Race Rules

1    ICF and CSA Rules.
1,1    The International Canoe Federation Marathon Racing Rules and the CSA Rules and Regulations will apply.
1,2    In the event of the rules set out below being in conflict with the aforesaid International Canoe Federation Marathon Racing Rules and the CSA Rules and Regulations, the rules set out below will apply.

2    Race classes
2,1    The race is open to K1 kayaks only.
2,2    The main event will be two paddler team event. See the specific rules below.
2,3    The relay event has been discontinued.
2,4    Individual paddlers will still be allowed and those completing the race will receive a finishers medal.
2,5    Only competitors in the team event will qualify for class podium positions and  top 5, top 10 positions, etc.
2,6    The main class categories will be Open (everyone) and Ladies.  The following additional sub-classes will be recognised for both Open and Ladies teams:
Veterans turning 40 to 49 during the year.
Masters turning 50 to 59 during the year.
Grandmasters turning 60 to 69 during the year.
Great Grandmasters turning 70 and above during the year.
U18s turning 15 to 18 during the year.
U23s turning 19 to 23 during the year.
2,7    The following special team categories will be recognised, but will not receive podium medals.
Mixed teams (male/female)
Intervarsity competition
Interclub competition
Parent and child
Husband and wife

3    Safety
3,1    All entrants must be A Grade paddlers according to CSA rules and regulations. (i.e. completed 6 B-or C-Grade races at any time).
3,2    All entrants must be registered with their unions and be in possession of a valid CSA registration number (with the exception of foreign paddlers).
3,3    Entrants must be fifteen years or older at the start of the race.
3,4    Sufficient buoyancy in front of (min 10 liters) and behind (min 10 liters) the cockpit is compulsory.
3,5    CSA approved kayaking jackets will be compulsory for all paddlers.
3,6    Competitors are warned that the Berg is raced over dangerous terrain and by entering the race competitors are exposing themselves to certain risks. Neither the Western Cape Canoe Union nor any of the organisers or sponsors shall be responsible for any illness, injury or death to a competitor or seconder or for any loss suffered by a competitor or seconder as a result of competing in the marathon.
3,7    Competitors are reminded that they have, either in writing or electronically at the time of registering on the entry portal, signed an indemnity form absolving the organisers from all liability in the event of loss, injury or death.

4    Safety Cut-Off Times
4,1    The Safety Cut-Off Times on the Berg River Marathon will be at the following places and times each day. The paddlers must have departed from the bridge by that time or they will be requested to leave the river/race:
Day 1 – Hermon bridge 15h30
Day 2 – Train bridge 15h30
Day 3 – Klipheuwel low level bridge 15h00
4,2    All paddlers must reach the finish of the days racing by 6.00pm on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 in order to be allowed to continue the race. The final cut-off for Day 4 will be 3.30pm at the finish of the race in Velddrif.
4,3    A decision to change the cut-off times based on river conditions will be determined before the start of each day by the Safety Officer and paddlers will be notified of such a decision.
4,4    Sweeps and safety officers have the right to remove paddlers who they determine are unable to continue racing safely at any stage of the event, or are unable to reach the cut-off points in time. The safety officer is also able to, at his sole discrection, change cut-off times as conditions change.

5    Entries
5,1    Entries are online only.  Please follow the links on the Berg Marathon website.
5,2    The closing date for entries is 22h00, Wednesday 19 June 2019. The penalty for late entry is R250.00.
5,3   Entry fees will not be reimbursed in the event of withdrawals after the closing date (19 June 2019), or if the race is cancelled for any reason.
5,4    The Race entry fee includes: a medal, a quality t-shirt and a meal at the prize-giving function in Velddrif; free sleeping and ablution facilities including hot showers for competitors at all overnight stops. Campsites will be available at the overnight stops @R85-00 per night, which must be pre-booked on the entry form. (Max 6 people per campsite)
5,5    Lunch and meals at overnight campsites are not included in the race-only entry fee. Lunch is available as an optional extra at R270 for three lunches. Lunch, breakfast and supper are available as an optional extra at R900 for three sets. Three breakfasts, three lunches and three suppers at a cost of R900 can be ordered for seconds.
5,6    Extra meal tickets for the prize-giving function in Velddrif can be purchased on the entry form at a cost of R170 for adults and R85 for children under 12.
5,7    Entry forms must be completed in full with indemnity signed off in order for your entry to be valid.

6    Registration
6.1 Registration will take place in Paarl on the day before the race ( 2 July) from 15:00 to 19:00 at Paarl Canoe Club.

7    Seeding
7,1    Paddlers will be seeded based on the latest available CSA ladder. There will no longer be a time trial.
7,2    Only paddlers in the team event will be seeded in the leading batches.
7,3    If numbers allow there will be a separate batch for ladies’ teams.
7,4    There will again be a separate legends batch starting after the A batch.  The following paddlers qualify as legends.
Any previous winner of the open or ladies’ race.
Any paddler who has completed 20 Berg marathons.
Any paddler who has completed one of the first five Berg marathons.
To qualify for this batch both team members must be Legends.
Any paddler or team who qualifies to be seeded in one of the leading batches may not start in the Legends batch.
7,5    Individual paddlers will start in the last batch.

