Boats - ITERA

Race Details – Paddling

For the 2019 ITERA event we are planning to provide all of the Kayaks required for the event. We have decided to utilise double sit on top kayaks for all water related stages of the race. In doing so , this will ensure we have the required amount kayaks and a level playing filed for all competitor’s.

The 2019 event could include open sea paddling, stages in excess of 10hrs and at times at night.

We can provide paddles if you require them. These paddles will be of standard basic paddle design. Competitors are welcome to bring their own paddles if they wish to do so.

Team list showing which teams have required paddling certification


UK racers will know that we have a system in place for racers that expect at least one person in each boat has a minimum of the BCU Explore Award or the UKCC 2 star qualification or a 3 star in the old BCU system. Please see the British Canoeing website.

Irish racers will be familiar with the Canoeing Ireland Level 2 Kayaks skills award, which is equivalent to the BCU 2 Star.

If you are overseas there are a number of similar awards like the EPP in Europe, skill tests in NZ. Please contact us for further advice. Our Kayak safety advisor, will gladly answer your query

In addition to this, please read the skills matrix below, which is advisable that ALL racers are both competent and drilled in this essential range of skills and techniques.

Just to be clear we are less interested in your experience – we are more interested in your proven assessed skills. Many people have paddled boats for years yet don’t fall out of them and hence don’t know how to get back in to them. Multi day adventure racing is not only about your speed and navigation, the kayaking in particular challenges many skill sets. The dynamic environment through which you will race can throw many challenges.

On our events we are comfortable to push the boundaries set by these awards and as such our safety advisers have an understanding that we only allow paddlers on the water who have the relevant SKILLS.

Don’t let that put you off – certainly in the UK it is relatively easy to gain these skills on the numerous courses being run.


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask we would rather deal with queries in the months before the event than at the start. Please do not put yourself or us in awkward position on the day of the event – we will stand by the statements listed above. For your own success in the race we strongly advise that you undertake proper training and certification in order to make you more safe & effective on the water.

We will update the website nearer the event date with details of what competitors are expected to do in the event on a emergency or a problem on the water.

Recommended Kayaking Skills, Techniques and competencies required.

All racers should approach the event in the knowledge that they will be undertaking multiple / prolonged kayaking stages in a dynamic outdoor environment. Fatigue can accumulate over the duration of the race and we advise you to consider this and how it affects your ability to perform safely and effectively on and off the water.

The following is a range of skills, techniques and competencies we strongly recommend you and your team-mates train for this event.

  1. Entering and exiting a Double Sit on Top kayak from the shore.
  2. Kayaking long sustained distances using efficient forward paddling technique. As there are two of you in the kayak, being able to paddle efficiently with a synchronized forward stroke is highly recommended. This will save you energy and keep you safer.
  3. You should also train in such kayaks carrying the backpacks and the kit you intend to race with, additional weight can affect the balance and performance of the kayak. Distribution of the weight and tethering of equipment to the kayak is a factor for consideration.
  4. You are invited / recommended to bring your own ”Universal fitting” Sit on Top Kayak backrests. You also have the option of reserving or purchasing these in advance of the event. By April 2019 we will have further details on this site of the option to purchase these at the race registration. The comfort of your back over long sustained distances kayaking is a very important consideration. We would advise you to train with & without a backrest in order to see how it affects your performance.
  5. Kayaking at sea or on large lochs & water ways will have you exposed to the elements, we advise you to give careful consideration to the effects of exposure to the elements. Your clothing for this will be of vital importance.
  6. Kayaking in such locations will mean that any wind, breezes or stronger conditions will affect the kayaks performances. The following strokes should be a standard part of all racers repertoire of skills and techniques:
  7. An understanding of the Basic Safety Rules Kayaking.
  8. An ability to Enter and Exit a kayak correctly.
  9. Efficiently Forward Paddle in a tandem kayak, Reverse Paddle, and Stop.
  10. An ability to turn while stationary using Forward Sweep Stroke, Reverse Sweep Stroke and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep Strokes.
  11. Simple Draw Stroke.
  12. Low Brace for support to prevent capsizes..
  13. Turning on the Move.
  14. Edging while the kayak is moving.
  15. Capsize Drill.
  16. An ability to assist in an Assisted X Rescue and/or an H Rescue.
  • In the event that you and your kayaking partner and indeed other team mates end in the water from capsizing, we strongly recommend that you practise “self rescue” techniques by righting the kayak and climbing back aboard from deep water and securing all equipment.
  • Remember every competitor MUST wear their buoyancy aid on the water at all times, failure to do so will result in a penalty or indeed expulsion from the race.

Finally, we reserve the right to change or amend stages should adverse weather conditions threaten the overall safety of your, our competitors. We fully intend to run an adventurous / challenging race where your fitness and skills will be tested, however our Kayak Safety Officer will consider your safety as a number one priority throughout the event. Please be assured, that we as race organisers have planned fully, risk assessed and will have in place a detailed safety plan for support on all Kayak stages.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries at all.
Happy training from us all at ITERA 2019