level 1 Skills Award, however, a participant must be able to demonstrate the required skills in the presence of a registered ICU Instructor before being given the award.

3.02     All strokes must be demonstrated on both sides.

3.03     The Level 1 Skills Award is not a compulsory pre requisite for any subsequent ICU skills awards.

3.04     No age restriction applies to this award

                        Assessment Guidelines

The Level 1 Skills Award can only be assessed by a currently registered Irish Canoe Union Instructor.

                        Notes

Entry and Exit

Entry and exit with or without the use of a paddle is acceptable.

Forward and Reverse Paddling

Veering is allowed for, but a participant must be able to maintain reasonable directional stability for at least 25 metres.

Stopping

A participant should demonstrate an ability to stop when moving forward and in reverse.

Forward and Reverse Sweep Stroke

There should be an efficient use of the paddle in turning.

Capsize Drill

The capsize and exit  should be carried out in water of sufficient depth adjacent to the shore/bank.


1.00     General aims

The Level 2 Kayak Skills Award aims to enable participants to:-

1.01     Kayak safely and competently on flat water and Grade I rivers as a member of a group being led

1.02     Assist in basic rescues.

1.03     Develop further participation in canoeing.

2.00     Requirements

Participant must successfully demonstrate the following techniques and skills

2.01     An understanding of the Basic Safety Rules of canoeing.

2.02     An ability to Enter and Exit a kayak correctly.

2.03     Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, and Stop.  

2.04     An ability to turn while stationary using Forward Sweep Stroke, Reverse Sweep Stroke and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep Strokes.

2.05     Simple Draw Stroke.

2.06     Low Brace.

2.07     Low Brace Turn.

2.08     Edging while the kayak is moving.

2.09     Capsize Drill.

2.10     An ability to assist in an Assisted X Rescue and /or an H Rescue

2.11     Lower Body Rotation.

3.00     Assessment

3.01     During an assessment all techniques and skills must be demonstrated to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.

3.02     No part of an assessment can be taken in a swimming pool. All assessment criteria must be demonstrated outdoors on flat water (i.e. water of Grade I difficulty).

3.03     It may not be feasible for a junior or disabled person to assist fully in rescues - such candidates should, however, have a full understanding of the correct sequence of each of the required rescues and have some role to fulfil in the completion of these rescues.

3.04     A spraydeck must be worn throughout an assessment.

3.05     All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. use of a simple draw stroke to manoeuvre the kayak to the bank. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the kayak.

3.06     The Level 2 Kayak Skills Award is not a compulsory pre requisite for any subsequent Irish Canoe Union skills awards.

3.07     No age restriction applies to this award.

                        Assessment Guidelines

·         The Level 2 Kayak Skills Award can only be assessed by a currently registered ICU Instructor. Assessing Instructor who is, at minimum,  a  Level 2 Kayak Instructor

·         The assessment will be carried out with a maximum of six candidates to one assessor. However, a ratio of 4:1 is preferable.

·         All required assessment rescues are kept until the end of an assessment.

·         Generally guidelines will be given, should a candidate fail an assessment, as to the areas that they need to improve on.

                        Notes for Level 2 Kayak Skills Awards

                        Safety Rules of Canoeing

·        You must be able to swim.

·        You must always wear a buoyancy aid.

·        You must always ensure that there is adequate kayak buoyancy.

·        You must never canoe alone.

Entry and Exit

Can be carried out with or without the use of paddles, depending on what is most appropriate to the situation.

Forward Paddling

Some directional instability is allowed for. This should not include complete loss of forward movement or continuous veering from side to side, aiming for a point/gap as a task.

Reverse Paddling

Some directional instability is allowed for. This should not include complete loss of reverse movement or continuous veering from side to side.  A wider stroke than that used for forward paddling is permissible.

Stopping

Stopping should occur in a straight line allowing some leeway, but not veering from side to side. Ability to stop should be demonstrated while paddling forward and in reverse.

Forward Sweep Stroke

There should be full arm extension. The sweep should be initiated at the front of the kayak and continued to stern with trunk rotation evident.

Reverse Sweep Stroke

Trunk rotation to place paddle in the water at stern should be evident. There should be continuous sweep to the front of the kayak as the trunk unwinds. There should be full arm extension throughout.

Draw Stroke

The paddle should remain in the water throughout. Some slight bow or stern swing is acceptable.  An ability to maintain the paddle shaft vertical, should be evident. Some body rotation towards the paddling side should be evident.

Low Brace Support

The kayak must be sufficiently tilted for water to reach the spraydeck. A good push down with the elbows above paddle and associated knee lift and lower body rotation should be evident.

Low Brace Turn

The kayak should be moved at an acceptable speed and a turn induced by applying a sweep on the opposite side, followed by edging into the turn, the back of the blade on the surface of the water for support on the turning side and at a suitable angle/feather.

Capsize Drill

While wearing a spraydeck, and followed by a 10 metre swim towing the kayak and paddle to the bank, then emptying the kayak correctly. The paddle should be retained.

 


1.00     General aims

The Level 3 Kayaking Skills Award aims to enable participants to

1.01     Kayak safely and competently on rivers up to and including Grade II rivers as a member of a group.

1.02     Be capable of negotiating obstacles likely to be encountered on Grade II rivers.

1.03     Assist in rescues.

1.04     Become more proficient in canoesport

2.00     Requirements

Participants must successfully explain and demonstrate the following techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 2 Kayaking Skills Award.

Strokes

2.01     Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, Emergency Stop.

2.02     Forward Sweep, Reverse Sweep and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep.

2.03     Draw Stroke

2.04     Sculling Draw

2.05     Hanging Draw

2.06     Sculling for Support

2.07     Low Brace

2.08     High Brace

2.09     Low Brace Turn

2.10     Stern Rudder

2.11     Bow Rudder

Techniques

2.12     Entry and Exit

2.13     Edging

2.14     Forward Ferry Gliding

2.15     Reverse Ferry Gliding

2.16     Breaking In

2.17     Breaking Out

Rescues

2.18     Capsize Drill

2.19     Assisted X Rescue and an X Rescue

2.20     Eskimo Rescue

2.21     Eskimo Roll

Theory

2.22     Knowledge of Safety Rules

2.23     An understanding of the use of Defensive Swimming

2.24     An understanding of Eddies, Standing Waves, V Waves, Stoppers, and Easy River Routes i.e. the main flow down a Grade II rapid

2.25     An understanding of good control (i.e. responding to various signals and commands)

3.00     Assessment

3.01     During an assessment a participant must explain and demonstrate all techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 2 Kayak Skills Award. All techniques, skills and rescues must be demonstrated to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.

3.02     No part of an assessment can be taken in a swimming pool. All assessment criteria must be demonstrated outdoors on water of Grade II difficulty as part of a river trip.

3.03     All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e sculling in a small stopper. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the kayak.

3.04     Generally, required assessment rescues will be kept until the end of an assessment.

3.05     Participants for this award must be at least 12 years of age.

                        Assessment Guidelines

·         It is recommended that a Level 3 Kayak Skills Award is assessed by a Instructor other than the Instructor who ran the training course leading to assessment

·         The Level 3 Kayak Skills Award can only be assessed by a currently registered ICU Instructor who is, at minimum , a Level 3 Kayak Instructor

·         The assessment can be carried out with a maximum of six candidates to one assessor, however, a ratio of 4:1 is preferable.

·         Generally guidelines will be given, should a candidate fail an assessment, as to the areas that they need to improve on.


1.00     General aims

The Level 4 Kayaking Skills Award aims to enable candidates to

1.01     Kayak safely and proficiently on rivers up to and including Grade III difficulty.

1.02     Be capable of negotiating obstacles likely to be encountered on Grade III rivers.

1.03     Deal competently with rescue situations that might occur on rivers up to and including rivers of Grade III difficulty.

1.04     Develop group awareness.

2.00     Requirements

To obtain the Level 4 Kayak Skills Award a participant must successfully explain and demonstrate the following techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 3 Kayak Skills Award and be capable of demonstrating any combination of the strokes competently and efficiently. The assessment will take place during a river trip of at least three miles on water of Grade III difficulty.

Strokes

2.01     Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, Emergency Stop.

2.02     Forward Sweep, Reverse Sweep and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep

2.03     Edging

2.04     Bow Rudder

2.05     Stern Rudder

2.06     Low Brace Turn

2.07     Low Recovery

2.08     High Recovery

2.09     Sculling for Support

2.10     Sculling Draw

2.11     Draw Stroke

2.12     Hanging Draw

2.13     Defensive Swimming

Techniques

2.14     An ability to use water conditions available for the effective and efficient manoeuvring of a kayak.

2.15     Competence in negotiating water obstructions i.e. Standing Waves, Stoppers, and an ability to utilise it to cross a river.

2.16     Competence in negotiating bends where water flows under trees or against vertical riverbank.

2.17     Forward Ferry Gliding

2.18     Reverse Ferry Gliding

2.19     Breaking In accurately.

2.20     Breaking Out accurately.

2.21     Eskimo Roll.

2.22     Capable of Self-Rescue.

Rescues and Safety Techniques

2.23     An X Rescue and/or Assisted X Rescue

2.24     Eskimo Rescue (maximum lower body rotation).

2.25     Curl Rescue and/or TX Rescue.

2.26     Stern Carry.

2.27     Unconscious Casualty (method of righting an unconscious person in a capsized kayak)

2.28     An ability to manoeuvre an empty kayak between two specified points.

2.29     An ability to assist an incapacitate paddler in a kayak between two specified points.

2.30        An ability to use a Throw Rope to rescue a swimmer.

2.31     A practical knowledge of First Aid and its relevance to possible situations arising during a canoeing trip to include: Shock, Hypothermia, Head Injuries, Dislocations, Bleeding, CPR, EAR.

