1. Race Check-In

The Texas Water Safari will be held the second Saturday of June. If the race is postponed, due to inclement weather or other unforeseen conditions, an alternate date for the race will be published on the website. Details of the Check-in follow: 

  1. Occurs from 12:00 – 5:00 pm on the Friday before the race
  2. Must pick up race packet at Check-in table prior to boat check in with Race Official.
  3. Required Equipment will be checked at this time – see section 3 Required Equipment.
  4. Racers and Team Captains must sign waivers
  5. SPOT Tracker activation verified by SPOT coordinator
  6. Mandatory Pre-Race briefing at 4:00 pm must be attended by at least one racer or team captain from each team.
  7. Team Captain changes will incur $25 admin fee
  8. No race day check-in allowed

 

2.  Registration Information

  1. All team members (paddlers) and team captains will enter this race at their own risk and the Texas Water Safari Corporation and its judges, officials, and sponsors will not be liable for accidents to personnel or damage to any property or equipment.
  2. The minimum age to race any team event sponsored by the Texas Water Safari Corporation is 13 years of age. Racers under 18 years of age must race with an adult in the boat and an adult must remain in the boat for the duration of the race. A parent or legal guardian must sign a waiver of liability for all minors.

i.     The minimum age for any solo classification sponsored by the Texas Water Safari Corporation is 18 years of age. This rule applies to anyone wishing to race in any of the following races:

1.      The Texas River Marathon

2.      The Texas Water Safari

3.      The Jr. Texas Water Safari

  1. Each team that enters the Texas Water Safari must have one team captain, and the option to designate a second team captain. Teams are strongly encouraged to designate co-team captains. Every team captain must be officially designated, sign a liability waiver and must be at least 18 years old.
  2. All entries must register with at least one team captain.
  3. Entry Fees are tiered according to the calendar published on the Texas Water Safari website.
  4. Entries are final and there are no refunds or deferments
  5. Any changes to entry (including racers or team captains) will incur a $25 admin fee in addition to other applicable fees.
  6. If a team member must be replaced then the replacement team member will be charged according to the current pricing tier.
  7. Starting positions are based on the results of the Texas River Marathon.

i.     All other entrants and incomplete teams will be placed on the starting grid in the order in which the entries were received.

ii.    Out of State teams which do not participate in the TRM will be place on the outside position of each row by date of entry.

  1. To hold a starting spot based on the results of The Texas River Marathon the full team must be registered by midnight of the Sunday immediately following the Texas River Marathon.
  2. Postponement

i.      In the event the Texas Water Safari is postponed team members may be substituted without additional charge.

ii.     Postponement dates are published in the calendar and postponements will not trigger a refund.

  1. Entrants will be given the number of their choice provided it is not already taken. Applicants should provide three boat numbers in order of preference. If there is no alternate number given or, all are taken, a number will be assigned. It is the responsibility of the entrants to provide their own boat numbers.

 

  1. Required Equipment

     

     

    a.  Each team is required to have:

i.     First aid kit (contents determined by team members and team captain)

ii.     Two-way communication device

1.      The device must be carried in a sealed bag (not a re-sealable bag).

2.      The device should be used in life threatening situations only.

3.      Use of the device may be grounds for disqualification pending the decision of the race officials.

4.      Any paddler or Team Captain requested by another team needing assistance in an emergency situation, can use their two-way communication device and will not be subject to            disqualification.

iii.     Snakebite kit (contents determined by team members and team captain)

iv.     An efficient signaling device (whistle).

1.      Solo paddlers must attach signaling device to their person.

v.     Flares

1.      A minimum of three (3) Coast Guard approved red aerial flares with a current expiration date that satisfies all Coast Guard day and night signal requirements.

2.      Solo paddlers must attach said flares to their person (e.g. to a belt or life jacket) while crossing the San Antonio Bay.

