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Regulations


The adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championship takes place on the Wellerbrücke rapids, a section of Austria’s glacier-fed Ötztaler Ache River in Tirol. The water temperature of the river is about 4 degrees. The adidas Sickline WC tests the kayakers’ ability to get down in one of the world’s most challenging rapids successfully and safely. The rapids are solid class 5 white water, both technically difficult and dangerous. The white water classification of the degree of difficulty ranges from 1-6 whereas 6 is the limit of navigability.

1. Participation

1.1 Starting field
The number of participants is limited to 175. Participating athletes must be verifiable at least 18 years old and master white water level V (5). The organizers reserve the right to disqualify any participant whose capabilities do not meet the difficulties of the course. The participants must have a sufficient insurance (accident, travel health insurance). In addition the organizes have taken out an accident insurance for the competitors, which is included in the start fee.

1.2 Exclusion of Liability and Medical Form
Every participant has to read, understand, fill in and sign the exclusion of liability and the medical form.

1.3. Equipment
Only creeker type kayaks that meet the following criteria and latest safety standards are permitted:

  • made of PE plastic
  • boats with a maximum length of 275 cm (9 feet)
  • with a minimum weight of 18kg (complete)
  • a large cockpit that the paddler can escape from easily
  • with high volume ends that encourage the boat to resurface quickly
  • with similar volume in both the front and rear of the boat
  • must be fitted with a full plate footrest or similar (Yakima type touring footrests are not permitted. Solid foam foot plates are allowed)
  • with a minimum of two attachment points in the front (in front of the paddler) and a minimum of two  attachment points at the rear (behind the paddler), or alternatively one attachment point in the front and three attachment points in the back, that are strong enough to rescue a pinned kayak (at least 500 kg) 
  • rear airbags must be fitted
  • with no constructional changes, apart from those offered and sold by the manufacturer and provided that these changes do not impact the safety standards. Handles, full plate footrests and pillars must not be removed!
  • with no constructional damage, in particularly cracks in the shell of the boat

Examples of kayaks that fulfill these requirements:
Dagger Nomad, EXO T-Race, Jackson Karma, Lettmann Granate, Liquidlogic Jefe, Liquidlogic Stomper, Prijon Curve Creek 3,5, Pyranha 9r, Spade Ace, Waka Gangsta, Zet Raptor

C1 upgrades must be approved by the safety director or race director.

All participants must wear:

  • a helmet conforming to EN1385 Norm
and recognized by the adidas Sickline Safety Commission (list)
  • a white water buoyancy aid conforming to EN393 Norm or ISO 12402-5 Norm and recognized by the adidas Sickline Safety Commission (list)
  • sufficient protection against cold water, i.e. a dry suit or a neoprene suit
  • boats with a foam wall need two airbags on each side in the back, boats without a foam wall need 1 big airbag 
  • the boat has to be closed with a spray skirt

1.4 Race Briefing
The Race Briefing on Thursday evening from 18h30 to 19h00 at Saal EZ is mandatory for all participants! Absence can lead to disqualification of the race.

2. Race Jury

2.1 Structure The Race Jury consists of the following persons:

  • Race Director 
  • Timing Representative
  • Kayaking Expert
  • Safety Director

The majority of votes applies. The bare majority is sufficient. In case of a voting tie the Race Director makes the decision.

2.2 Function
The Race Jury has the following functions:

  • implementation of the race
  • monitoring the compliance of regulations 
  • preparation of results together with the timing team
  • handling of protests
  • vote in cooperation with the safety commission 
  • race start and race termination

3. Race

3.1 Equipment
Each participant has to wear the following equipment:

  • bib: modifications, changes, or bib exchange are not allowed
  • helmet approved by the adidas Sickline Safety Commission 
  • life vest/ PFD approved by the adidas Sickline Safety Commission 
  • refer to 1.3

3.2 General
Instructions from the Race Jury and its assistants have to be obeyed.
The course is only opened by an official starter.
Any danger on the race course is indicated by hand signals.
If a participant is hindered by a prior starter, he is allowed to do a restart (rerun).