Theory

2.32     An understanding of the following:       

·        River Grading

·        River Route Finding

·        Types of GP kayaks and paddles

·        Towing Systems and methods

·        Group Control and Awareness

·        Signals and Commands

·        Personal Equipment

3.00     Applying for Assessment

Before applying to attend a Level 4 Kayak Skills Award Assessment, a candidate must

3.01     Have obtained the Level 3 Kayak Skills Award.

3.02     Have unrestricted access to a fully equipped kayak, personal equipment and additional equipment. (See Level 4 Kayak Skills List of Equipment)

3.03     Be at least 16 years of age.

3.04     Have returned to the ICU Office a Level 4 Kayak Skills Assessment application form no later than three weeks before a selected assessment date.

4.00     Assessment

4.01     During an assessment a candidate must explain and demonstrate all techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 3 Kayak Skills Award. All techniques, skills and rescues must be demonstrated to the required level in order to achieve this award.

4.02     All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. sculling in a small stopper. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the kayak.

4.03     All rescues must be executed by the candidate acting as both rescuee and rescuer. Generally, required assessment rescues will be kept until the end of the river trip.

4.04     While it is not compulsory to attend a training course prior to assessment, it is strongly recommended.

                        Assessment Guidelines

·         A Level 4 Kayak Skills Award can only be assessed by a member of the Level 4 Kayak Skills Assessor Panel.

·         It is recommended that the award be assessed by an Instructor other than the Instructor who ran the training course leading to assessment.

·         The assessment will be carried out with a maximum ratio of 4:1.

·         Should a candidate fail an assessment written guidelines should be given as to the areas that they need to improve on.

·         No other award may be assessed at the same time as the Level 4 Kayak Skills Award.

                        Equipment required for Assessment

Properly equipped kayak:

·         Rigid end loops and/or toggles.

·         Kayaks over 270cm in length must have decklines fitted front and back.

·         Kayaks 270cm or less in length must have cowtails fitted front and back.

·         Method of securing paddles

·         Suitable buoyancy

·         Suitable foot rest

·         A kayak must be of sufficient volume to carry out all necessary safety equipment and perform any rescue as required by the Level 4 Skills Award

 

Personal kayaking equipment:

·         Paddle

·         Wetsuit or sufficient thermal clothing

·         Spray Deck

·         Buoyancy Aid

·         Cagoule

·         Helmet

·         Canoe Booties or adequate footwear

 

Other Equipment:

·         Towing System

·         Throw Rope

·         Bivy Bag or group shelter

·         First Aid Kit

·         Repair Kit which should include (at a minimum) waterproof repair tape and cable ties

·         Split Paddle

·         Sling

·         Karabiner

·         Waterproof Bag or other method of keeping equipment dry

·         Knife

·         Whistle

·         Torch

·         Flask and Food

·         Spare Clothes

 

 


                        Introduction

The Level 5 Kayaking Skills Award is designed for kayakers wishing to develop advanced skills and rescue techniques appropriate to Grade IV & advanced white water rivers. It is an appropriate award for advanced kayakers who kayak with others of Level 4 or higher ability on Grade IV & advanced white water rivers.

The Level 5 Kayak Skills Award is a pre requisite for progression from the Level 3 to the Level 4 Kayak Instructor. The Level 4 Kayak Instructor is the appropriate qualification for those wishing to instruct and lead others Grade IV & advanced white water rivers.

1.00     General aims

The Level 5 Kayak Skills Award aims to enable candidates to

1.01     Develop the necessary skills, group awareness, and group management to kayak safely and proficiently on rivers up to and including rivers of Grade IV & advanced white water difficulty.

1.02     Deal competently with rescue situations which might occur on rivers up to and including rivers of Grade IV & advanced white water difficulty.

1.03     Deal competently with First Aid situations in a remote river environment.

2.00     Training Course Outline

2.01     The Level 5 Kayak Skills Award requires that a candidate attend a training programme and a two-day assessment. The training programme will include the following:

  • Methods of River Leading
  • River Reading
  • Equipment for White Water Leading
  • Management of Rescue Situations
  • Rescue from a Kayak
  • Use of a Throw Rope
  • Rope Rescues

 

  • Protection against Hazards
  • First Aid in the River Environment
  • Resuscitation in the River Environment
  • Trip Planning
  • At least one Grade IV /advanced white water river trip leading a group under the supervision of a Level 4 Kayak Instructor.
  • Assessment Procedures.

 

3.00     Applying to attend a training course

Before applying to attend a Level 5 Kayak Skills Training Course, a candidate must

3.01     Hold the Level 4 Kayak Skills Award.

3.02     Have unrestricted access to a fully equipped kayak, personal equipment, and additional equipment as listed for a Level 5 Kayak Skills Assessment.

3.03     Be at least 18 years of age.

3.04     Register with the Canoe Union as Level 5 Kayak Skills trainee

4.00     Applying to attend an Assessment

Before applying to attend a Level 5 Kayak Skills Assessment, a candidate must

4.01     Have attended an approved Level 5 Kayak Skills Training Programme within the 24 months period preceeding a selected assessment date.

4.02     Have recorded in a Level 5 Kayak Skills Logbook, following the completion of a Level 5 Kayak Skills Training Programme, at least 10 river trips of a minimum of 20 hours duration of Grade IV & advanced white water experience under the supervision of at least two registered Level 4 Kayak Instructors.

4.03     In addition to 4.02 a candidate must record in a Level 5 Kayak Skills Logbook evidence of having gained experience over a minimum of three years on a range of advanced river trips showing a bias towards "wild" and Grade IV & advanced white water rivers. Experience gained on wholly artificial courses/weirs will not be considered as part of the completion of this requirement.

4.04     Possess a current and approved First Aid Certificate. (for example, REC Level 3)

4.05     Be at least 18 years of age.

4.06     Have returned to the ICU Office a completed Level 5 Kayak Skills Logbook accompanied by a Level 5 Kayak Skills Assessment application form no later than three weeks before a selected assessment date.

5.00     Format of Assessment

5.01     The Level 5 Kayak Skills Assessment will take place over two days and must include a river trip on a minimum of Grade IV difficulty over a distance a 2-5 miles (4-8 Kms.)

The Assessment Group on the river trip element of the assessment should consist of the following

Assessors

Minimum of two registered Level 5 Kayak Skills Assessors

Assessees

Minimum of two and up to a maximum of four Assessees

Other River Trip Participants

 

Minimum of two and up to a maximum of four participants who must hold Level 4 Kayak Skills Award

Level 5 Kayak Skills Panel Aspirants

Maximum of two Level 5 Kayak Skills Panel aspirants (These may form part of the participant group above)

5.02     The format will include assessment of a candidate's

  • Personal kayaking skills.
  • Ability to demonstrate white water and deep water rescue techniques.
  • Knowledge, both oral and practical, of advanced white water techniques, skills and rescues.
  • Knowledge, both oral and practical, of First Aid and AR as applied in a high grade river environment.
  • Interview with assessors

As part of an assessment, a candidate would be expected to

5.03     Demonstrate all techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 4 Kayak Skills Award and at a standard necessary to deal competently with conditions likely to be encountered on Grade IV & advanced white water rivers.

5.04     Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of safety precautions and procedures to be adopted while with a group on Grade IV & advanced white water rivers.

5.05     Demonstrate an ability to assess a group's competence to deal with conditions likely to be encountered on Grade IV & advanced white water rivers.

5.06     Demonstrate an ability to command trust from a group of peers while on rivers of Grade IV & advanced white water

5.07     Demonstrate the necessary skills to communicate effectively with other group members on Grade IV & advanced white water rivers.

5.08     Deal efficiently with rescue situations likely to occur on Grade IV & advanced white water rivers.

5.09     Demonstrate a constant awareness of other group members, their location on the river and within the group.

5.10     Demonstrate a sufficient knowledge of the river's environs.

5.11     Demonstrate an ability to read white water to a high standard.

5.12     Present a suitable and correctly fitted out kayak and other appropriate equipment (see Level 5 Kayak Skills Equipment List). It would be expected that a candidate's equipment be of a standard consistent with the responsibilities of being part of a group undertaking a trip on a Grade IV & advanced white water river. Equipment should be readily accessible at all times. Examination of equipment will form an important part of the overall assessment.

                         Assessment Guidelines

  • A Level 5 Kayak Skills Award can only be assessed by two registered members of the Level 5 Kayak Skills Assessor Panel.
  • It is recommended that the award is assessed by an Instructor other than the Instructor who has run the training course leading to assessment.
  • Clear guidelines should be given in writing should a candidate fail an assessment as to the areas which need to be improved upon.
  • Candidates cannot depend on any assistance (material or practical) during the course of an assessment.
  • No other award or qualification can be assessed during a Level 5 Kayak Skills Assessment.
  • The assessment ratio is a maximum of 4 assessees:2 assessors with a minimum of 2 assessees: 2 assessors

                        Equipment List for Level 5 Kayaking Skills Assessment

A correctly equipped kayak:

 

·         Rigid end loops and/or toggles

·         Kayaks over 270cm in length must have decklines fitted front and back.

