Raft Race Rules

The Raft Race Committee promotes a safe, family-oriented event. We encourage all participants to act in a responsible sportsman-like manner, obey all safety requirements and raft race rules, assist their fellow rafters when necessary, and above all, enjoy the event. It is because of our exceptional safety record that we are able to hold a raft race each year. Remember, safety comes first! Watch out for fellow rafters, lend assistance when needed, and have fun.

1. Animals are not allowed at Captains’ Meeting or Raft Race. Seeing-eye dogs are permitted but clean-up materials are required.

2. Racecourse starts at the South end of Gildersleeve Island and goes downriver approx. 4 miles to the West end of Riverside Marina.

3. Anticipated race duration is from approx. 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

4. All entries will be required to accept a tow if found to be floundering mid-race and/or have not finished by 2:00 p.m.

5. All rafts must be of homemade construction.

6. All raft entries have a minimum crew size of 3.

7. No commercially manufactured hulls allowed on any raft.

8. Inner tubes or inflatable devices are not allowed.

9. Minimum raft size is 4' x 8' and must be able to support the weight of the crew. Raft size to be measured at the waterline.

10. A raft’s deck must be securely fastened to a frame and the frame securely fastened to the hulls and or flotation devices.

11. The use of nails below the water line is prohibited.

12. Rafts that have open hulls with no bulkheads shall have Styrofoam flotation fastened to the underside of the raft deck.

13. Aftermarket marine rigging such as cleats & rope are acceptable.

14. All sheet metal raw edges to be turned over and taped.

15. Any protruding long bolts to be sawed off, filed, and taped.

16. All rafts should be inspected prior to launching and may be subject to modification at the discretion of the Raft Race Committee.

17. Contact a raft race committee member if you are planning to put your raft in the water earlier than Saturday, July 29th.

18. Kayaks and canoes have no construction restrictions and do not need to be inspected prior to launching.

19. Single entries in the kayak & canoe classes should use the buddy system during the race and/or team up with other entries.

20. All entries must be solely human powered and self-propelled and make use of poles, oars, paddles, paddlewheels, sails, propellers, flippers, etc. or any combination thereof.

21. Sweeper rafts can be power-driven but cannot pass a human powered entry unless performing official duties or providing emergency assistance to a vessel in need of help.

22. Sweepers must be state registered & meet Coast Guard requirements.

23. All minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

24. All rafts must be equipped with a suitable anchor and line that is secured to the raft and anchor at all times.

25. Each entry must be equipped with a suitable towline.

26. Each participant must have a Coast Guard approved life jacket in their possession that should be worn at all times.

27. Captains will inform their crew of the whereabouts of stored (Coast Guard approved) life jackets aboard their raft AND will also conduct “abandon ship”drills with the crews donning life jackets before heading out.

28. All crew members shall wear sneakers or other appropriate footwear to prevent injuries from submerged sharp objects.

29. Sun-sensitive participants should wear appropriate sunscreen.

30. Participants should wear an appropriate hat with a large enough visor to help reduce exposure to the hot sun.

31. All entries must display their class designation and competition number in plain sight and must be clearly visible to the finish line officials.

32. All Captains and their crew must remain aboard their registered vessel for the entire duration of the Race.

33. All entries must run entire course under their own power to be eligible for awards.

34. No Glass Containers are allowed at any time!

35. Each entry must have an adequate supply of drinking water onboard for the entire crew so as to prevent dehydration during the race.

36. All race entries should be outfitted with a first aid kit.

37. All race entries must have garbage bags for their own trash.

38. No mechanical devices or tubing shall be used to propel water balloons, spaghetti, snowballs, or any other dangerous objects.

39. Anyone exhibiting unsafe behavior will be disqualified and could be permanently banned from the event.

40. No diving off any vessel or jumping into the water at any time! Sections of the racecourse can be very shallow in spots and may include submerged sharp objects.

41. All entries must have a designated driver for their crew members whenever present at Raft Race functions.

42. All vessels must be removed from the river at the end of the day unless other arrangements have been made with the Marina.

43. Derelict vessels are subject to police action and/or fines from the D.E.P. and risk permanent disqualification from the event.

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