3.      Flares are to be used to signal for aid only in life threatening situations.

a.      Use of flares is a signal for help and may be grounds for disqualification.

b.      Use of the flares for any other purpose shall be grounds for disqualification.

vi.     Personal Floatation Devices

1.      Each paddler must have in his or her possession a readily accessible, properly sized, Coast Guard approved, Personal Floatation Device. (PFD)

2.      The PFD must be a Type, I, II, III or V in good serviceable condition.

3.      Paddlers are responsible for wearing PFDs as recommended by the manufacturer.

4.      Racers found in the bay or on the river without a PFD for each person in the boat may be disqualified.

5.      Racers who have lost PFD(s) may be given a replacement at the any checkpoint or location but will be assessed a penalty of at least 15 minutes for each PFD replaced. When a          PFD is replaced during the race, it is the responsibility of the Team Captain to report the replacement at the next checkpoint.

6.      All racers are required to wear PFDs crossing the bay

a.      Racers found in the bay not wearing a lifejacket will be assessed a penalty of at least 2 hours for each violation.

b.      Inflatable PFDs must be inflated crossing the bay

vii.     SPOT Trackers

1.      All teams entered in the Texas Water Safari must have and carry a functioning SPOT device to be used for the duration of the race

2.      SPOT Devices will be inspected at check-in

3.      SPOT devices must be securely mounted in an unobstructed part of the boat to allow the device to operate.

4.      Is the responsibility of the team and/or the team captain(s) to reset the SPOT at least every 24 hours. The team captain(s) may reach in and remove the device to reset or check          its functions as needed. Intentional disabling of the SPOT or failure to reset the device as needed, or requested by officials, may result in a time penalty.

5.      A SPOT that stops working during the race may be replaced. A SPOT is deemed non-working if no signal has been received for more than two hours. Teams will be notified by            officials if a SPOT is not working and some replacement SPOTS will be available at checkpoints by TWS Officials.

6.      All SPOT units, whether privately owned or rental, must have new batteries inserted prior to the race start.

7.      All teams must carry one (1) extra set of batteries for the SPOT device.

8.      Any use of the “help” or “SOS” functions will be grounds for disqualification, equivalent to firing a flare and asking for assistance. Use of other functions, “OK” and “preset     messages" are allowed.

  1. Team Captain Rules and Responsibilities

a.      Each team that enters the Texas Water Safari must have one team captain, and the option to designate a second team captain, if desired. Teams are strongly encouraged to designate co-team    captains. Every team captain must sign a liability waiver and every team captain must be at least 18 years old. Team captain(s) shall be responsible for:

i.          Signing their team through each of the eleven (11) official checkpoints.

ii.          Making contact with their team at each official checkpoint or at any other legal access points to transfer water, ice, and/or any other items provided for in Section 4d and to assess the team's health and ability to continue the race. It is not the responsibility of the TWS board or the race officials to determine whether or not a racer is able to continue or pull out due to health issues the racer may be experiencing, it is the sole responsibility of the race participants and their team captains to make that determination.

iii.          To notify race officials if unable to make contact with the team at any checkpoint, or in the event, in their sole judgment, there is reason to be concerned about the health or safety of the team. The team can be disqualified if one of the team captains fail to make this contact, fail to enter it on each Check In/Out sheet, and/or fail to know, at all times, the team's location (between consecutive checkpoints).

iv.          If, during the race, a team captain has to drop out, substitutions are allowed. The team must notify a race official at the earliest opportunity. It is also the responsibility of the "replacement" team captain to sign a liability waiver. If the substitution is planned, the race officials should be notified in advance.

b.      Team Captain(s) must display a placard with boat number on the dashboard of the vehicle in which they are traveling.

c.      Team captain(s) must report to a race official as soon as their team, or a team member, drops out of the race and sign them "Out" at the appropriate checkpoint.        

i.          If a team drops out of the race, then either team captain will sign his or her team out at the checkpoint where the team stopped, or if between checkpoints, at the next downstream checkpoint.

