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Conwy Ascent Canoe Race/Tour

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Conditions and Safety

Your attention is drawn to Section 5 'SAFETY' of the BC Marathon Racing Rules. See the race rules page for more information.

NB The harbour authority insists that all paddlers must wear buoyancy aids, so don't forget to bring one. As the event is on open water estuary which can be quite demanding we recommend an ability cut-off at Division 7 level for marathon racers. Paddlers in lower divisions and non-ranked paddlers must judge for themselves whether they are competent in these conditions. If unsure please check with your coach or instructor. There are safety boats in the harbour and further up the estuary, and a safety boat follows the last of the racers up to just below the finish. Through the harbour soon after the start, the fast flowing tide can cause waves to build up in the centre of the harbour. You can avoid these by keeping close to the edge, but for racers this is a slower route. There are also other pleasure craft in the harbour, and they can cause quite large washes.
The incoming tide is flowing to the south, so if there is a wind from the south you get wind against tide which can cause short choppy waves on the estuary.

We hope to post the anticipated conditions based on the weather forecast on the latest information page a few days prior to the event, but be aware that it is only the anticipated conditions, as weather forecasts are not perfect!

The Conwy estuary is popular with water skiers, so you can expect there to be boats travelling at high speed on the middle part of the course between the harbour and Tal-y-Cafn bridge. We recommend that you keep a good lookout for these boats and be prepared to change course if you don't think they have seen you.

New from 2023: Cut off Times
Cut off time at Tal y Cafn for SUP and TC2 paddlers is 1hr 20mins.
Cut off time at Tal y Cafn for K1 and K2 is 1hr from their start.
This is to prevent the race becoming too spread out for the safety cover and to avoid slow paddlers not being able to get to the finish against the outgoing tide .

It is essential that any paddlers who retire from the race or tour report their name and event number to either a boat marshal or the control tent at the finish at Dolgarrog to inform the organisers that they are off the water. In previous years we have ended up searching the course for paddlers who have gone home without telling us that they have retired.