2017 WWR #5 Bells Sprint

Saturday, August 19,2017 _safety and competency session (see below)

Sunday, August 20, 2017 _RACE DAY

Location: Bells Rapids, Cathedral Avenue, Brigadoon
Registration Check In: 07:30am – 08:30am
Briefing: 08:45am
Race start: 09:00am


There will be no late entries on the morning of the race. Only registration check in.

New paddlers to Wildwater Racing WA will be required to attend a competency session to evaluate skills before entry to the race. Subject to recent experience in paddling moving water.

Course Description

Starting upstream of the main bridge and finishing downstream of Bolland’s elbow.

Due to high water levels, we are excited to have true ‘world class’ racing conditions for our upcoming Wildwater Bells Sprint race. The course consists of 3 main rapids over 700m on a winding section of river.   With the current water level at 1.7m, most of the obstacles are now washed out by the Intense and powerful volume of water. Paddlers will require precise boat handling in turbulent water. There are large, unavoidable waves and holes demanding fast manoeuvres under pressure. Risk of injury to swimmers is moderate to high, and water conditions may make self-rescue challenging.

The race is open to all boats no more than 4.5m, with no rudders or that have their rudders tied up. There will be at least two runs each, best time to score.

Sundries Note (Boats not classed wildwater/downriver kayaks) For those entering in the sundries category, this race is only open to those who are in competition type boats. This is a timed individual event and we expect those entering the race are competent white water paddlers. A competency test may be required. Sundry results will not be included in the WW season point-score

Safety Requirements:

Helmets,  Pfd’s are compulsory. Additional Floatation recommended

Due to the course being held in wildwater conditions, it is necessary for all paddlers to wear helmets and pfd’s. It is also recommended for all paddlers to have grab loops on their boats to assist rescue and to have floatation inside their boats to ensure boats do not fill with water in the case of a capsize. All paddlers will require cockpit skirts with appropriate grab loop for ease of escape from a capsized boat

Paddler Competency Session

Saturday 19th Aug at 9:30am Bells Rapids, carpark opposite toilet block

We will only accept entry from paddlers able to provide evidence of the skill level required for moving water. This is not a social paddle. Therefore, if you have not entered one of our Wildwater Races before, you will be required to register online at WEBSCORER REGISTRATION FOR BELLS RACE.

We will get in touch with you to complete a competency session with us on the Saturday before the event. There will be no late registration on the day and you will be refused entry. This might sound harsh but don’t be offended if you are refused entry on the day, as we need to ensure that competitor safety as a priority, including those providing safety support.

Competency session will include basic swift water paddling and a self-rescue drill.

Basic safety training for moving water

Saturday 19th August between 8:30 – 11am. meeting at Bells Rapids (opposite the toilet block)

Rather than only giving competitors a safety briefing before the race, we would like to offer an opportunity to attend a session where we practice ‘basic’ swift water safety training. Wildwater WA are fortunate to have a few of our regular paddlers attend the ‘Swiftwater Rescue Operator’ course and we are looking to share some of this valuable knowledge to the rest of the paddling community. This session is highly recommended for any safety volunteers of Bells Sprints, and for any competitor intending to race… especially if you are unfamiliar with levels of 1.5m and greater. You will either learn or revise river communications, swiftwater techniques that will improve self rescue, as well as work with throw ropes both on land and in the water.

This is not compulsory for experienced paddlers, but is still valuable if only to brush up on your existing knowledge.

Volunteers Required

With the higher than usual water levels on offer, Wildwater WA are in need of volunteers to provide additional safety for our race this coming Sunday. If you are a regular paddler who will not competing on Sunday, or even a keen spectator or supporter, we would like to hear from you. Basic training will be provided.

There are a few roles ranging from:

  • Spotters with eyes on the river to ensure paddlers are always visible
  • Radio handlers
  • Spotters with throw rope
  • Experienced/ qualified white water paddlers with suitable boats and willing to provide rescue

 If you are available, please contact wildwaterwa@canoe.org.au