ii.          If, due to an emergency, he/she cannot get to the next downstream checkpoint, the team captain should contact a race judge via the ham radio operator, race official or a TWS Judge in Seadrift 361-785-5500. The team captain must give their name, team's boat number, name of team members, where they dropped out, and the time they dropped out. This information prevents wasted energies and/or a needless search for a "lost team."

iii.          It is the responsibility of a team captain to inform race officials when the team has a serious medical condition or the location of the team is in serious doubt. It is then a race official’s decision when, or whether to initiate rescue effort. However, should any team captain at any time feel that an emergency requires doing so, he/she should immediately contact 911.

d.      Team captains may deliver items of food, ice, drink or medical materials at any time during the race which they, in their sole discretion, deem necessary for the health or safety of the team.

i.          Delivery of these items must be done from the river bank or permanent docks.

ii.          Only re-usable mesh bags may be used to help the team captain make any such exchange. (This is to prevent littering or any other use of bags or other containers).

iii.          Food Items may be individually waterproofed in seal-a-meal type bags or zip-lock bags.

1.      No Zip-lock bags larger than one gallon may be used. 

iv.          No other items of any kind can be supplied to the team by the team captain(s).

1.      No paddles, lights, repair equipment, or any other supplies or materials may be provided to the paddlers

2.      No chairs, tables, eating untensils, tarps, sleeping bags, tents or pads may be provided to the paddlers

3.      Glasses, sunglasses, mosquito repellant, sunscreen and pain medicines may not be provided to the paddlers

4.      Paddlers may not sleep in vehicles

e.      If a boat loses its number during the TWS it is the responsibility of the team captains to replace the lost number, with the same number when it is no longer attached to the boat.

  1. Competition Rules

a.      All members of a team must travel together in the same boat/canoe and under the same regulation.

b.      Should a team member be forced to, or elect to, drop out of the Safari for any reason, the team member may not reenter or be replaced.

c.      Relays in any form are prohibited

d.      All supplies, equipment, and items of repair must be in the possession of each team and listed on the check-in sheet at the beginning of the Safari. Nothing may be purchased by or delivered to an individual or team during the entire Safari except as stated under Section 4d

e.      Teams shall not receive help or assistance of any kind during the Texas Water Safari except verbal assistance or those items listed in Section 4: Team Captains Rules and Responsibilities

f.       Should medical care be required by a team member

i.          It is the sole discretion of the team members and/or the team captain(s) to request medical care from any individual to ensure the health or safety of the affected team member.

ii.          By signing the entry form and liability waiver, the team members and team captain(s) expressly agree and understand that there is no obligation on the part of the Texas Water Safari Corporation, its board members or officials to provide standby medical care at any point along the race course.

g.      Paddlers will be subject to spot checks at any time by judges or officials who will report their findings to the Head Race Judge.

h.      Penalties, from time penalties to disqualification, may only be imposed by the Head Race Judge, Race Chairman or TWS Board of Directors.

i.        Teams must negotiate over, around, under or through all obstacles from the originating point in San Marcos along the entire length of the rivers and bays to the finish line in Seadrift.

i.          For any "shortcut" to be legal, it must have a flow of river water through it.

ii.           Overland portages are not allowed except where necessary for log jams, dams, or bridges.

iii.          Teams are required to exit the river immediately above each obstacle and return to the water immediately after clearing the obstacle.

iv.          EXCEPTIONS TO THIS RULE (places where river or bay water flows, but which are still illegal) are:

1.      The left channel around Thompson's Island below the road bridge.

2.      The Victoria barge canal and the boat cut between San Antonio Bay and the barge canal.

j.        The coastal portion of the race shall be that part of Guadalupe and San Antonio Bays from the mouth of the Guadalupe River to the finish line in Seadrift, Texas.

i.          PFDs must be worn crossing the bay (inflatables must be inflated). 

