Race Rules

  1. The Liffey Descent is run under the auspices of the Irish Canoe Union Ltd and the ICU Board of Management.
  2. The Irish Canoe Union will appoint a Race Director to manage, develop, and promote the Descent.
  3. The Liffey Descent will not be bound by ICF or ICU Marathon Racing Rules.
  4. The Descent will be run under the General Liffey Descent Rules and such rules as the Race Director decides to implement to ensure the safe and successful organisation of the Descent. The Race Director may make a ruling at any time and on any matter not specifically covered under the General Liffey Descent Rules prior or during the Descent. Any such rulings will be contained in the Pre- Race Notes or will be announced at the Start.
  5. The Race Director reserves the right to accept or reject any entry if in the opinion of the Race Director the entrant is ineligible or incompetent to participate in the Descent.
  6. The Race Director’s decisions relating to classes, dimensions, type of craft, non-acceptance of an entry, etc. will be considered final subject to the right of appeal to the ICU Board of Management.
  7. All entrants must be currently registered as members of the Irish Canoe Union or currently registered members of a recognised National Canoeing Federation. Proof of membership of a National Federation will be require when collecting a Race Bib.
  8. No entry will be accepted unless submitted on an Official Entry Form.
  9. The total number of entrants allowed to participate in the Descent will be 1,000. The Race Director will be empowered, if deemed necessary in the interests of safety, or otherwise, to limit the number of entrants in specific classes and if this right is implemented, to accept entries in order of receipt of entry form.
  10. By submission of an Official Entry Form it is considered that entrants and support crews are acquainted with the General Liffey Descent Rules and rules that may be included in the Pre Race Notes. In consideration of an application of a penalty it will not be considered a defence, excuse, or mitigating factor that an entrant or support crew member was unaware of the existence of a rule.
  11. Entrants must compete in a craft comparable to the class indicated on a submitted entry form and start the race within the selected class. For example, an entrant indicating Mens Wild Water Racer on an entry form must compete in a Wild Water Racer and start in the Mens Wild Water Racer Start.
  12. All competitors must comply with the spirit and intent of the Liffey Descent. The following, though not exclusively, by competitors or support crews may result in a penalty up to and including disqualification:
    • Non compliance with the General Liffey Descent Rules or such rules as may be decided by the Race Director from time to time
    • Failure to obey reasonable requests from a Descent Official
    • Interfering with other competitors’ craft
    • Illegal assistance
    • Failure of equipment to comply with scrutineering
    • Interference with the operation of the Rescue Teams
    • Failure to render assistance in an emergency situation
    • Acting in a manner detrimental to other competitors.
  13. In the event of a capsize competitors may be assisted from the water and receive assistance in emptying their craft in preparing for re-entering the race but may not be progressed in any other way.
  14. Assistance may not be received by any competitor at any portage.
  15. A competitor with a lower handicap may by prior agreement with the Race Director receive assistance from designated helpers at any portage.
  16. Any competitor may receive assistance from supporters in the matter of First Aid, sustenance, change of clothing, help with repairs, replacement of faulty or damaged equipment including paddles, but not the replacement of the craft itself.
  17. Washing hanging or receiving assistance from any craft not in the race is not permitted.
  18. To ensure adequate safety cover, competitors arriving later than the designated times as detailed in the Pre Race Notes at Leixlip Portage or Wren’s Nest Weir will be considered to have retired from the race as Rescue Support will have been withdrawn at the times specified in the Pre Race Notes.
  19. Any competitor withdrawing from the race for any reason should notify a Race Official at the Finish as soon as possible.
  20. The Descent  will be deemed finished at 5:30 pm. All Rescue Support and Time Keeping will cease at this time. Any competitor arriving at the Finish after 5:30pm will not be timed and will not appear in the final results.
  21. Any competitor seeing another competitor in real danger is compelled to render all assistance possible. Failure to do so may result in disqualification for life.
  22. Interference by any competitor or support crew member with the Rescue Teams or the safe operation of the Descent is liable to immediate expulsion from the race and possible disqualification for life.
  23. All competitors must ensure that their allocated Race Numbers and the Descent Logo are clearly visible both on their Race Bibs and on the front of their craft.
  24. Approved lifejackets/buoyancy aids must be worn by all competitors.
  25. Approved helmets must be worn by all Down River/Wild Water Racers, Open Singles, Touring Kayak Doubles, Touring Canadians. Helmets are highly recommended to be worn in all other classes.
  26. Scrutineering will take place between 10:00 am and 11:30 am in the Descent Car Park in Straffan. Competitors failing to present their craft and equipment for scrutineering will not be allowed into the Start Area.
  27. On the day of the Descent, the right to protest lies solely with a competitor who may consider themselves aggrieved or affected by any decision or action by an official, competitor or other person connected with the Descent except that there will be no right to protest against a refusal of entry.
  28. Nothing in Rule 27 will affect or prejudice the right and duty of any official, acting in an official capacity, to take such action as may be deemed proper in any circumstances regardless of whether a protest has been lodged.
  29. Protests should be lodged in writing as soon as possible after the occurrence but in any case not later than 5:30 pm on the day of the Descent directly to the Race Director.
  30. All protests will be heard and adjudicated on by a Protest Committee consisting of the Race Director.
  31. The hearing of a protest will take place as soon as practicable after the lodging of a protest. All parties will be given adequate notice of the time and place of the hearing of the protest.
  32. It is expected that all parties affected by a decision of the Protest Committee will agree to be bound by the decision of the Protest Committee. The decision of the Protest Committee will be considered final, however, a right to appeal to the ICU Board of Management may exist and this right will comply with the Appeals Procedures of the Irish Canoe Union.
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