The Kayak Stage (Optional)

The kayak course is a 13km open estuary paddle without portages, except for a short run to the transition area at the end. There will be a fairly strong tide helping you all the way to the finish, hence the late start time. The challenge will be a mass start from the big area of still water just upstream of Conwy Bridge on the east side of the estuary. The launch point is at the RSPB bird reserve and there is a 750m warm up paddle to get to the start.

The finish is a grassy bank just before Dolgarrog Bridge. Upon exiting your boat you will need to pull your boat up onto the bank before running to the transition area where you will begin the run. ALL EQUIPMENT FOR THE RUN (SHOES, WINDPROOF TOP AND BOTTOMS, MAP, WHISTLE, COMPASS, FOOD & DRINKS) MUST BE CARRIED IN YOUR BOAT.

The fastest canoeists take about 50 minutes, with most people taking between 60 and 80 minutes.

If there is a southerly wind on challenge day this gives a wind against tide situation which can cause the estuary to get quite choppy. Keep an eye on the weather forecast for challenge day and if this is looking likely, consider carefully what boat you plan to paddle.

If you would like more details or to practise the course before the event you could come up on June 20th and do the annual Conwy Ascent as a race or tour http://www.dcpaddlers.co.uk/conwy_ascent

Competitors must be capable of swimming 50m in light clothing. They must also be capable of removing the spraydeck and exiting the boat in the event of a capsize.

All competitors must wear an approved lifejacket or buoyancy aid with a minimum inherent floatation of 50 Newtons (This is the standard for most canoeing buoyancy aids). Inflatable folded workvest style lifejackets with no inherent buoyancy are not acceptable.

All boats must be fitted with fixed in buoyancy front and back so that they float horizontally when completely filled with water. Inflatable airbags are acceptable so long as they are tied into the boat and remain inflated for the duration of the challenge.

Spraydecks must be worn. This is to ensure that boats do not become swamped in the middle of the estuary.

In the event of very rough conditions we may alter or cancel the canoe stage and the event could become a duathlon, starting at the fell run start.

There will be safety boats on hand throughout the challenge.






Boats must be enclosed kayaks at least 3.5m (3.5m competition slalom boats are acceptable) long and not be sit-on tops or open canoes. The only exception to this is ocean racing surf skis which are acceptable. The reason for this restriction is simply that paddling a short boat, sit on top or open canoe will put you at a huge speed disadvantage compared with a longer kayak and may mean that you risk missing the cut off time for the kayak stage.

Ideal boats for the challenge, depending on your canoeing experience, would be a racing K1, wild water racing kayak, sea kayak, fast touring kayak, ocean racing ski, or general purpose kayak.

If you plan to paddle a racing kayak, be aware that it is an open estuary and could be quite challenging if you are used to paddling on a canal. It is perfectly possible to paddle a racing K1 but if you are not 100% confident in the boat consider bringing a more stable boat.

We have been asked by Natural Resources Wales to remind people about the risks of introducing invasive species to the river.
Please check this guidance from the BCU on how to avoid this.

Competitors who retire MUST report to a marshall. Do not just go home!!