·         Kayaks 270cm or less in length must have cowtails fitted front and back

·         Method of securing paddles

·         Suitable buoyancy

·         Suitable foot rest

·         A kayak must be of sufficient volume to carry all necessary safety equipment and perform any rescue as required by the Level 4 Kayak Skills Award.

 

Personal canoeing equipment:

 

·         Paddle

·         Wetsuit or sufficient thermal clothing

·         Spray Deck

·         Buoyancy Aid

·         Cagoule

·         Helmet

·         Canoe Booties or adequate footwear

 

Other equipment:

 

·         Towing System

·         Throw Bag

·         Bivvy Bag or equivalent

·         First Aid Kit

·         Split Paddle

·         Repair Kit

·         Knife

·         Whistle

·         Torch

·         Flask and Emergency Food

·         Spare Clothes

·         Waterproof Bag or other method of keeping equipment dry

·         Karabiners x 2

·         Sling

·         Prussic Loops x2

·         Map

·         Group Shelter

·         Mobile Phone

 

A candidate's personal and group kit will be evaluated as part of the assessment. Candidates must present suitable personal equipment plus any additional equipment deemed to be appropriate to support other members of the group. Equipment should reflect such things as the season, the abilities of the group, and the grade of the river being undertaken. Borrowed equipment will be assessed as if it were a candidate's own. A candidate should be aware that on advanced grade rivers having too much or inappropriate equipment can nearly be as hazardous as having too little.

 

 

 


Sea Kayaking Skills Awards

1.00     General aims

The Level 3 Sea-kayaking Skills Award aims to enable participants to

1.01     Kayak safely and competently on the sea as a member of a group being led.

1.02     Paddle competently in following winds, head winds and beams winds of up to force three.

1.03     Assist in rescues.

1.04     Have an understanding of the importance of weather as a factor in kayaking on the sea.

2.00     Requirements for the Level 3 Sea-Kayaking Skills Award

Strokes

2.01     Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, Emergency Stop.

2.02     Forward Sweep, Reverse Sweep and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep.

2.03     Draw Stroke

2.04     Sculling Draw

2.05     Sculling for Support

2.06     Low Brace

2.07     High Brace

2.08     Low Brace Turn

2.09     Stern Rudder

2.10     Bow Rudder

Techniques

2.11     Entry and Exit

2.12     Edging

2.13     paddling in a following wind, beam winds and head winds

2.14     Record and interpret a marine weather forecast

2.15     Paddling into, bracing and turning in small surf. ( 1 Foot)

2.16     Read a tide table to ascertain the time of high-water.

2.17     Capsize Drill in deep water, getting  back into kayak with assistance.

Rescues

2.18     Assisted X Rescue and an X Rescue

2.19     Eskimo Rescue

2.20     Eskimo Roll

Theory

2.21     Safety Rules

2.22     An understanding of staying with your boat in the event of a capsize at sea.

2.23     An understanding of the effects of the wind on the sea with particular reference to the danger of offshore winds.  The candidate should show an understanding of what is meant by a leeshore. dumping surf, riptides and tide races.

2.24      An understanding of good control (i.e. responding to various signals and commands)

2.25      An ability to recognize several of the significant flora and fauna in the seashore  environment.

3.00     Assessment for the Level 3 Sea-Kayaking Skills Award

3.01     During an assessment a participant must explain and demonstrate all techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 2 Kayak Skills Award. All techniques, skills and rescues must be demonstrated to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.

3.02     No part of an assessment may be taken in a swimming pool. All assessment criteria must be demonstrated outdoors on non-tidal waters in winds up to a limit of force three.

3.03     All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. low brace against a small breaking wave at a beach, and demonstrated on both sides of the kayak.

3.04     Generally, required assessment rescues will be kept until the end of an assessment.

3.05     The assessment is to be carried out with a maximum of four candidates to one assessor, however, a ratio of 3:1 is preferable.

3.06     It is recommended that the Level 3 Sea-Kayaking Skills Award be assessed by an Instructor other than the Instructor who has run the training course leading to the assessment.

3.07     Should a candidate fail the assessment guidelines should  given as to the areas that need to be improved

3.08     Generally all required assessment rescues will be kept until the end of an assessment.

3.09     Participants for this award must be at least 12 years of age.

 

 

 


                        Level 3 Sea Skills Award Guidelines

                        Strokes

Entry and Exit

Can be carried out with or without the use of paddles, depending on what is most appropriate to the situation.

Forward and Reverse Paddling

The correct seating position,  good trunk rotation, correct width of paddle grip, sufficient power to paddle against the current while the keeping the kayak straight.

Emergency Stop

Using forward and reverse paddling, stopping should be evident within 4 strokes.

Forward and Reverse Sweep Strokes

Candidates should demonstrate effective use of Sweep Strokes on slightly choppy seas.

Draw Stroke

Paddle near vertical, blade well covered, kayak moving in a straight line sideways for at least 5 metres. Top hand pushing while the lower hand is pulling.  The blade must remain in the water throughout. Good body rotation towards the paddling side should be evident.

Sculling Draw

Paddle off vertical, blade covered, kayak moving in a straight line sideways for at least 5 metres. Top hand pushing while the lower hand is pulling with an efficient blade angle. Long strokes while the kayak remains level.

Sculling for Support

Performed sitting upright with the kayak at a precarious angle. The paddle should be kept low with good solid sweeps and confident committal to paddle.

Low Brace Support

The kayak must be sufficiently tilted for water to reach the spraydeck. A good push down with the elbows above paddle and associated kneelift and hip rotation should be evident.

High Brace Support

The water must reach the paddler’s armpit, with good push down. Associated kneelift and hip rotation should be evident.  Paddle shaft no higher than chin level and arms flexed. Must be demonstrated both stationary and in small surf as appropriate.

Low Brace Turn

The Low Brace Turn should be demonstrated in small breaking waves (1 Foot) or in a slightly choppy sea as the conditions allows.

Edging

Demonstrate as a skill that assists in the turning of the kayak.

Stern Rudder

Performed while on the move, a push pull action should be exhibited as well as good trunk rotation.

Bow Rudder

In the Bow Rudder the paddler should show excellent posture and the kayak should turn effectively.


                        Techniques

Paddling in head beam and following winds.

Candidates must demonstrate that they can control their kayak in wind conditions up to Force 3.

Rescues

Candidates must act as rescuer and rescuee.

Eskimo Rescue

A confident capsize and banging of the hull with the rescuer moving in from a distance of 5 metres.  A first time recovery must follow but two attempts are allowed.  Rescuer should approach from the front, or back, of rescuee to lessen the risk to rescuee’s hand. Paddle or Bow Presentation method may be used.

Capsize Drill in Deep Water

This aspect must be demonstrated both as a rescuee and rescuer.

Weather Forecast

A candidate should be able to record that section of the Marine Forecast that is relevant to their geographical area.  They should be able to describe what conditions are to be expected on the sea in Forces of wind from 1 to 5. 

Surf Conditions

This aspect of the assessment involves a candidate demonstrating that they can control their kayak in sea conditions where there are small waves.  If there is no surf present on the day of assessment, sea conditions in up to Force 3 winds will suffice.  On no account should candidates by asked to paddle, as part of the assessment to paddle, in surf conditions with waves of greater than one foot.

High Tide

The candidate must simply demonstrate that they can ascertain what time high water is at the nearest standard port.  They may use newspaper, almanac or local tide guide to get this information.  The candidate is not expected to be familiar with secondary ports or how to work out tidal streams etc.

Eskimo Roll

 


1.00     General aims

The Level 4 Sea Kayaking Skills Award aims to ensure that successful candidates have sufficient skill and knowledge to competently and safely undertake sea journeys in moderate sea conditions as part of a group. As part of a group candidates will be:

·         Able to kayak safely and competently on the Sea up to and including force 4 conditions, including overfalls and tide races.

·         Be capable of negotiating obstacles likely to be encountered in such conditions.

·         Able to deal competently with rescue situations that might occur in these conditions.

·         Develop group awareness.

2.00     Course Outline

The course should cover all practical and theoretical elements of the syllabus, either over a weekend course or a number of individual days instruction.

While attendance at a course is normally necessary, exceptions to that rule are accepted based on the candidate's presentation of an extensive range of logged sea trips. Attendance at a course is strongly recommended. Before assessment the candidates must present their logged trips.

(See details of qualifying trips in Guidelines)

3.00     Requirements for the Level 4 Sea Kayaking Skills Award

To obtain the Level 4 Sea Kayaking Skills Award, a participant must successfully explain and/or demonstrate the following techniques and skills. It is recommended that practical skills and rescues are assessed in moderate sea conditions.

Moderate Sea Conditions Definition

It is important for the integrity of the award that techniques and skills outlined below be assessed in disturbed sea conditions. Candidates should be aware that certain skills cannot be tested if sea conditions are flat. Aspects of the assessment may subsequently be deferred if conditions are inappropriate.

4.00     Skills and techniques

4.01     An ability to control a kayak in following and beam seas.

4.02     an ability to deal with breaking waves.

