The ICF Rule Changes: Facts & Opinions

TPM ICF Response

Well as a confession the okes at The Paddle Mag are not rich so we may not have always paid attention to the ICF / ORWC rules. But we do hold this much to be true for those fortunate enough to be able to travel and race in distant land. Do you have a ski? Can you afford to enter and get there? Will you abide by their safety rules? If the answer to all three questions is a resounding yes then in our opinion you should be allowed to paddle. By all means have a front row and others or top paddlers to the left others to the right – we don’t mind as long as we get to paddle the same race.

So we were a little concerned when first the news broke officially on The World Surfski Series website stating:

Changes to the WSS line-up – Dragon Run Out, Palm 2 Pines Promoted

World Surfski Series·Monday, July 17, 2017

This year’s Hong Kong Dragon Run in November is also the ICF Ocean Racing World Championships. The Dragon Run organisers recently announced that the event has been split into three races: Women’s World Championships, Men’s World Championships and an additional race for paddlers who don’t qualify under the ICF rules.

While the World Surfski Series ranking system counts points separately for men and women, it does require that all men race together and all women race together.

This means that the Dragon Run races are incompatible with the World Surfski Series and so we’ve had to change the line-up for the WSS, reluctantly dropping the Dragon Run and making the Palm 2 Pines in Australia a title race.

A little later on we read this from Bruce Seymour the race organiser at the Dragon Run

Bruce Seymour post 26 July 2017

Due to the fact that we are hosting the 2017 ICF Ocean Racing World Championships(ORWC) the Dragon Run will NOT officially be held this year. We will however hold a race on the same course after the ladies ICF ORWC on Sat Nov 18th.
Any surfski paddler who will not qualify to race in the ICF ORWC, together with all outrigger canoe paddlers may join this event. For all intents and purposes it is a Dragon Run however as the ICF ORWC is a huge undertaking, we simply do not have the funds or resources to hold a separate Dragon Run.
Please read the ICF Ocean Racing Rules below which contains the eligibility requirements for entry into the ICF ORWC.…/fi…/canoe_ocean_racing_rules_.pdf
Important points to note are the following:
– Classes – Open Men, Open Women, U23 Men, U23 Women, Junior Men(U18), Junior Women(U18) and Masters(40+).
– Only 2 paddlers per class per country may enter.
– entry in the Masters class is UNLIMITED(no need to qualify).
– Top 30 ranked paddlers from the 4 ICF World Cup events(Mauritius, Portugal, Tahiti, France) are also eligible.
– All paddlers to register with their local canoe federation.

NOTE: The coveted Dragon Run trophies will be awarded to the mens and ladies ICF ORWC winners along with an ICF Medal. The mens and ladies outrigger winners in the non qualifying event will receive the Dragon Run trophy.
ONLY the ICF ORWC Mens and Ladies Open classes will be eligible for prize money.

What does this mean in laymans terms you ask? Easy, only the top two paddlers from any given country plus if a member is in the top 30 after competing in the World Cup events in Mauritius, Portugal, Tahiti (seriously – have you seen the cost of the airfare?), France they may be on the starting line. That is it. It sort of works in the girls favour because there are so few girls that simply by competing in one event you are pretty much guaranteed to make it in to the top 30 in seniors class. The men are not so fortunate, to make it to Worlds’ they will have to go to either Tahiti (don’t get me started!) or France. But France is 3 weeks before Hong Kong – not really enough time to get visa’s etc.. Tough call for those sitting on the bottom of the African Continent.

Interestingly enough none of the World Cup events are in either of the two power house countries South Africa or Australia.



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