8    Race start
8,1    The marathon for all entrants will start on Wednesday, 3 July 2019 at 09h00 at Market Street Bridge in Paarl.
8,2    It will be raced over 4 stages covering 240km to finish on Saturday, 6 July 2019 in Velddrif.
The First Day will finish at Zonquasdrift (62 km)
The Second Day will start at Zonquasdrift and finish at Bridgetown (46 km).
The Third Day will start at Bridgetown and finish at Zoutkloof (75 km).
The Fourth Day will start at Zoutkloof and finish at Velddrif (57 km).
8,3    The organisers reserve the right to change the course of each day should it not be possible to paddle some parts of the river because of low water or other reasons.
8,4    All competitors must check-in at their designated pound 15 min before their start time each day. Competitors may not enter the water until instructed to do so.

9    General
9,1    Paddles may be replaced at any time.
9,2    Boats may not be replaced and any paddler doing so will be disqualified.
9,3    Canoes must be numbered in accordance with CSA Regulations. Numbers must not be obscured by any items fixed to the boats.
9,4    Interference by men in the ladies’ race, where ladies are in contention for prizes, is not allowed. See specific rules for ladies teams below.
9,5    Portaging is only permitted around obstacles. The shortest route must be followed at all times. Paddlers must stay in the main river bed on the last day unless the race officials are forced to change the rule due to flood conditions.
9,6    All competitors will be bound by the branding regulations of the event. Full details will be handed out at registration. If a bib is supplied it is compulsory to wear it at all times during the race. Your bib must be placed horizontally across your chest and secured by the four safety pins provided.
9,7    Any competitor retiring from the race must advise the organisers.
9,8    No outside assistance of any kind is permitted, except in an emergency. Seconds are not allowed to carry boats or paddles around obstacles. Paddlers who require this rule to be relaxed on medical grounds must lodge an application with the race organisers before the start of the race.

10    Protests and appeals
10,1    A protest made during a competition relating to an incident in the race must be made in writing and within 30 minutes of completing the course, and be accompanied by a fee of R50 which shall be refunded if the protest is upheld.
10,2    The Competition Committee shall decide on matters where a protest have been made and where the race rules have been broken during the competition.
10,3    The Competition Committee may disqualify or penalize any competitor who behaved improperly or who, by his conduct or speech shows contempt towards the officials, other competitors or onlookers.
10,4    Appeals against any decision of the Competition Committee should be made in writing, with the reasons for the appeals and lodged with the Race Jury not later than 30 minutes after the competitor or his or her manager has been informed of the decision.  A fee of R50 must accompany the appeal, which will be refunded if the appeal is upheld.
10,5    The race Jury shall hear any appeals which may be received and settle any disputes that may arise as a result of decisions made by the Competition Committee.
10,6    Decisions of the Race Jury are final and not subject to appeal.

11    Specific race class rules – Team Event
11,1    The slowest finisher in the team will determine the official time of the team on each of the 4 days.
11,2    The team who finishes in the shortest total time over 4 days will win the event. The total time will be the team’s time as determined for each day accumulated over the 4 days.
11,3    Team members must stay within 2 minutes (+-300m) from one another at all times.
11,4    An elapsed time start will apply on the start of the Second Day based on the team’s time of the First Day.
11,5    Only teams will be allowed to start in the A batch or elapsed time starts on all of the days.
11,6    The younger member of the team will determine the age category of the team in the senior category.
11,7    The oldest member of the team will determine the age category of the team in the junior category up to Under 18.
11,8   In the event of one of the team members withdrawing during the race his/her partner will be allowed to continue as an individual paddler on condition that they do not start in the A batch, which is reserved for teams only, and may not interfere in the team competition.
11,9    If one of the team members withdraw before the start of the event substitution will be allowed without any penalty. It could however affect the team’s starting position on the first day.
11.10 There will be separate competitions for men, ladies and mixed teams.
11,11 The first three teams to finish will qualify for gold medals.
11,12 Overall positions 4 to 10 teams will qualify for silver medals;
11,13 The winners of the various categories will always be recognised.  Second and third places will only be recognised if there are at least two team finishers in the category, i.e. three teams starting for second place to be recognised and four teams starting for third place to be recognised.
11,14 Any time penalties given to a team member will be treated as a penalty to the team.  For instance, if paddlers A is given a 2 min penalty it will be added to the team’s time after the time has been determined as in 11.1 above.  If paddler B is also give a 2 min penalty on the same day there will be 4 minutes added to the determined time.

12    Specific race class rules – Ladies’ teams
12,1    Ladies are allowed to ride slip of male paddlers but interference in the top ladies race by stronger paddlers in an attempt to influence the outcome of the race is not allowed and may lead to time penalties or disqualification.
12,2    On day one the ladies will start in their own, separate batch, being batch 3, behind the Legends Batch.
12,3    On day two ladies who qualify on time will start in the elapsed time start. The rest of the ladies start in the following batches according to their times on the first day.
12,4    On day three and four ladies will start in batches according to their accumulated time.

13    Specific race class rules – Relay
-The Relay entry option has been discontinued due to lack of interest.

14    Amendments to the race rules.
14,1    The organisers have the right to:
Amend or add to these rules at any stage.
Take appropriate disciplinary action against any competitor in breach of these rules.
Accept or reject any entry.

15    Payment of entry fees.
15,1    Monies can be deposited either manually or electronically into the WESTERN CAPE CANOE UNION’S Berg account:
Bank: ABSA
Type: Savings
Branch Code: 632005
Account no: 925 804 2485
Acc name : Berg River

Please use your race number as your reference when doing payments. You do not need to submit proof of payment, but please retain it for submission if requested.