4.03     efficient forward and backward paddling, turning into and away from the wind (360 degrees in both directions).

4.04     An ability to perform an Eskimo Rescue (Paddle Presentation).

4.05     an ability to perform an Eskimo Rescue

4.06     an ability to perform assisted landings on a variety of shores

4.07     an ability to efficiently perform 

4.08     Draw Strokes

4.09     Low Brace Support.

4.10     High Brace Support

4.11     Stern Rudder

4.12     Sculling Draw

4.13     Sweep Strokes

4.14     Low Brace Turn

4.15     Stops

4.16     High and Low Recovery Strokes

4.17     Bow Rudder

4.18     Hanging Draw

4.19     An effective X Rescue of a capsized kayak.

4.20     Effective Roll on any side in a moderate sea. Candidate will have to capsize through a full 360 degrees

4.21     An effective method of towing another kayak. Suitable towing method may be either single or multiple tows and utilise a variety of lengths.  The candidate should be familiar with the Fan and Tandem Tow. The Towing System must be readily accessible and have a quick release mechanism.

4.22     Transits. Transits are very important in sea kayaking. The candidates should be able to explain and demonstrate the use of transits up ahead, laterally and behind.

4.23     An ability to follow a compass bearing.

4.24     A basic knowledge of First Aid, to include the symptoms and treatment of exposure and an awareness of the technique of artificial resuscitation. It is recommended but not mandatory that the candidate attend a First Aid course such as REC3

4.25     An introductory knowledge of the coastal environment.

5.00     Theory

The candidate should demonstrate a basic knowledge of the following:

5.01     Tidal Streams, causes and effects and how to predict them.

5.02     Weather Forecasting, obtaining and understanding forecasts.

5.03     Sea Kayaks, equipment and clothing.

5.04     Sea Kayaking Camping Procedures.

5.05     Sea Kayaking Safety Procedures.

5.06     Sea Charts and Ordnance Survey maps

5.07     The effects of wind on sea conditions.

5.08     Navigation while at sea, including feature recognition, self-location, ability to route –plan to alternate locations such as escape route

6.00     Applying to attend a Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills Assessment

Before applying to attend an assessment, a candidate must

6.01     Have obtained the Level 3 Sea Kayak Skills award

6.02     Be a member of the ICU either as an individual member or as a member of an affiliated club.

6.03     Have unrestricted access to a fully equipped sea kayak, personal equipment and additional equipment (see Level 4 skills list of equipment)

6.04     Be a least 16 years of age

7.00     Format of Assessment

7.01     On the day of an assessment there will be a short written assessment followed by a sea trip.

7.02     The assessment trip will be of 3-4 hours duration and will include a lunch break. The Level 4 Skills as listed in the syllabus will be assessed on this trip.

7.03     The assessment must be taken at sea under moderate conditions.  Chart exercises with specified conditions and group parameters, these trips may be anywhere along the Irish Coast. No conferring is allowed.

7.04     Before setting off on the trip the candidate will be required to produce a route summary for the day based on information gleaned from the chart, tide tables, pilot and weather forecast. No conferring is allowed during this trip planning and it is recommended that each candidate come independently prepared with everything necessary to plan a trip.

Using waterproof bags each candidate must pack the following in their kayak:

·         Packed lunch

·         Flask

·         Emergency food/drink

·         Spare clothing

·         Bivvy Bag

·         First Aid Kit (to include, at a minimum, tape and something to    dry out a kayak)

·         Torch

·         Whistle

·         Flares (one red parachute flare and one red pinpoint flare)

·         Tow and Deck Lines Bailer/Sponge

·         Repair Kit

·         Spare paddles (can be shared between candidates)

·        

·         Charts (or copies of OS maps containing all relevant trip planning information)

·         Compass

·         Watch

·        

Recommended additional group equipment:

·         Kisu

·         VHF

·         Mobile Phone

·         Strobe

All equipment should be stored in a logical fashion with emergency equipment secure and allowing easy access at all times. Equipment must remain secure during rescues and spare clothing should be dry at the end of the day. The candidate must be fully conversant with the use of all equipment carried. It is not appropriate that the retrieval of emergency equipment should require assistance

                        Level 4 Sea-Kayaking Skills Award Guidelines

Qualifying Trips

On trips the candidate undertakes, no unnecessary risks should be taken and all necessary planning and preparations should be seen to have been taken. It is recommended that the candidates seek to gain his/her experience in a measured way and not attempt trips they haven't the experience for.

Details of four qualifying sea trips must be presented, along with an assessment approval by the ICU Training Officer, to the Assessor prior to commencement of assessment. At least one of the qualifying sea trips must be on the Atlantic coastline. The candidate must show active participation in navigation and planning of trips. Qualifying trips should be, at minimum, of three hours paddling duration and should include a lunch stop.

The candidate should seek to include trips in a logbook that includes the following categories:

·         Coastal trips with simple tidal considerations –it being necessary to identify which way the tide is running in order to plan the trip to take advantage of tides.

·         Coastal trips with a crux i.e. a trip where you wish to be at a specific location at a specific time to benefit from predicted tidal conditions.

·         Open crossings where knowledge of tidal streams is necessary.

In planning the above it is advised that initially the candidate make use of the many “sea meets” and that they paddle with more experienced paddlers until sufficiently competent /confident to begin logging their own trips. Sea Paddlers of varying experience seek Level 4 Sea Skills training and it is not always safe or appropriate that trainees immediately seek to paddle without competent leaders. It is necessary to seek the advice of the course organiser on this issue.

 

 


1.00     General aims of the Level 5 Sea Kayaking Skills Award

The purpose of the Level 5 Sea Skills course and assessment is to encourage, train and qualify sea kayakers wishing to lead others on advanced sea journeys.

The course also aims to provide the candidates with the necessary skills and knowledge to help develop sea kayaking and help promote awareness of safety procedures with the groups they lead.

2.00     Training Course

2.01     Completion of an approved Level 5 Kayak Sea Skills training course prior to assessment is a pre–requisite to assessment. 

2.02     The course aims to provide the candidates with the necessary skills and knowledge to help develop sea kayaking and help promote awareness of safety procedures with the groups they lead.

2.03     The course for the Level 5 Sea Skills may be held over one or two weekends.

3.00     Pre –Assessment Experience and Requirements

On presenting themselves for assessment it is recommended that a candidate would have a minimum of at least 20 trips of varying types and difficulty.  The candidate must show in their log book, evidence of having completed six quality kayaking trips (see notes on qualifying trips) in a variety of locations with no more than two on the East coast of Ireland. In addition, one other trip with at least one hour in darkness must be documented - this can take place in any section of the coast.

On the logged or additional trips, evidence of having been exposed to the following should be shown:

3.01     Open crossing of at least 7 miles, 3 miles of which should be one mile from the coast

3.02     Navigation in poor visibility

3.03     Wind of at least Force 4

3.04     Tidal Streams of at least 2 knots

3.05     Exposure to no landing zones

3.06     Overfalls and clapotis

3.07     One of the trips should include an overnight reached by carrying all the equipment in the kayaks. The camp should preferably be an island.

3.08     Surf landing and launching during a trip

3.01     There should be evidence of having undertaken trips of at least 20NM in a day or 30NM over a two day period.

It is expected that the candidate make safety a priority in the planning of the sea trips and that the candidate would seek to increase his/her experience by a measured approach. Proper attention to preparation and safety should be in evidence in the candidate's log.

Given that the advanced paddler will, in the course of their sea kayaking, be paddling and leading others with sea kayaks, it is essential that the assessment be undertaken in a sea kayak (a boat with bulkheads or other method of storing appropriate equipment for an overnight trip, usually over 14ft m equiv.).

The candidate must hold a current advanced First Aid certificate such as the REC 3 or equivalent.

4.00     Format for the Level 5 Sea-Kayaking Skills Assessment

4.01     The candidate will pack the kayak with suitable equipment for an overnight camp in preparation for a two-day journey. The assessment will be carried out with kayaks thus loaded and may include an overnight camp. The candidate must be prepared for the paddling to continue into darkness, and must be able to navigate their kayak in hours of darkness.

4.02     Flares must be easily accessible and the candidate must be conversant with the procedures for firing them.

4.03     The candidate must demonstrate an ability to keep a compass course on open water and make good a course across a tide stream using transits.  He/she must demonstrate an ability to take bearings on known features.

4.04     Candidates must demonstrate an ability to plan from a chart an alternative route to a safe landing whilst afloat on a journey, in the event of a change in weather or emergency, taking into consideration the tide stream.

4.05     The candidate must demonstrate an ability to effect successful landings and launchings in a variety of situations.  The ability to handle their kayak competently in 1-2 metres of surf including the full range of turning manoeuvres and rolling must be demonstrated in either breaking waves, tide races or overfalls.

The following skills must be demonstrated in an area of choppy water as these are the conditions in which they are most likely to be needed:

4.06     Capsize and exit from a kayak followed by a successful solo re entry and retreat to calmer water to bail out.  Rafted assistance may be given to empty out the kayak.

4.07     Demonstrate an Eskimo Roll after capsizing to the left and to the right and be able to roll both sides.

4.08     Tow a capsized casualty and kayak from an area of disturbed water into a calmer area for a rescue. The participant should be aware of the need for flexibility in towing and be able to drop and pick up the tow with ease. Towing demonstrations required may be single or multiple tows.

