Qualifying and Safety


Proficiency and Race Qualification

New padders are required to complete the Flatwater Proficiency Test before being permitted to enter any race. They are then required to complete a minimum of three Flatwater races or club time trials before completing the River Proficiency Test. The three Flatwater races or dices may be replaced by trips coordinated by the paddler's club Safety Officer. This is to be done at the discretion of, and under the strict control of, the signing Safety Officer.

Once the paddler has passed the River Proficiency test, they will become CBR-rated and permitted to enter both C and B Class River races.
The paddler will then be required to complete six C or B Class river races within 175% - or a lower percentage to be decided upon by the Union Safety Officer - of the winner's time, before attaining an AR rating and being permitted to enter A Class River races.

All testing is to be done by the Club or Union Safety Officers or their designated assistants. The tests, as set out in the CSA Safety Booklet (and
GCU handbooks), are to be strictly adhered to and conducted in a formal and responsible manner. The Safety Officers signing the CBR proficiency must inform the new paddlers that it is advisable to do a balance of events, graded from easy to difficult, through the 6 races prior to the attaining of an AR rating. They should explain the dangers of B and A rivers and the need to learn progressively on increasingly more difficult stretches of river. Paddlers should try not to rely only on easy C grade stretches for qualification and it is strongly recommended that paddlers do some B river races as part of their 6 river- qualification events. AR rated paddlers must have completed a minimum of three A Class races before being permitted to enter A+ Class races.

A paddler will never lose their AR rating. After an absence of three years a CBR rated paddler will lose their race credits and have to complete all
six C or B class races again before attaining an AR rating. In these rules, the front and back paddlers in a K2 are treated equally. Only whole races count, not each leg separately.


Please download and read the following document for a comprehensive guide to safety considerations in our sport.


GCU safety officer:
Bertie Baard
GCU Safety
011 353 6700
072 359 6767