ii.          In case of stormy weather or high wind, teams may follow the shoreline to Seadrift after crossing to the east side of Guadalupe Bay.

iii.          Contestants may row, paddle, walk, swim, carry, or drag the boat from the east side of Guadalupe Bay to the finish line. They may not enter the Victoria barge canal and, if they choose to carry, they must follow the shoreline (i.e. no shortcuts).

iv.          Teams entering the barge canal may be disqualified or face a minimum time penalty of two hours.

k.      Intentional interference with another team's progress during the race will be grounds for disqualification.

l.        Pace Boats

i.          Pace boats or canoes (i.e. crafts that are paddled or powered that follow or lead Safari paddlers for the purpose of "keeping a team up" or conveying water) are illegal.  

ii.          Any other use of a craft such as, travel down the river to accompany the team to “keep them up” provide any other type of support including wake riding or drafting is illegal and are grounds for disqualification.

m.    Deliberate littering of the river is grounds for disqualification. Teams should keep their trash in their canoe and hand it over to persons on the bank.

n.      Cutoff Times

Staples Dam FM 1977

Saturday

15:00

Luling 90

Saturday

20:00

Palmetto Bridge & Park

Sunday

8:00

Gonzales 183 (Gravel Bar)

Sunday

16:00

Hochheim Hwy 183

Monday

7:00

Cheapside Bridge (766)

Monday

14:00

Cuero 236

Monday

19:00

Victoria City Park Boat Ramp

Tuesday

9:00

Swinging' Bridge (off Canal Road)

Tuesday

20:00

Salt Water Barrier

Wednesday

6:00

Seadrift Flagpole and Pavilion

Wednesday

13:00

o.      Protest Policy

i.      Any protest by a competitor must be accompanied by a $100 fee and must file the protest no later than 1:00 PM on Wednesday. The fee is refundable if the protest is upheld.

p.      Other

i.      In formulating the rules that govern this event, every effort has been made to foresee all situations and problems that might arise; however, officials of the Texas Water Safari Corporation retain the right to change or amend these rules at any time without liability or recourse from any party regardless of the circumstances. Should such changes or amendments be made, all entrants will receive notification of same.

  1. Boat Types, Classes and Special Recognition

The Texas Water Safari is an Unlimited Race. All teams are racing for overall position. All Classes, except Unlimited, are awarded trophies for only the first boat to Seadrift in that Class. Trophies are awarded to positions One (1) through 15 and all other finishers receive a finishers plaque. All finishers receive a patch.

 

a.      Boat Requirements

i.          Only human muscle powered propulsion of boats will be permitted.

ii.          Canoes must have adequate flotation to float the canoe.

iii.          Canoes must have a white light for night travel.

iv.          Boat numbers

1.      The designated boat number shall be affixed to both sides of the bow of their boat.

2.      The designated boat number shall be at least 4" in height and shall be composed of up to four Arabic numerals without leading zeros.

3.      Boat numbers must be made of reflective material and must be a contrasting color from the boat.

 

b.      Boat Specifications

i.          Unlimited- There shall be no specification as to the type or size of craft used. Such craft must be propelled only by human muscle power and there can be no more than six persons.

ii.          Tandem Unlimited– There shall be no specification as to the type of craft used except that such craft must be propelled only by human muscle power and limited to two paddlers.

iii.          Solo Unlimited– There shall be no specification as to the type of craft used except that such craft must be propelled only by human muscle power and limited to one entrant.

iv.          USCA C-2– Teams may use either one of two canoes.

1.      Competition Cruiser (4/32) Maximum length 18’6″, minimum width 14 3/8% of length at the 4 inch waterline, Minimum bow height 15.5″, minimum stern height 11.5″, depth at center 11.5″. Rudders are not allowed.