4.09     Show sufficient leadership skills under a variety of situations.

4.10     The group to be lead should be a minimum of a level 3 proficiency and be challenged appropriately during the trip. This group should not be a peer group except in exceptional situations (e.g. F7 or other eventuality). This needs to be discussed further (other comments welcome).

4.11     In order to challenge participants appropriately, the assessment should be in an appropriate venue and should be in venue unfamiliar to candidates where possible.

Whilst afloat, a candidate must demonstrate their ability to cope with problems of the following kind:

4.12     Repairing a holed kayak

4.13     Towing an incapacitated person. (e.g. dislocated shoulder)

4.14     Safely landing an injured paddler

4.15     Demonstrate an approved method of resuscitation

4.16     Produce spare paddles

4.17     Produce whistle, emergency food, and bivvy bag or preferably kissu

4.18     Deal with likely emergency situations or incidents.

4.19     Produce flares that are easily accessible.

4.20     Show an efficient and effective forward paddling technique.

4.21     Demonstrate an ability to manoeuvre and control a kayak in a variety of different situations. Paddling strokes are the same as those outlined in the level 4 sea proficiency

4.22     Exercise group control and show concern for the general welfare of other group members.

4.23     Demonstrate the capability to handle a range of incidents.

5.00     Theory

Answer questions on the following:

5.01     Repairs and maintenance of sea kayaks

5.02     General knowledge of sea kayaking, its history, kayak design and equipment.

5.03     Sea conditions and the effects of wind, particularly on: Shelving Bottoms, Lee Shore, Rips, Overfalls, Tide Races, causes of tides and tidal streams, how to allow for them, and the cause and effect of clapotis.

5.04     Weather forecasting from observation of cloud formation e.g. recognising approaching fronts and line squalls, and the means of obtaining and understanding weather forecasts.

5.05     Group Leadership and Control.

5.06     Estuary kayaking to include buoyage, understanding of chart symbols, light and sound signals, particular dangers such as moorings, moorings in tide ways, and movement of shipping.

5.07     The Irish coastline and marine environment.

6.00     Chartwork

6.01     Plan an advanced sea journey using an unfamiliar chart, pilot atlas, and tide tables.

6.02     A weather forecast will be given which may take the form of a shipping forecast.

6.03     The prepared journey should be summarised to a form whereby it may be simply explained to a group as instructions for a day's paddle.  Instructions should include the following information:

  • Estimated paddling speed, compass bearings, and times estimated allowances made for wind.
  • Tidal considerations.
  • Places of interest (scenic or seascape).
  • Transits for gauging progress.
  • Departure and estimated time of arrival.
  • Sound and light signals in the area.
  • Information for shore contact.
7.00     Lecture

7.01     As part of the assessment candidates will be given a 'lecturette' topic at least one week in advance, and will have to prepare a 10 minute lecture on this topic and answer any relevant questions those present.

8.00     Level 5 Sea Kayaking Skills Award Guidelines
  • It is necessary to hold the Level 4 Sea Skills award before applying for assessment.
  • All trips must be logged and sent to the Training Officer at least 14 days prior to the assessment.
  • Copy of approved First Aid Certificate ( REC 3 ) must also be sent to the Training Officer at least three weeks prior to the assessment.
  • The assessment should take place in a location where sea conditions are likely to be moderate i.e. choppy. All personal skills must be assessed under these conditions. If the conditions do not present themselves on the day reference may be made to logged experience. If possible an area with some tidal interest should be chosen.
9.00     Assessment Programme 

Evening 1     - Navigation Exercise and presentations

The navigation exercises will be for areas outside the assessment areas and have a time constraint. The exercise is to be an ‘exam type format’.

Day 2    Sea Trip

Navigation exercise for the trip. The trip may include a camp and go on beyond dark. This day should examine personal skills, equipment, safety and rescues. 

If the trip does not go into the night, then a night navigation exercise should follow.

Day 3 – Sea Trip

Group leadership day. Candidates will be required to plan a trip for a group and execute the planned trip and ancillary activity associated with the trip. This trip should challenge the group appropriately. The Assessor may have to have an input here in some situations.


Canoe Skills Awards

1.00     General Aims

The Level 2 Canoe Skills Award aims to enable participants to

1.01     Canoe safely and competently on water of Grade I difficulty.

1.02     Assist in basic rescues.

2.00     Requirements

To obtain the Level 2 Canoe Skills Award, a participant must successfully explain and/or demonstrate the following techniques and skills.

The participant should be capable of carrying out all the strokes in both double and solo canoe (where the stroke is relevant).

2.01     An understanding of the Basic Safety Rules of canoeing.

2.02     An ability to enter and exit a canoe correctly.

2.03     Forward Paddle.

2.04     Reverse Paddle.

2.05     Stopping.

2.06     An ability to turn the canoe through 360 degrees in both directions using a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep Strokes.

2.07     Simple Draw Stroke and Pry.

2.08     Brace.

2.09     Pry.

2.10     Capsize Drill.

2.11     X Rescue.

2.12     Knots.

3.00     Assessment

3.01     During an assessment all techniques/skills must be performed to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.

3.02     No part of an assessment may be taken in a swimming pool. All assessment criteria must be demonstrated outdoors on flat water (i.e. water of Grade I difficulty).

3.03     It may not be feasible for a junior or disabled person to assist fully in rescues - such candidates should, however, have a full understanding of the correct sequence of required rescues and have some role to play in the completion of the rescues.

3.04     All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. use of a simple draw stroke to manoeuvre the canoe to the bank. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the canoe.

3.05     The solo aspect of the assessment is to serve as an encouragement to the participants and further training is recommended where time and ability allows.

3.06     The strokes carried out in the canoe should be very competent.

3.07     The Sweep and Pry should ideally be carried out as a manoeuvre to move the canoe sideways to avoid an obstacle etc. in a small flow.

 

3.08     The assessment may be carried out with a maximum of six candidates to one assessor though four to one is preferable

3.09     Generally, guidelines will be given, should a candidate fail an assessment as to the areas that they need to improve on.

3.10     All required assessment rescues should be kept until the end of an assessment.

                        Level 2 Canoe Skills Award Guidelines

Enter and Exit

Using paddles across the thwarts for balance. For entering, stepping into the centre line, rear canoeist entering first should be demonstrated.

Forward Paddle

A Goon Stroke is sufficient for the solo canoe, some straying off course is permissible, but a straight line of at least 50 metres is required. Small use of Stern Rudder and Sweep permissible in both solo and double.

Reverse Paddle

Veering is permissible.

Stopping

Should occur in a straight line within four strokes.

Turn

Sweeps should not continue beyond the paddler in the direction of the centre of the canoe, and there should be a confident lean over the stroke. This will be assessed by trying to avoid an obstacle by moving sideways.

Simple Draw Stroke and Pry

The canoe should move sideways in a reasonably straight line. Roles to be reversed if demonstrated in double.

Brace

Horizontal loom extended beyond the gunnel.

Pry Turn

Under movement the canoe should be turned sharply using pry at the back of the canoe, and sweep at the front.

Capsize Drill

After capsizing, the canoe should be held and towed 10 metres to the bank where it should be emptied correctly.

X Rescue

To be carried out on a half full upright canoe.

Knots

A figure of eight and a round turn with two half hitches.

 

1.00     General Aims

The Level 3 Canoe Skills Award aims to enable participants to:

1.01     Canoe safely and competently on rivers up to and including of Grade II difficulty as a member of                a group being led.

1.02     Be capable of negotiating obstacles encountered on water of Grade II difficulty

1.03     Assist in basic rescues.

2.00     Requirements

To obtain the Level 3 Canoe Skills Award, a participant must successfully explain and demonstrate the following techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 2 Canoe Skills Award.

The participant should be capable of carrying out all the strokes in both double and solo canoe (where the stroke is relevant).

Strokes

2.01     Forward Paddle, a Forward J Stroke

2.02     Reverse Paddle, a Reverse J Stroke to be used in the solo

2.03     Emergency Stop

2.04     Cross Bow Sweep forward and reverse to be shown in solo

2.05     Draw Stroke and Pry

2.06        Bow Rudder

2.07     Cross Bow Rudder

2.08     Brace for Support

2.09     Stern Rudder

Techniques

2.10     Enter and Exit

2.11     Edging

2.12     Forward Ferry gliding

2.13     Reverse Ferry gliding

2.14     Breaking in and out

2.15     Knots

2.16     Capsize Drill

Rescues

2.17     X Rescue

2.18     Defensive Swimming

Theory

2.19     Safety Rules

2.20     Feature Recognition

2.21     Knowledge of wind effect on the canoe and trimming of the canoe for wind load and shooting rapids, i.e. weight at back for running with the wind, forward for heading into wind. Sitting towards centre in rapids/drops etc should be known.

2.22     An understanding of good control (i.e. responding to various signals and commands).

The ropes at either end of the canoe should be easily accessible during the trip, but should not be able to wrap around the participant's legs whilst they are in the canoe.

3.00     Applying to attend an Assessment

Before applying to attend a Level 3 Canoe Skills Assessment, a candidate must

3.01     Be at least 12 years of age.

4.00     Assessment

4.01     During assessment candidates must demonstrate all techniques/skills at a skills level

4.02     higher than that required for the Level 2 Canoe Skills Award. All techniques and skills

4.03     must be performed to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.

