Race Format Guide

Mid Distance Technical Race

We aim for this to be the first race of the day at a N1SCO event. It is a multiple lap course where everyone races together and is around 1500m – 2000m in length. The course is a little like a Slalom course where there will be multiple buoy turns. A relatively short race it gives a chance for newer paddlers to break in to the day gently and build confidence whilst the more experienced can battle tactics for overtaking each other at the front.

Racing is kept exciting with the use of a super lap. The super lap is one lap when you can paddle to a closer turning buoy than on other laps, thus making that lap shorter than the standard lap. Each paddler is allowed to paddle the super lap just once in the race and can decide which lap they do it on. This way paddlers can tactically choose to use their super lap to get in front of a pack or to make a break away. You really never know who is winning until the finish.

Sprint Races

This is a simple start on the whistle, race 50m to gate between two buoys, decide if you would rather turn around the left or right gate buoy and then sprint back 50m to the start gate to the cheers of your fellow paddlers. It is light hearted, friendly racing where many a comedy moment will be shared. Races are under a couple of minutes long and you get to do three so if you make a mistake in one you can make it all back in the next one.

N1SCO Sprint races are run with between 10 and 15 paddlers per heat. Each paddler will be drawn in two qualifying heats. In each heat you will race different paddlers and who you race is based on your ranking from the first race of the day, the mid distance. This way we can set roughly equal heats with a good mix of all paddling levels represented in each.

Once everyone has completed their two heats of qualification, your scores from each are totalled. The top 10 paddlers progress directly to the final. For everyone else, this is where it gets fun. These lucky souls are given the option to head back out on to the water for the Wildcard. This is one mass sprint with everyone who did not qualify for the final invited. The top two finishers from the Wildcard are given a lifeline and qualify for the final. The Wildcard is a real fun spectacle and anything that can happen usually does. Don’t worry though, if your race is a disaster or you decide the Wildcard is a little too wild and prefer to watch, you lose nothing. Your position in the sprints is based on your total from the two qualifying heats unless you make the final. The Wildcard counts for nothing other than for finding the two lucky paddlers who will scrape back into the final.

Those making the final, drop their qualification position and enter the final on equal terms with the finishing order settling positions 1-12 in the sprints overall.

Long Distance Race

This is the most traditional race where paddlers start together on a mass start before embarking on a 5km – 10km course. (5km on one day events and 10km on 2 day events). The course has limited turns and is set close to the shore so less experienced paddlers can feel confident and benefit from shelter. The courses take you on a scenic race around the venues waters before returning to the event village to finish. This is the most endurance based race where paddlers can get in to their rhythm. Distances and courses are set to be achievable by all levels of paddler.

Junior Racing

Juniors will race separately in two mid distance races, each around 1000m. These races will take place during the lunch break meaning parents can share boards with their children for the day and the junior racers can benefit from the cheering of the adult paddlers as their crowd as they enjoy a well-deserved lunch break.