3.3 Format

3.3.1 Men
The adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championship is carried out as a single sprint race. The participants have to complete several rounds. These are:

A)    Qualification run 1 and 2
B)    Quarterfinal
C)    Semifinal
D)    Final

Due to official requirements and for safety reasons, all participants have to qualify for the finals (quarter, semi, and final) on the Wellerbrücke race course.

All participants must arrive punctually with all the necessary equipment. Participants arriving late are not approved to compete. Furthermore the organizers reserve the right to stop the contest at any time in the interests of the safety of everyone involved incl. spectators, camera teams, first aid, and staff.  

to A)
The qualification is carried out in 2 runs. The qualification runs are split into 2 groups, group 1 bibs: 1-70 + SICKLINER Club + Women by start list, group 2 bibs: 71-144.

Qualification run 1:     all participants are permitted to race
Qualification run 2:     all participants are permitted to race

to B)
Quarterfinal: to determine the result, both qualification runs are added to one total time. The top 52 of the qualification are allowed to start. The 52 participants are ranged into the racing grid (race ladder) according to their results in the qualification, creating 26 pairings (heats).

For example place 1 vs place 52, 2 vs 51, 3 vs 50, ...

The quarterfinal is carried out in a “head-to-head-format“. Two kayakers form one heat (pairing). While competing both kayakers are alone on the course and the time of both kayakers is measured. The faster kayaker of each heat advances to next round (semifinal) together with two “lucky losers”, i.e. the two fastest paddlers of the 26 “eliminated” athletes, who lost their heat. Hence 28 kayakers advance to the semifinal.

to C)
Semifinal: in the semifinal, the top 28 compete once again in a head-to-head mode (14 heats). The winner of the quarterfinal heat 1 competes against the winner of quarterfinal heat 2, the winner of the quarterfinal heat 3 races against the winner of the quarterfinal heat 4 etc. While competing, both kayakers are alone on the course and the time of both kayakers is measured. The faster kayaker of each heat advances to next round (final) together with two “lucky losers”, i.e. the two fastest paddlers of the 14 “eliminated” athletes, who lost their heat. Hence 16 kayakers advance to the final.

to D)
Final: in the final 16 kayakers compete in a single race (14 winners of heat 27-40 and 2 “lucky losers”). The finalists will start in reverse order; meaning the kayaker with the slowest race time of the semi final (16th) will be the first to start. The athlete with the fastest time climbs into the hot seat whirlpool and stays there until his time has been beaten. The fastest athlete of the final is the adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Champion.

Participants are informed on the specific training, qualification and final times or changes in the rules during the mandatory Race Briefing.

3.3.1 Women – The adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak Queen // separate WCH category
If the minimum number of 20 female participants is met (due date August 31st), there will be a separate World Championship category for women. In case there are less than 20 female competitors, the women will be integrated in the normal competition process, but evaluated separately. The fastest women holds the title adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak Queen.

3.3.2.1 adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak Queen
The adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak Queen race is carried out as a single sprint race. The participants have to complete several rounds. These are:

A)    Qualification run 1 and 2
B)    Final run 1 and 2 

to A)
The qualification is carried out in 2 runs on the same course as the men’s category. All women are permitted to race in both qualification runs. Both times will be added and the five fastest move on to the finals at the Wellerbrücke.

to B)
The final is carried out in 2 runs on the Wellerbrücke. The top five of the qualification are permitted to start. The times of both runs will be added and make up the result for places 1-5. The winner of the women’s final carries the title „The adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak Queen“.

3.3.2.2 separate WCH category
The top eight women of the qualification are qualified for the finals at Wellerbrücke. The 8 competitors are ranged into the racing grid (race ladder) according to their results in the qualification, creating 4 pairings (heats).

Place 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6, 4 vs. 5

Semifinal: the semifinal is carried out in a “head-to-head-format“. Two kayakers form one heat (pairing). While competing, both kayakers are alone on the course and the time of both kayakers is measured. The faster kayaker of each heat advances to next round (final) together with one “lucky loser”, i.e. the fastest kayaker of the 4 “eliminated” athletes, who lost their heat. Hence 5 female kayakers advance to the final.