4.04     All assessment criteria must be demonstrated on Grade II water as part of a river trip.

4.05     It is recommended that the Level 3 Canoe Skills Award is assessed by an Instructor other than the Instructor who has run the training course leading to the assessment.

4.06     The Level 3 Canoe Skills Award can only be assessed by a Level 3 Open Canoe Instructor.

4.07     The assessment to be carried out with a maximum of four open canoes to one assessor

4.08     All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations and demonstrated on both sides of the canoe.

4.09     Guidelines should  be given as to the areas that need to be improved upon should a candidate fail in a debrief session after the assessment.

4.10     Generally all required assessment rescues will be kept until the end of an assessment.

                        Level 3 Canoe Skills Award Guidelines

Forward Paddle, a Forward J Stroke

To be demonstrated in the single canoe with only a small amount of veering, near vertical paddle shaft

Reverse Paddle, a Reverse J Stroke

To be used in the solo

Emergency Stop

The paddle can cross the canoe in order to stop the canoe veering when solo

Cross Bow Sweep

Forward and reverse sweeps to be carried out confidently with a full extension of the paddle away

rom the canoe and the handle of the paddle at the gunnel

Draw Stroke and Pry

To be used in moving water to avoid obstacles while keeping the canoe in a straight line

Bow Rudder

To be demonstrated in break out and break in manoeuvres

Cross Bow Rudder

The beginnings of this stroke should be evident on flat water, taking care not to over rotate the body

Bracing

Will be assessed as part of your canoe handling in Grade II rapids

Edging

To be shown as part of a Breaking In and Breaking Out manoeuvre.

Stern Rudder

Used to compensate at the stern of a double or for maintaining direction. Gunnel can be used for lever

Forward Ferry gliding (facing upriver)

Candidates must ferryglide in a straight line between two selected points on the river

Reverse Ferry gliding (facing downriver)

Can commence in the mid stream rather than from a breakout

Breaking In and Out

May be carried out using many of the above strokes, confident strokes with edging and leaning Should be evident

Knots

An ability to tie a round turn and two half hitches, and clove hitch.

Capsize Drill

An attempt should be made in Grade II water to bring the canoe to the bank and if unsuccessful should form the basis for assessment rescue.

X Rescue

To be carried out in a double canoe with the other canoe to be fully flooded and upside down, the rescuees can assist. All participants should act as rescuer and rescuee

Defensive Swimming

Participants must fully understand the technique and its uses i.e swimming on your back feet downstream, with knees flexed and using arms and legs to move sideways

 


1.00     General Aims

The Level 4 Open Canoe Skills Award aims to enable participants to:

1.01     Canoe safely and competently on rivers up to and including rivers of Grade II–III difficulty

1.02     Be capable of leading and negotiating obstacles encountered on water of Grade II–III difficulty

1.03     Be capable of executing efficiently, effectively and safely certain rescues as required during the Level 4 Open Canoe Skills Assessment

1.04     Develop group awareness

1.05     The Level 4 Canoe Skills Award is a pre-requisite for progression to Level 3 Canoe Instructor.  The Level 3 Canoe Instructor is the appropriate qualification for those wishing to teach others on Grade II water.

2.00     Applying to attend a Level 4 Open Canoe Skills Assessment

Before applying to attend an assessment, a candidate must

2.01     Have obtained the Level 3 Open Canoe Skills Certificate

2.02     Be a member of the ICU either as an individual member or as a member of an affiliated club.

2.03     Have unrestricted access to a fully equipped open canoe, personal equipment and additional equipment (see Level 4 skills list of equipment)

2.04     Be a least 16 years of age

3.00     Requirements

During assessment, a participant must successfully explain and demonstrate the following techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 3 Open Canoe skills award and be capable of demonstrating any combination of the strokes competently and efficiently:

Strokes

3.01     Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle and Emergency Stop

3.02     All Sweep strokes, including Outside Pivot Turn and Inside Pivot Turn.

3.03     Trim

3.04     Bow Rudder, Cross Bow Rudder, Stern Rudder.

3.05     Bow Jam

3.06     Recovery Strokes

3.07     Draw, Sculling Draw Strokes

3.08     Defensive Swimming

Techniques

3.09     An ability to use water conditions available for the effective and efficient manoeuvring of an Open Canoe

3.10     Competence in negotiating water obstructions i.e. Standing Waves, Stoppers during the course of a trip

3.11     Competence in negotiating bends where water flows under trees or against vertical  river bank

3.12     A working knowledge of positive group discipline for the duration of a river trip

3.13     Forward Ferry Gliding (facing upriver)

3.14     Reverse Ferry Gliding (facing downriver)

3.15     Breaking in accurately

3.16     Breaking out accurately

Rescues and Safety Techniques

3.17     Assisted X and/or X Rescue

3.18     Self Rescue

3.19     Deep Water Rescue of an incapacitated paddler

3.20     Curl Rescue

3.21     Rescue and Tow

3.22     An ability to use a Throw Rope to rescue a swimmer

3.23     Possess an approved current First Aid Certificate

Theory

3.24     An understanding of the following

3.25     River Grading

3.26     River Route finding

3.27     Types of Open Canoes and Paddles

3.28     Towing systems and methods

3.29     Group control and awareness

3.30     Signals and Commands

3.31     Personal Equipment

                        Assessment Format

  • The assessment will take place during a river trip of at least three miles on water of Grade II–III difficulty.
  • During assessment candidates must demonstrate all techniques/skills at a skills level higher than that required for the Level 3 Open Canoe skills award in order to achieve this award.  All techniques, skills and rescues must be demonstrated and assessed to the required level in order to achieve this award.
  • It is recommended that, the Level 4 Open Canoe skills Award is assessed by an Instructor other than the Instructor who has run the training course leading to the assessment.  Notwithstanding this, a Level 4 Skills Award can only be assessed by a member of the Level 4 Open Canoe Skills Assessment Panel.
  • The candidate assessor ratio should be a maximum of 4:1
  • All strokes and techniques must be demonstrated on both sides of the Open Canoe and in relevant situations.
  • All rescues must be executed by the candidate acting as both rescuee and rescuer.  Generally the required assessment rescues will be kept until the end of the assessment river trip
  • Clear guidelines should be given in writing should the candidate fail an assessment as to the areas they need to improve on.

 

  • While it is not compulsory to attend a training course prior to assessment, it is strongly recommended.
  • No other award may be assessed at the same time as the Level 4 Open Canoe Skills Award

 

 


                        Equipment required

A properly equipped Open Canoe must include

  • Suitable Buoyancy
  • End Grabs
  • Sufficient length of painters
  • Method of securing paddles

Personal equipment must include:

  • Paddles
  • Wetsuit or sufficient thermal clothing
  • Buoyancy Aid
  • Cagoule
  • Canoe booties or adequate footwear
  • Where the candidate is not secured into the canoe, helmets are not compulsory and are worn at the discretion of the candidate.
  • Where the candidate is secured into the Canoe helmets are compulsory.

Equipment must also include

  • Towing system
  • Throw Rope
  • Bivvy bag or equivalent
  • First aid kit
  • Repair kit
  • Spare paddle
  • Spare dry clothes
  • Flask and emergency food
  • Waterproof bag or other method of keeping equipment dry
  • Whistle

 


This award is designed for Open Canoeists wishing to develop advanced paddling and rescue techniques appropriate to Grade III+ water.  It is an appropriate award for Open Canoeists who paddle with others of Level 4 or higher ability on Level III+ rivers.

The Level 5 Canoe Skills Award is a pre-requisite for progression to Level 4 Canoe Instructor.  The Level 4 Canoe Instructor is the appropriate qualification for those wishing to teach others on Grade III+ water.

1.00     General aims

The Level 5 Canoe Skills Award aims to enable candidates to

1.01     Develop the necessary skills and group awareness and management to paddle safely and proficiently on rivers up to and including rivers of Grade III+ difficulty.

1.02     Deal competently with rescue situations, which might occur, on rivers up to and including rivers of Grade III + difficulty.

1.03     Deal competently with First Aid situations in the river environment.

2.00     Training Course Outline

The Level 5 Canoe Skills Award requires that a candidate attend training programme and a two-day assessment. The general course outline is as follows

 

1.

Methods of River Leading

 

2.

River Reading

 

3.

Canoeing Equipment for White Water Leading

 

4.

Management of a Rescue Situation

 

5.

Rescues from a Canoe

 

6.

Use of a Throw Rope

 

7.

Rope Rescues

 

8.

Protection against Hazards

 

9.

First Aid in the River Environment

 

10.

Resuscitation in the River Environment

 

11.

Trip Planning

 

12.

A River Trip on a minimum of Grade II/III water leading a group under the supervision of a Level 4 Open Canoe Instructor

Skills Award.

 

13.

Assessment Procedures

 

3.00     Applying to attend a Training Course

Before applying to attend a Level 5 Canoe Skills Course, a candidate must

3.01     Hold a Level 4 Canoe Skills Award.

3.02     Have unrestricted access to a suitable Canoe and the necessary equipment. (See Canoe Skills List of Equipment)

3.03     Have registered, with the ICU Office, as a Level 5 Trainee

3.04     Be at least 18 years of age at the time of application.

4.00     Applying to attend an Assessment

Candidates wishing to be assessed for the Level 5 Canoe Skills Award must

4.01     Attend a Level 5 Canoe Skills an approved training programme.

4.02     Complete training in the two consecutive years preceding an assessment.

4.03     Complete at least 20 hours of varied river experience on the water under the supervision of two Level 4 Canoe Instructors. This requirement can only be completed following participation in a full Level 5 Canoe Skills training programme.

