Race Rules

Maui Nui Canoe Race Rules
As of June 13, 2018

The race shall be open to all canoe clubs or organizations submitting an entry application.
MCHCA Race Rules will apply unless modified by the Maui Nui Canoe Race Committee.

Each club or organization must submit a complete, official entry application provided by Maui Nui Canoe Race. No entry will be accepted unless all requirements set forth are complied with. Maui Nui Canoe Race Committee reserves the right to accept or refuse any application.

1. Must submit all forms by deadline dates as specified
2. Must submit entry fee by deadline date. Late fee will be assessed to any entry that is received after the deadline date.
3. HCRA Approved Canoes must comply with HCRA Hawaiian design canoe specifications.
4. Each crew must fully comprehend and follow all safety requirements set forth by the Maui Nui canoe race committee.

B. Classes of Canoes
HCRA APPROVED: All canoes must meet HCRA Hawaiian design canoe specifications.

Koa Canoes: All canoes must meet HCRA specifications.
UNLIMITED : open class canoes

C. Division of Paddlers Men & Women
OPEN DIVISIONS – Shall consist of not less than and not more than 10 men or 12 women paddlers. Minimum age must be not less than 18 years of age on the day of the race, unless official approval and parental consent.                                                                                IRON DIVISION –  shall consist of not less than 10 men or 10 women paddlers, only six allowed to race on race day. Minimum age must be not less than 18 years of age on race day.
MASTERS 40+ – Shall consist of not less than and not more than 12 men or 12 women paddlers who must be at least 40 years of age on race day.
MIXED  -Shall consist of not more than 12 paddlers (6 men / 6 women) who may not be younger than 18 years of age on race. unless official approval and parental consent.

D. Paddlers Eligibility
The final selected race crew will consist of 10 men or 12 female paddlers in Open & Masters 40+, and 12 (6)men and (6) female paddlers in mixed and 10 for Iron division. Minimum age must be not less than 18 years of age as of the day of the race. The final entry form must be submitted no later than 5pm on date specified

1. It is the entrant’s responsibility to see that their paddlers are physically fit and capable of participating in this event.
2. All crew members must be able to swim.
3. All paddlers, coaches, escort/auxiliary boat operators, crew and passengers must sign designated liability and publicity waivers.
4. Each entry may participate in promotional activities and photos the day of the event and possibly for one month following the event. Any requests will be coordinated through the sponsor and their communications or public relations agent.
5. All protests will be referred to the Race Committee for a decision.
8. There will be no unofficial entries.
9. All participants who are not a member of an HCRA club or an out-of-state or out of country canoe racing association will be charged an insurance assessment at the time of registration. Out of state and international clubs who belong to associations other than the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association (i.e. CORA, SCORA), must provide a Certificate of Insurance for Commercial General Liability/Participants Liability with minimum limits of $1,000,000 for the race. The Certificate must name the following as additional insured’s: Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association, Maui County Hawaiian Canoe Association, and Kahana Canoe Club and include event coverage on specified race dates.


(The Maui Nui Race Committee shall have the final decision of approving or disapproving any entry, canoe or equipment)

A. All HCRA approved canoes (including rigging, ‘iako, ama, hull shape – above waterline, at waterline and below waterline) must meet current MCHCA Hawaiian design canoe specifications.
1. Full canvas or other covering on the canoe is mandatory.
2. No sails or other means of propulsion other than paddling are allowed.
3. No mechanical means of bailing water out of the canoe are allowed.
4. No Foot support or braces of any kind are permitted inside the canoe
5. The minimum racing weight of any canoe, excluding the ama ‘iako, and tying cord is set at 400 lbs. Minimum weight of hulls constructed before Aug. 1, 1988 shall be no less than 350 lbs. The minimum weight of hulls built after Aug. 1, 1988 will be no less than 385 lbs. adding weight to a canoe will be the responsibility of the coach and crew. Lead weights must be permanently affixed to the canoe to bring the weight to 400 lbs. The added weight(s) must be evenly distributed between seats 2 and 5 and be permanently affixed to the bottom of the seats to bring the hull to 400 lbs. Only certified lead weights may be used and must be permanently bolted or screwed to the seats of the canoe throughout the race. Weights must not be removed during the race and must remain secured until clearance is given by the Maui Nui Race Committee. Adding weights to a canoe will be the responsibility of the crew. All added lead weights must be certified by MCHCA.
6. During the race each canoe shall have its assigned identification symbol prominently displayed on the front manu. The number will be assigned by the Maui Nui Race Committee.
7. An inspection of all equipment used in the race will be conducted at Maliko Gulch prior to the race.
8. At the discretion of the Maui Nui Race Committee, any equipment that substantially differs from the existing traditional Hawaiian design is subject to rejection.

B. UNLIMITED:   The canoe shall be a six-man, single hull canoe rigged with a single ama and double iako separated by at least one seat. It shall not exceed 45 feet in length. There shall be no mechanical devices or additional attachments for bailing, powering or steering. Fiberglass canoes must have positive buoyancy with flotation compartments only at the bow and stern of the canoe. No attachable fins, keels or other devices shall be allowed. There is no weight minimum.

Paddles must be single bladed and shaped of wood only. However, the paddle may have a protective or supportive (strengthening) covering which may be fibrous, Kevlar, carbon, fiber, etc. The paddle may have an edging or prosthesis for protection on the bottom or sides. The paddle may have laminated (horizontally or vertically) synthetic material (kevlar, etc.) for strength and support. Extra paddles may be carried in each canoe during the race.