Final: in the final 5 kayakers compete in a single race (4 winners of heat 1-4 and 1 “lucky loser”). The finalists will start in reverse order; meaning the kayaker with the slowest race time of the semi final (5th) will be the first to start. The athlete with the fastest time climbs into the hot seat whirlpool and stays there until her time has been beaten. The fastest athlete of the final is the female adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Champion. 

Prize money for the women’s WCH category and the adidas Sickline Queen is not identical. 

Participants are informed on the specific training, qualification and final times or changes in the rules during the mandatory Race Briefing.

3.4 Timing
Timing is carried out by two light barriers. Once the participant activates the first light barrier at the start the timing starts. The second light barrier is mounted at the finish line. Once the participant crosses the second light barrier the finish time is triggered. The competitor must pass the two light barriers sitting upright. The participant may not throw the paddle to break the finish light barrier. This would be a reason for immediate disqualification. The race timing is also measured manually as a backup.

3.5 Results

All results are displayed on the official result board. Only result lists signed by the Race Jury are valid. To determine the total result the following scheme is applied:

WCH MEN
Place 1 - 16 result final.
Place 17 – 28 result semifinal.
Place 29 – 52 result quarterfinal.
Place 53 – 150 result qualification.

WCH WOMEN
Place 1 - 5 result final.
Place 6 – 8 result semifinal.
Place 9 – 20+ result qualification.

In case of no separate World Championship category for women, there will still be a separate result list for women. The fastest woman holds the title "The adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak Queen" and is honored with an award ceremony in the evening. 

 

The WCH flower ceremony for the top 3 men and women is held immediately after the men’s final to be featured live on TV. The official award ceremonies take place in the evening. In case of unexcused absence, the winners lose their claim for prize money.

3.6 Protest
Any protest must be submitted to the race organizer within 15 minutes after the end of each run.
The protest is discussed by the Race Jury. In case of a protest, a fee of  €100 is charged and is only returned, if the protest is granted.

4. Course

All participants must compete a mandatory run within the scope of the official training prior to qualification on Friday. The same applies for participants on the final race course. Participation in the two mandatory runs is documented by the Race Jury. In case of absence the competitor is automatically disqualified.

The qualification and final race course are presented in detail during the Race Briefing. There the course, start and finish are defined precisely. The qualification and final race course may vary based on the water level.

Running the Wellerbrücke rapids outside official training and qualification times is legally prohibited. The organizer does not assume liability and responsibility for the participants, who defy this prohibition.

Qualification race course
The qualification course starts at the eddy, river right, around 8m above the 3m-exit-drop of the Wellerbrücke, called "The Champions Killer". The finish is at the put-in of the slalom course near the wooden steps towards the river. The degree of difficulty of the qualification course is class 4, the “Champions Killer” and the rest of the course is class 3. The course has a total length of about 270m.

Final race course
The “Wellerbrücke“ rapids rank among the most difficult white water courses in the world. Thus they are called “the Eiger Northwall” of white water kayaking. The adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championship takes place on a 280m-long course. The competitors have to master a gradient of 10%. Degrees of difficulty ranges between class 5 (extremely difficult) and class 6 (only runnable under ideal circumstances) according to the international white water standard from class 1 to class 6.
 
Main difficulties
1. “Seal launch” 6m-rock-drop

2. “Entry falls”, entry cataract, 3m gradient

3. “Mandatory Line”, 3m gradient, entry cataract to core section

4. “TNT Rapid”, 5m gradient, core section with a S turn
5. “The Champions Killer”, 3m exit drop

5. Safety
In cooperation with local authorities, safety organizations and an event-own safety team the organizer has created a first class safety and rescue operation for the event. A special safety concept created by an official safety commissary manages particulars. Therefore a high safety standard is guaranteed.

Furthermore a safety commission is appointed for the event, which manages safety issues during the event on land and water.

It consists of the following persons:

  • Safety Commission President
  • Race Director
  • Event Director
  • Safety Director 
  • Water Rescue 
  • Mountain Rescue
  • Athletes Representative

The saftey commission decides unanimously on the execution of the event. The water level of the Ötztaler Ache River at Tumpen is decisive for the execution of the race. The water levels are measured online and on site and documented in a report, which has to be signed by the members of the safety commission.

As of 12/05/2017