Home Sanctions WOWSA Rules & Regulations WOWSA 6.0 – The Course

WOWSA 6.0 – The Course

WOWSA 6.1 – The course shall be accurately measured by GPS or other appropriate means. The distance shall be measured using the shortest straight-line tangents between start, turn buoys and finish.

WOWSA 6.2 – Expected conditions and water temperatures shall be informed to the athletes in advance via the website and pre-race information.

WOWSA 6.3 – A certificate of suitability for use of the venue shall be issued by the appropriate local health and safety authorities. In general terms the certification must relate to water purity and to physical safety from other considerations.

WOWSA 6.4 – On the day of the event, the water temperature should be checked at least one hour before the start in the middle of the course at a depth of 40 cm.

WOWSA 6.5 – All turns, obstacles and landmarks of the course shall be clearly indicated to the athletes before the start.

WOWSA 6.6 – All starting platforms, feeding pontoons, turn buoys and guide buoys shall be securely fixed in position and not be subject to tidal, wind or other natural or unexpected movements.

WOWSA 6.7 – If possible, the final approach to the finish shall be clearly defined with markers or buoys of a distinctive color.

WOWSA 6.8 – The finish shall be clearly defined and marked.

WOWSA 6.9 – Athletes cannot be supported, touched or pushed during the swim at any point along the course as long as there is not a rescue or emergency. However, if the local rules allow, athletes may rest or place their hands and arms on their escort boat, stand-up paddleboard, kayak, paddle board, pier or other supportive structure during the event if they get sick, injured or are afraid of or get approached by marine life. Athletes who are touched, supported, pushed, dragged along, or carried by their escort kayak or paddle board at any point in the race shall not be eligible for awards.

WOWSA 6.10 – Athletes may be handed fuel (food) and hydration (drink) by their crew or coach from an escort boat, stand-up paddle board, kayak, or paddle board. The fuel and hydration may be provided hand-to-hand or via a feeding stick, water bottle on a rope or simply thrown to the athlete.

WOWSA 6.11 – Escort crew, coaches and the race organization shall endeavor to pick up all cups, gel packs and other discard items from the body of water. It is the goal of WOWSA-sanctioned events to leave the open water at least as pristine as it was before the event.

WOWSA 6.12 – The escort boat captains and crew, kayakers, stand-up paddle boarders or paddle boarders shall follow all instructions of the Referee and Safety Officer at all times. These individuals must have the safety of the all the athletes in mind at all times.

WOWSA 6.13 – The water temperature and conditions shall be documented by the Referee or Safety Officer.

WOWSA 6.14 – The race director must inform athletes of the expected conditions prior to the race day via the website and other race information. This will enable the athletes to prepare themselves to handle the expected water temperatures and conditions. If the water temperature and conditions fall outside this expected range on race day, the Referee and Safety Officer shall make this announcement and any modifications to the course as necessary.

WOWSA 6.15 – Properly rounding all Turn Buoys is the sole responsibility of the athlete. Athletes shall be asked to properly round the turns if they inadvertently miss a turn. If an athlete chooses to cut short the turn buoys even with a warning, he shall be immediately disqualified unless there are safety issues. If an athlete cuts short turn buoys due to safety issues, the Referee shall make a determination of a possible disqualification.

WOWSA 6.16 – In the case of an onshore finish, athletes are encouraged to clear the water and crawl, walk or run across the finish line under their own power. However, if an athlete is tired, weak, injured or is in obvious need of assistance, they should be immediately helped by volunteers. The top priority of all WOWSA-sanctioned races is safety and rules play a secondary role where there is risk of danger to an athlete.


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