1. Each entry must provide U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices (PFD’s) for each person on the escort and auxiliary boat and each paddler.
2. Each entry is responsible for complying with all applicable State, Federal and US Coast Guard regulations and requirements.
3. Each entry is responsible for assuring that each paddler, coach, helper and/or guest or passenger is water safe.
4. Each entry is responsible for providing basic first-aid supplies.
5. Each entry is responsible for providing adequate nourishment and liquids for crew members on the canoe and each person on the escort/auxiliary boat.
6. The Maui Nui Race Committee reserves the right to place an official and on any crew’s escort boat.

A. Start of the Races.
Prior to the start of the race:
– All canoes must do a visual radio check with the designated official boat, per instructions given at the coaches meeting.
-All canoes shall be ready to start before the time set for the beginning of the race.
The start will be conducted in the following manner:
– The race will begin at 9:00/9:30 a.m.(depending on division & location) The start of the race will be signaled by a blow horn from the Starting official boat.
– Any canoe over the line at the start will be penalized 20 (twenty) minutes added to their official finish time.

B. Paddlers and Relief Paddlers
1. The final crew selected shall be 12 men and 12 women in the Open Division. The final crew selected shall be 12 men & 12 women paddlers in the Masters 40 + Division and the final crew selected shall be 12 (6)men and (6)women paddlers in the Mixed Division.
2. There must be no more than six (6) paddlers in any canoe at any time during the race.
3. Starting and relief paddlers may be used at the discretion of the coach and or crew.
4. The first change of paddlers will take place no earlier than thirty (30) minutes after the start of the race. On signal from the official boat, the staff person on the escort boat will notify crews of the time by VHF 72 radio.
5. The last change shall be before the bouy or marker at the entrance of each finish line.
6. Each canoe must finish the race with six (6) paddlers in the canoe to qualify for placement and awards.

C. Swamping or Overturning of Canoe
1. If a canoe swamps or overturns after the start of the race, the canoe may be righted and bailed out and will be allowed to continue in the race. No mechanical means of bailing water out of the canoe are permitted during the race.
2. Relief paddlers and additional qualified persons on an escort/auxiliary boat may assist in righting and/or bailing out a swamped canoe.
3. The escort and/or auxiliary boat will standby and render any assistance to the swamped canoe but must not tow a swamped canoe in the direction of the finish line while the canoe is still officially entered in the race. To do this will result in disqualification.
4. It is highly recommended that the escort boat be equipped with a bridle or rope for towing.

E. Escort and Auxiliary Boats
1. Each crew must have one escort powerboat to accompany them throughout the race. The escort boat must be no less than twenty-five (25) feet in length. If the boat is less than 25 feet long, than an auxiliary boat is required, and it is highly recommended that this auxiliary boat be at least 25 feet long. For safety purposes, all escort boats must have a combined U.S. Coast Guard approved carrying capacity to accommodate a minimum of 12 paddlers, a race official, and any additional passengers, along with all U.S. Coast Guard required equipment. Escort boats that do not adhere to the 25 foot boat requirement will be subject to disqualification and or $500 fine, subject to the discretion of the Maui Nui race committee.
2. All escort boat owners and/or operators must provide proof of insurance to race officials. It is the responsibility of each crew to be sure escort boats have this. Refer to Insurance forms for required coverage amounts, options to purchase insurance, fees and forms.
3. All escort/auxiliary boats must meet U.S. Coast Guard requirements, including having a safe step ladder for boarding the escort boat.
4. At all times, escort/auxiliary boats must maintain a distance of 45 feet from the sides, back and front of any racing canoe or other boats. Canoes always have the right-of-way over escort/auxiliary boats. Escort/auxiliary boats cannot block or cause a wake to approaching canoes.
5. Coaching and directing from the escort/auxiliary boat is permitted.
6. Escort/auxiliary boats cannot be used to transport any articles to a canoe. However, any qualified person may pass refreshments or other articles to a canoe from the water; this person need not be one of the paddlers.
7. Unsafe conditions due to an escort/auxiliary boat being overcrowded, or not meeting U.S. Coast Guard requirements or Maui Nui canoe race requirements, can be declared unfit or un-seaworthy as an escort or auxiliary boat by the Maui Nui Race Committee. Said entries will not be allowed to participate.
8. All escort/auxiliary boats must be equipped with two-way radio communications. Only Marine Band (VHF) Radio communication is acceptable. No handheld VHF is allowed. Any entry whose escort/auxiliary boat does not have a working two-way radio will not be eligible to participate. All escort/auxiliary boats must pass through a radio communications checkpoint before the start on race day.
9. It is mandatory that all escort/auxiliary boats be equipped with a GPS (Global Positioning System).
10. Escort Boat and/or Auxiliary Boat Waiver of Responsibility must be completed by escort/auxiliary boat captains and given to the Race Committee at registration.
11. All crews will be responsible for their escort/auxiliary boats and boat operators. Maui Nui reserves the right to disqualify any crew whose escort/auxiliary boat is not in compliance with the safety rules set by the race committee while on the race course. No boat shall speed through the course at any time. Failure to follow safety rules will result in disqualification of the crew and fines.
12. Any outside assistance (i.e. pushing) from any escort/auxiliary boat will result in the disqualification of that crew.

VII. RACE CANCELLATION The race is subject to postponement or cancellation by the U. S. Coast Guard and the Maui Nui Race committee upon receipt of information of weather conditions of such nature which would, in their opinion, renders the running of the race unsafe. If the race is postponed or cancelled, the crews are responsible for returning all paddlers, personnel and equipment. All fees are non-refundable upon cancellation of any crew or cancellation or postponement of the race.

VIII. FINISH LINE All escort boats must do a visual radio check with a designated official boat as their canoe approaches the finish line, per instructions given at the coaches meeting. No handheld VHF’s are allowed. A crew/club that does not adhere to the radio (VHF) requirement will be fined $500.

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