For the full programme of Arawa and related events, click here to go to Events.

Massimo puts the pedal to the metal


1. For Arawa events or races, all participants must wear a personal flotation device (PFD) and have at least 20 litres of positive buoyancy (in kayak-specific airbags) in their craft. Also, in some conditions, spray skirts must be worn if directed by the event controller/director.

Exceptions to the above will only be made for events held on the Avon, Heathcote and Cam Rivers – essentially where there is flat water for 100% of the course.

2. Where an event or race is being conducted on a non-tidal part of a river kayak helmets and airbags may be compulsory. In addition, for longer events or races, appropriate safety gear may be specified and must be carried.

3. For deep water or offshore events participants must have airbags securely attached inside their kayaks.

The appropriate conditions for participants in Club events/races should be published along with notice of that event/race.


1.  Any event organiser or race controller/director will not allow any participant to enter an event or race if they do not comply with the safety requirements for that race or event.

2. Any participant in any club event or race who fails to comply with any direction or condition imposed on that event/race, even if they have not officially entered a race or an event, shall be dealt with by the Club Committee or Disciplinary Committee composed of event officials and no more than one competitor representative.

3. That Committee shall consider any complaint reported to it, or any incident that it deems necessary to investigate. The committee will give the offender(s) a chance to present their side of the incident.

4. The Club Committee may impose on any person found guilty of breaching the club safety rules, disqualification from the event, plus a period of suspension from club activities or from the club itself.

Racing classes

Most club races use the A, B, C and D class system, which is independent of the kayak you paddle or whether you're boy or girl.  What it means is that the people you line up with at the start are the people you are most likely to be battling with for the course of the race.  There is a possibility of burglars sneaking into the lower classes, but they get picked up pretty quickly if they try that trick, and run the risk of being bumped up a grade or disqualified.

Which grade are you?  It's broadly based on your 10km timetrial time - under 50 minutes for A grade, 50-55 minutes for B grade, 55-60 for C grade, and over an hour for D grade.  (10km is  the Clubrooms to the Brighton Bridge - 4th bridge, under Pages Road - and back).

The other class system used for some races is broken down into Men & Women, which are in turn broken down into Open and Veteran (40 years and over), and sometimes Classic (50 years and over), and these are further broken down into the class of boat paddled (see the table below).  Juniors (19 year and under) and K2’s or doubles are usually run as separate classes irrespective of gender.


 Kayak Class

 Typical kayaks

Innovative A

Advantage, all Evolutions, UFO’s, Phantom, Ghost, Spook, all Sharps, FB2&3, F1, U2, Rebel, Total Eclipse, Saracen X & Ultra, Defender, Genesis, Infinity, Invader, Javelin, Mirage, Meteor 1&2, Nucleus 60/80/100, Opus, Pinnacle, Wahoo, Sprinter, Stealth, Supernova, Surf Ski, all K1's

Innovative B

Esprit, Eclipse, VOK20, Eliminator, Epic, Intrigue, Swallow, Arrows, Centrix, Challenger, Challenger-Tri, Delaware, Downriver racers, Delphin, King Martin, Meteor 3, Ranger, Super Ranger, Super Star, Swift, Trident, Venturer, Vision 1&2, Wavehopper