4.04     In addition to 4.03 the candidate must provide documentary evidence of a range of river trips.  These must show experience of low/medium volume rivers as well as technical rivers.  Such experience must have been gained over a minimum of three years’ white water paddling, showing a bias towards ‘wild rivers’.  Wholly artificial courses and weirs would not count towards the evidence

4.05     Have a REC 3 First Aid Certificate or equivalent

4.06     Be at least 18 years of age

4.07     A candidate will only be invited to attend an assessment on the satisfactory completion of a logbook detailing all the above compulsory requirements for the Level 5 Canoe Skills Award.

5.00     Format of the Level 5 Canoe Skills Assessment

5.01     The Level 5 Canoe Skills assessment will take the format of a

  • personal skills test
  • river trip of 3 - 5 miles on a minimum of Grade III+ water
  • test of white water rescue techniques and deep water rescues
  • written test
  • oral and practical First Aid and AR test as applied in remote canoeing  environment
  • interview

As part of the Level 5 Canoe Skills Assessment, a candidate will be expected to

5.02     Demonstrate all techniques/skills at a skills level higher than that required for the Level 4 Kayak Skills Award and of a standard comparable with the techniques/skills necessary to paddle competently on water of Grade II to III+.

5.03     Demonstrate a thorough of knowledge of safety precautions and procedures to be adopted while paddling with a group on water of Grade III+.

5.04     Demonstrate an ability to assess any group's competence to deal with conditions likely to be encountered on water of Grade III+.

5.05     Demonstrate an ability to command trust from a group of peers.

5.06     Demonstrate the necessary communications skills on water of Grade III+.

5.07     Deal with rescue situations that are likely to occur on water of Grade III+.

5.08     Be capable of knowing where on the river a group is at any time and have sufficient knowledge of the river's environs.

5.09     Demonstrate an ability to read white water to a high standard.

5.10     Present a suitable and correctly fitted out canoe and other appropriate personal equipment (See Level 5 Canoe Skills List of Equipment). It would be expected that a candidate's equipment would be of a standard consistent with the responsibilities of paddling with others on Grade III+ rivers. Examination of equipment will form part of the overall assessment.

                        List of Equipment required for the Level 5 Canoe Skills Assessment

A properly equipped Open Canoe must include

  • Suitable Buoyancy
  • End Grabs
  • Sufficient length of painters
  • Method of securing paddles

Personal equipment must include:

  • Paddles
  • Wetsuit or sufficient thermal clothing
  • Buoyancy Aid
  • Cagoule
  • Canoe booties or adequate footwear
  • Helmet for Moving water work

Equipment must also include

  • Towing system
  • Throw Rope
  • Bivy bag or equivalent
  • First aid kit
  • Repair Kit  
  • Waterproof Bag or other method of keeping equipment dry
  • Spare paddle
  • Spare dry clothes
  • Flask and emergency food
  • Waterproof bag or other method of keeping equipment dry
  • Whistle
  • Knife
  • Torch
  • Karabiners x 2
  • Slings x 2
  • Prussic Loop  
  • Map
  • Mobile phone

The candidate’s personal and group kit will be evaluated.  Candidates must present with suitable personal equipment, plus any additional equipment deemed to be appropriate to support other paddlers in the group.  Equipment should reflect such things as the season, the ability of his/her peers and the difficulty of the waters to be paddled.  Borrowed equipment will be assessed as if it were the candidates own.  The candidate should be aware that on the level of water being paddled, having too much equipment can be nearly as hazardous as having too little.

                        Level 5 Canoe Skills Award Guidelines

All assessments must receive prior approval by the ICU Training Officer

  • It is recommended that the Level 5 Canoe Skills Award is assessed by an Instructor other than the Instructor who has run the training course leading to the assessment. Notwithstanding this, a Level 5 Canoe Skills Award can only be assessed by a member of the Level 5 Canoe Skills Assessment Panel
  • Candidates cannot depend on any assistance (material or practical) during the course of the assessment.
  • No other award may be assessed at the same time as the Level 5 Canoe Skills Award.
  • Clear guidelines will be given in writing should a candidate fail an assessment as to the areas that they need to improve on. 
  • The candidate/assessor ratio should be a maximum of 4:2

Sit on Top Skills Awards

1.00     General aims

The Sit-on-Top Flat Water Skills Award aims to enable participants to:-

1.01     Paddle safely and competently on a Sit-on-Top on sheltered flat water as a member of a group being led
1.02     Assist in basic flat water rescues.
1.03     Develop further participation in canoeing.
2.00     Requirements

Participant must successfully demonstrate the following techniques and skills

2.01     An understanding of the Basic Safety Rules of canoeing.
2.02     An understanding of the correct use of Sit-on-Top back rests and knee straps.
2.03     An ability to Mount and Dismount a Sit-on-Top correctly from the bank.
2.04     Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, and Stop.  
2.05     An ability to turn while stationary using Forward Sweep Stroke, Reverse Sweep Stroke and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep Strokes.
2.06     Simple Draw Stroke.
2.07     A water based Capsize Drill and dismount from the Sit-on-Top
2.08     Self rescue following a capsize drill, including righting the Sit-on-Top and completing a water based remount.
3.00     Assessment
3.01     During an assessment all techniques and skills must be demonstrated to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.
3.02     No part of an assessment can be taken in a swimming pool. All assessment criteria must be demonstrated outdoors on flat water (i.e. water of Grade I difficulty).
3.03     It may not be feasible for a junior or disabled person to assist fully in the self rescue - such candidates should, however, have a full understanding of the correct sequence of each of the required rescues and have some role to fulfil in the completion of these rescues.
3.04     All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. use of a simple draw stroke to manoeuvre the Sit-on-Top to the bank. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the Sit-on-Top.
3.05     The Sit-on-Top Flat Water Skills Award is not a compulsory pre requisite for any subsequent Irish Canoe Union skills awards.
3.06     No age restriction applies to this award.

                        Assessment Guidelines

·         The Sit-on-Top Flat Water Skills Award can only be assessed by a currently registered ICU Kayak Instructor who is at minimum a Level 2 Kayak Instructor.

·         The assessment will be carried out with a maximum of six candidates to one assessor. However, a ratio of 4:1 is preferable.

·         All required assessment rescues are kept until the end of an assessment.

·         Generally guidelines will be given, should a candidate fail an assessment, as to the areas that they need to improve on.

                        Notes for Sit-on-Top Flat Water Skills Awards

Safety Rules of Canoeing

·        You must be able to swim.

·        You must always wear a CE approved buoyancy aid.

·        You must always ensure that the Sit-on-Top has adequate buoyancy.

·        You must never canoe alone.

Mount and Dismount

Mount and dismount with or without the use of a paddle is acceptable, depending on what is most appropriate to the situation.

Forward Paddling

Some directional instability is allowed for. This should not include complete loss of forward movement or continuous veering from side to side, aiming for a point/gap as a task.

Reverse Paddling

Some directional instability is allowed for. This should not include complete loss of reverse movement or continuous veering from side to side.  A wider stroke than that used for forward paddling is permissible.

Stopping

Stopping should occur in a straight line allowing some leeway, but not veering from side to side. Ability to stop should be demonstrated while paddling forward and in reverse.

Forward Sweep Stroke

There should be full arm extension. The sweep should be initiated at the front of the Sit-on-Top and continued to stern with trunk rotation evident.

Reverse Sweep Stroke

Trunk rotation to place paddle in the water at stern should be evident. There should be continuous sweep to the front of the Sit-on-Top as the trunk unwinds. There should be full arm extension throughout.

Draw Stroke

The paddle should remain in the water throughout. Some slight bow or stern swing is acceptable.  An ability to maintain the paddle shaft vertical, should be evident. Some body rotation towards the paddling side should be evident.

Capsize Drill

The water based capsize and dismount from the Sit-on-Top should be carried out in water of sufficient depth adjacent to the shore/bank. This should be followed by a self rescue, righting the overturned Sit-on-Top and mounting it from one of the extremities (horse style).  The paddle should be retained.  The instructor may help in capsizing the Sit-on-Top.

Sit-on-Top River Skills

1.00     General aims

The Sit-on-Top River Skills Award aims to enable participants to

1.01     Paddle safely and competently on rivers up to and including Grade II rivers as a member of a group being led.

1.02     Be capable of negotiating obstacles likely to be encountered on Grade II rivers.

1.03     Assist in rescues.

1.04     Become more proficient in canoesport

2.00     Requirements

Participants must successfully explain and demonstrate the following techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Sit-on-Top Flat Water Skills Award.

Strokes

2.01     Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, Stopping.

2.02     Forward Sweep, Reverse Sweep and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep.

2.03     Draw Stroke

2.04     Low Brace

2.05     Stern Rudder

Techniques

2.06     Mount & Dismount

2.07     Tilting

2.08     Ferry Gliding

2.09     Breaking In

2.10     Breaking Out

2.11     Capsize Drill

Rescues

2.12     Self rescue following a capsize drill in deep water, including righting the Sit-on-Top and completing a water based remount without assistance.