2.      Pro Boat: (3/27) Maximum length 18’6″, minimum width 27″ at the 3″ waterline. Minimum bow height 15″, minimum stern height 10″, minimum depth at center 10″, minimum gunwale width 33″. Rudders are not allowed.

v.          USCA C-1– Maximum length 18’6″, minimum width 14 3/8% of length at the 4″ waterline. Minimum bow height 15.5″, minimum stern height 11.5″, depth at center 11.5″. Rudders are not allowed.

vi.          Aluminum– Limited to aluminum canoes with a maximum length of 17’4″ which are produced by a regular manufacturer of aluminum canoes and having rounded, or “traditional” bows and sterns. (Beaver canoes are not allowed). The only acceptable modifications are seat placement, addition of internal supports and removal of bulkheads (adequate floatation must be replaced if bulkheads are removed). No external hull modifications. Rudders are not allowed.

vii.          Standard– Canoes are limited to a maximum of 18′ and the width at the waterline shall be 15% of the length. Minimum depth of bow and stern is 16″. Minimum depth at center is 12″. Canoes such as the 17′ and 18’ Beaver, the 18′ Sundowner and Jensen 18′ by Wenonah, etc will fit in this class. Any questions about a specific boat should be addressed with the TWS via e-mail, texaswatersafari@yahoo.com. Rudders are not allowed.

viii.          Novice– Canoes are limited to stock or non-racing canoes with a maximum length of 17’4″. Most aluminum, ABS Royalex, polyethylene, and fiberglass, as well as many older factory made wood canoes will fit this category. Canoes made of Kevlar, carbon fiber  and/or having sharp, non-rounded bows and sterns (e.g. Beaver aluminum canoes) are not allowed. Any questions about a specific boat should be addressed with the TWS via email, texaswatersafari@yahoo.com. Rudders are not allowed.

 

c.      Race Classes

i.          Unlimited

1.      Three to Six paddlers.

2.      Any human muscle power is allowed

3.      Unlimited boat specifications.

ii.          Women’s Unlimited

1.      Two to Six female paddlers

2.      Any human muscle power is allowed

3.      Unlimited boat specifications.

iii.          Tandem Unlimited

1.      Two paddlers.

2.      Any human muscle power is allowed

3.      Tandem Unlimited boat specifications

iv.          Men’s Solo Unlimited

1.      One male paddler.

2.      Any human muscle power is allowed

3.      Solo Unlimited boat specifications

v.          Women’s Solo Unlimited

1.      One female paddler.

2.      Any human muscle power is allowed

3.      Solo Unlimited boat specifications

vi.          USCA C-2

1.      Two paddlers.

2.      Single blade paddles only.

3.      USCA C-2 boat specifications.

 

vii.          Men’s USCA C-1

1.      One male paddler.

2.      Single blade paddles only.

3.      USCA C-1 boat specifications.

viii.          Women’s USCA C-1

1.      One female paddler.

2.      Single blade paddles only.

3.      USCA C-1 boat specifications.

ix.          Aluminum

1.      Two paddlers.

2.      Single blade paddles only.

3.      Aluminum boat specifications.

x.          Standard

1.      Two paddlers.

2.      Single blade paddles only.

3.      Standard boat specifications.

xi.          Novice

1.      Two paddlers, neither of whom has previously completed the Texas Water Safari.

2.      Novice should not be construed to mean inexperienced paddlers.

3.      Single blade paddles only.

4.      Novice boat specifications.

    xii.          Mixed

1.      Two paddlers, one male and one female.

2.      Any human muscle power is allowed

3.      Any two person boat specifications.

 

d.      Special Recognition

i.          Masters

1.      Solo to six paddlers.

2.      All team members must be over the age of 40.

3.      All boat specifications are allowed as age is the determining factor.

   ii.          Adult/Youth

1.      Two paddlers, one of whom must be between 13 and 17 years of age.

2.      The child must race with an adult in the boat and the adult must remain in the boat for the duration of the race.

3.      A parent or legal guardian must be present to sign a waiver of liability for all minors.

4.      Any human muscle power is allowed

5.      Any two person boat specifications.