General Liffey Descent Rules

1. General Governance


1.1 The International Liffey Descent is run under the auspices of Canoeing Ireland. As such, it is bound by both the International Canoeing Federation and the Canoeing Ireland Marathon Racing Rules in relation to racing classes only.

1.2 By submission of an official Liffey Descent entry form, it is considered that entrants and support crews are acquainted with all the Race Rules. In consideration of an application of a penalty, it will not be considered a defence, an excuse, or mitigating factor that an entrant or support crew member was unaware of the existence of a rule


2. Race Coordinator Rights and Responsibilities


2.1 Canoeing Ireland will appoint a Race Coordinator to manage the International Liffey Descent. The Race Coordinator may make a ruling at any time and on any matter not specifically covered under the General Liffey Descent rules prior or during the International Liffey Descent that ensures the safe management of the event.

2.2 The Race Coordinator will advise competitors of any additional rules or amendments to existing rules either (1) by social media, (2) by announcement on, (3) by email directly to the registered competitor, (4) by announcement at the starting line or any combination of the above.

2.3 The Race Coordinator is empowered to limit the number of entrants in specific classes if deemed necessary in the interest of safety. If this right is implemented, entries will be accepted in the order they are received within the respective classes.

2.3 The Race Coordinator reserves the right to reject any entry if, in the opinion of the Race Coordinator, there is a threat of safety to the participant or to other participants in the International Liffey Descent.


3. Entry Rules and Requirements


3.1 All entries must be submitted by an official entry form available through the Canoeing Ireland database. No entry will be accepted otherwise.

3.2 Entrants must enter a class based on the dimensions of their canoe/kayak as defined in the class definitions available in the Boat Classes section of this website and on the entry form on the Canoeing Ireland database.


4. Age Requirements for Competing


4.1 Competitors under the age of 18 years by the 1st of January of the year of the competition are considered Juniors.

4.2 Parental or legal guardian consent must be received by Canoeing Ireland to compete in the event forms available on request.

4.3 The Junior competitor must be currently registered as a member of Canoeing Ireland or a current registered member of a recognised National Canoeing Federation.


5. Visual Display Rules of Race Numbers and Logo


5.1 All competitors must ensure that their allocated Race Numbers and the International Liffey Descent Logo are visible both on their Race Bibs and on the front of their craft.


6. Rules of Assistance During the Event


6.1 Receiving assistance from any craft in the race is unpermitted except in the instance of capsize, First Aid, real danger or threat of safety to a competitor.

6.2 In the event of a capsize, competitors may be assisted from the water and receive assistance in emptying their craft in preparing for re-entering the race but may not be assisted in any other way except in the instance of real danger or threat of safety to a competitor.

6.3 Assistance by any competitor during any portage will result in disqualification of all competitors involved unless (1) a competitor makes a prior agreement with the Race Coordinator to receive assistance from designated helpers or (2) in any instance of First Aid, sustenance, change of clothing, help with repairs, replacement of faulty or damaged equipment including paddles (but not the replacement of the craft itself) or (3) in the instance when any competitor assists in the case of real danger or threat of safety to another competitor.

6.4 Wash hanging from any non-competing craft is not permitted.


7. Witnessing Threats of Real Danger


7.1 In all circumstances, any competitor seeing another competitor in real danger is compelled to render all assistance possible. Failure to do so may result in disqualification of future races.

7.2 In all circumstances, any competitor or support crew member who deliberately obstructs assistance to any competitor by the Rescue Teams or deliberately inhibits the safe operation of the Liffey Descent is liable to immediate expulsion from the race and possible disqualification of future races.


8. Withdrawal from the Race


8.1 Any competitor withdrawing from the race for any reason is required to notify a Race Official at the finish as soon as possible.


9. Time Limits


9.1 To ensure adequate safety cover, competitors arriving later than the designated times as detailed in the Pre-Race notes at Leixlip Portage or Wren’s Nest Weir will be considered to have retired from the race as Rescue Support will have been withdrawn at the times specified in the Pre-Race Notes.

9.2 The Liffey Descent will be considered finished at 17:00. All Rescue Support and time keeping will cease at this time. Any competitor arriving at the finish after 17:00 may not be timed and may not appear in the final results.


10. Equipment Rules and Requirements


10.1 CE or US Coast Guard approved buoyancy aids must be worn by all competitors.

10.2 CE or US Coast Guard approved helmets are mandatory for K1 Class B, K1 Class C, T2, Canoes and under 18 paddlers in all classes. Helmets are highly recommended to be worn in all other classes.

10.3 Scrutineering will take place at a designated time in Lady Castle Car Park in the grounds of the K Club on the morning of the race. Competitors failing to present their craft and equipment for scrutineering will not be allowed into the Start Area.


11. Protesting Rules and Regulations


11.1 There will be no right to protest against a refusal of entry.

11.2 On the day of the Descent, the right to protest something other than refusal of entry lies solely with a competitor who may consider themselves aggrieved or affected by any decision or action by an official, competitor or other person connected with the Descent.

11.3 Each protest incurs a €50 fee, which is refundable if the protest is upheld.

11.4 Protests should be lodged in writing on an official protest form and accompanied by the €50 protest fee directly to the Race Coordinator as soon as possible after the occurrence but, in any case, not later than 16:30 on the day of the Descent.

11.5 All protests will be heard and adjudicated on by a Protest Committee consisting of the Race Coordinator, a representative of Canoeing Ireland’s marathon committee, a  and a Canoeing Ireland staff member and an additional appointment independent party.

11.6 The hearing of a protest will take place as soon as practicable after the lodging of a protest. All parties will be given adequate notice of the time and place of the hearing of the protest. This can take place on the day of the race or on the days following the race depending on the number of protests.

11.7 It is expected that all parties affected by a decision of the Protest Committee will agree to be bound by the decision of the Protest Committee. The decision of the Protest Committee will be considered final, however, a right to appeal to the Canoeing Ireland Board of Management may exist and this right will comply with the Appeals Procedures of Canoeing Ireland.


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