2.13     Assisted Rescue and Self Rescue.

2.14     Using a throw bag to rescue a swimmer, both as rescuer and swimmer.

Theory

2.15     Knowledge of Safety Rules

2.16     An understanding of the use of Offensive & Defensive Swimming

2.17     An understanding of Eddies, Standing Waves, V Waves, Stoppers, and Easy River Routes i.e. the main flow down a Grade II rapid

2.18     An understanding of good control (i.e. responding to various signals and commands)

3.00     Assessment

3.01     During an assessment a participant must explain and demonstrate all techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Sit-on-Top Flat Water Skills Award. All techniques, skills and rescues must be demonstrated to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.

3.02     No part of an assessment can be taken in a swimming pool. All assessment criteria must be demonstrated outdoors on water of Grade II difficulty as part of a river trip.

3.03     All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e ferry gliding across a flow. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the Sit-on-Top.

3.04     Generally, required assessment rescues will be kept until the end of an assessment.

3.05     Participants for this award must be at least 12 years of age.

                        Assessment Guidelines

·         It is recommended that a Sit-on-Top River Skills Award is assessed by a Instructor other than the Instructor who ran the training course leading to assessment

·         The Sit-on-Top River Skills Award can only be assessed by a currently registered ICU Instructor who is, at minimum , a Level 3 Kayak Instructor

·         The assessment can be carried out with a maximum of six candidates to one assessor, however, a ratio of 4:1 is preferable.

·         Generally guidelines will be given, should a candidate fail an assessment, as to the areas that they need to improve on.


                        Notes for Sit-on-Top River Skills Awards

Safety Rules of Canoeing

·         You must be able to swim.

·         You must always wear a CE approved buoyancy aid.

·         You must always ensure that the Sit-on-Top has adequate buoyancy.

·         You must never canoe alone.

Mount & Dismount

Can be carried out with or without the use of paddles, depending on what is most appropriate to the situation.

Forward & Reverse Paddling

The correct seating position, good trunk rotation, correct width of paddle grip, sufficient power to paddle against the current while the keeping the Sit-on-Top straight.

Some directional instability is allowed for. This should not include complete loss of forward movement or continuous veering from side to side, aiming for a point/gap as a task.

Stopping

Stopping should occur in a straight line allowing some leeway, but not veering from side to side. Ability to stop should be demonstrated while paddling forward and in reverse.

Forward & Reverse Sweep Stroke

Candidates should demonstrate effective use of Sweep Strokes. There should be good arm extension throughout. Good trunk rotation should be evident. 

Draw Stroke

Paddle near vertical, blade well covered, Sit-on-Top moving in a straight line sideways for at least 5 metres. The blade must remain in the water throughout. Good body rotation towards the paddling side should be evident.

Low Brace Support

The participant must be sufficiently tilting the Sit-on-Top for water to reach the top side of the boat. A good push down with the elbows above paddle and associated hip rotation should be evident.

Tilting

Demonstrate as a skill that assists in the turning of the Sit-on-Top.

Stern Rudder

Performed while on the move, a push pull action should be exhibited as well as good trunk rotation.

Capsize Drill

The water based capsize and dismount from the Sit-on-Top should be carried out in water of sufficient depth adjacent to the shore/bank. This should be followed by a self rescue, righting the overturned Sit-on-Top and mounting it from one of the extremities (horse style).  The paddle should be retained.  The instructor may help in capsizing the Sit-on-Top.


Sit-on-Top Sea Skills

1.00     General aims

The Sit-on-Top Sea Skills Award aims to enable participants to

1.01     Paddle safely and competently on the sea as a member of a group being led.

1.02     Paddle competently in following winds, head winds and beams winds of up to force three.

1.03     Assist in rescues.

1.04     Have an understanding of the importance of weather as a factor in paddling a Sit-on-Top on the sea.

2.00     Requirements for the Sit-on-Top Sea Skills Award

Strokes

2.01     Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle, stopping.

2.02     Forward Sweep, Reverse Sweep and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep.

2.03     Draw Stroke

2.04     Low Brace

2.05     Stern Rudder

Techniques

2.06     Mount & Dismount

2.07     Tilting

2.08     Paddling in a following wind, beam winds and head winds

2.09     Paddling into, bracing and turning in small surf. (1 Foot)

2.10     Capsize Drill

Rescues

2.11     Self rescue following a capsize drill in deep water, including righting the Sit-on-Top and completing a water based remount without assistance.

2.12     Assisted Rescue and Self Rescue.

Theory

2.13     Knowledge of Safety Rules

2.14     Record and interpret a marine weather forecast

2.15     Read a tide table to ascertain the time of high-water.

2.16     An understanding of staying with your boat in the event of a capsize at sea.

2.17     An understanding of the effects of the wind on the sea with particular reference to the danger of offshore winds.  The candidate should show an understanding of what is meant by a leeshore. dumping surf, riptides and tide races.

2.18      An understanding of good control (i.e. responding to various signals and commands)

2.19      An ability to recognize several of the significant flora and fauna in the seashore  environment.

3.00     Assessment for the Sit-on-Top Sea Skills Award

3.01     During an assessment a participant must explain and demonstrate all techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Sit-on-Top Flat Water Skills Award. All techniques, skills and rescues must be demonstrated to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.

3.02     No part of an assessment may be taken in a swimming pool. All assessment criteria must be demonstrated outdoors on non-tidal waters in winds up to a limit of force three.

3.03     All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. low brace against a small breaking wave at a beach, and demonstrated on both sides of the Sit-on-Top.

3.04     Generally, required assessment rescues will be kept until the end of an assessment.

3.05     Participants for this award must be at least 12 years of age.

                        Assessment Guidelines

·         It is recommended that a Sit-on-Top Sea Skills Award is assessed by a Instructor other than the Instructor who ran the training course leading to assessment.

·         The Sit-on-Top Sea Skills Award can only be assessed by a currently registered ICU Instructor who is, at minimum , a Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor.

·         The assessment is to be carried out with a maximum of four candidates to one assessor, however, a ratio of 3:1 is preferable.

·         Should a candidate fail the assessment guidelines should  given as to the areas that need to be improved on.

 

 


                        Notes for Sit-on-Top Sea Skills Awards

Safety Rules of Canoeing

·         You must be able to swim.

·         You must always wear a CE approved buoyancy aid.

·         You must always ensure that the Sit-on-Top has adequate buoyancy.

·         You must never canoe alone.

Mount & Dismount

Can be carried out with or without the use of paddles, depending on what is most appropriate to the situation.

Forward and Reverse Paddling

The correct seating position, good trunk rotation, correct width of paddle grip, sufficient power to paddle against the current while the keeping the Sit-on-Top straight.

Some directional instability is allowed for. This should not include complete loss of forward movement or continuous veering from side to side, aiming for a point/gap as a task.

Stopping

Using forward and reverse paddling, stopping should be evident within 4 strokes.

Forward and Reverse Sweep Strokes

Candidates should demonstrate effective use of Sweep Strokes on slightly choppy seas. There should be good arm extension throughout. Good trunk rotation should be evident. 

Draw Stroke

Paddle near vertical, blade well covered, Sit-on-Top moving in a straight line sideways for at least 5 metres. The blade must remain in the water throughout. Good body rotation towards the paddling side should be evident.

Sculling Draw

Paddle near vertical, blade covered, Sit-on-Top  moving in a straight line sideways for at least 5 metres. Long strokes with efficient blade angle while the Sit-on-Top  remains level.

Low Brace Support

The participant must be sufficiently tilting the Sit-on-Top for water to reach the top side of the boat. A good push down with the elbows above paddle and associated hip rotation should be evident.

Tilting

Demonstrate as a skill that assists in the turning of the Sit-on-Top.

Stern Rudder

Performed while on the move, a push pull action should be exhibited as well as good trunk rotation.

Bow Rudder

In the Bow Rudder the paddler should show excellent posture and the Sit-on-Top should turn effectively.

Capsize Drill

The water based capsize and dismount from the Sit-on-Top should be carried out in water of sufficient depth adjacent to the shore/bank. This should be followed by a self rescue, righting the overturned Sit-on-Top and mounting it from one of the extremities (horse style).  The paddle should be retained.  The instructor may help in capsizing the Sit-on-Top.

Paddling in head beam and following winds.

Candidates must demonstrate that they can control their Sit-on-Top in wind conditions up to Force 3.

Rescues

Candidates must act as rescuer and rescuee.

Weather Forecast

A candidate should be able to record that section of the Marine Forecast that is relevant to their geographical area.  They should be able to describe what conditions are to be expected on the sea in Forces of wind from 1 to 5. 

Surf Conditions

This aspect of the assessment involves a candidate demonstrating that they can control their Sit-on-Top in sea conditions where there are small waves.  If there is no surf present on the day of assessment, sea conditions in up to Force 3 winds will suffice.  On no account should candidates by asked to paddle, as part of the assessment, in surf conditions with waves of greater than one foot.

High Tide

The candidate must simply demonstrate that they can ascertain what time high water is at the nearest standard port.  They may use newspaper, almanac or local tide guide to get this information.  The candidate is not expected to be familiar with secondary ports or how to work out tidal streams etc.