rules.pdf For convenient printing.

185 Falcon Drive, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada Y1A 6T2
1502 Steele St, Laramie WY 82070, USA
Phone: (867) 333-0755

2012 Rules

Official Race Rules for the first Yukon 1000 Canoe and Kayak Race
Changes from 2011 in red


The Yukon 1000 Canoe and Kayak Race is an unsupported wilderness paddling race down the Yukon River from Whitehorse, Yukon across the US/Canada border and on to the Dalton Highway Bridge North of Fairbanks, Alaska.  The race goes through some of the most empty land on the continent.  Teams should anticipate that they may spend many hours at a time out of sight of any other boat or living person.  The Yukon River has very few road access points, and very few people live along its banks.  Teams should be aware that however good they are at paddling, things can and do go wrong: damaged shoulders, wrists, hands, exhaustion, hypothermia, or just getting cold and tired.  Teams should be equipped so they are self-sufficient for at least two weeks, preferably three.

Teams should also be capable of immediate self-preservation.  If you are alone on the river with no boats hours either way, and for whatever reason you find yourself in the water, it will be up to you and no one else to recover the situation.  Anticipate the worst.  If you have a sore shoulder or wrist and need to rest, you will camp until you have recovered.  There is no safety cover on this race other that that afforded via the Spot devices.

Do not let overconfidence lead you to skimp on emergency gear.

General Race Procedure

  1. Race Start

    The official starting date of the 2012 Yukon 1000 Race will be Monday July 16, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.  The official starting place will be in Rotary Park in Whitehorse, Yukon

    The Race Marshal may make changes to these Rules with the approval of the Race Committee.

  2. Entry Fee, Dates, Limits

    2012 Yukon 1000 Canoe and Kayak Race entry opens Sep. 1, 2011.  Receipt of the official entry form and completed team member biography will constitute the team's intent to enter the race and further acknowledges that each team member understands and agrees to comply with each and every rule as stated in this document.  The Race Committee reserves the right to reject any entry.  Entries are determined on a first come, first served basis.  Entries close at midnight local time, June 15, 2012.  Certified postmarked entries by this date will be accepted.  Each entrant shall sign any and all documents or promotional material requested by Race Committee prior to, or at, the pre-race competitors meeting.  Failure to comply will result in disqualification.

    The maximum number of teams allowed to start the 2012 race is 50, with the following limits:

    Waiting list - Once the maximum of 50 teams has been reached, a waiting list will be established, again on a first come, first served basis.  To qualify for the waiting list, the official entry form must be completed and a $15 non-refundable fee paid.  If a team withdraws from the list of 50, the name at the top of the waiting list will be moved up to the entry list.  The slot will be held open for no more than seven (7) days after notification, upon full payment of entry fees.  Teams on the waiting list can be registered through July 4, 2012

    Entry fees - Fees payable in Canadian funds via PayPal when registering on the web site or after registration by cheque, cash, or through the web site using Paypal.

    The entry fee for 2012 is $250 Canadian per person.  This may be paid in any major currency.  Contact us before paying by cheque in $US or £s.  US checks or Canadian cheques should be  made payable to Yukon 1000 Canoe Race Association.

  3. Qualifying

    At least one member from each team must have completed the Yukon 360, or have equivalent adventure racing and wilderness experience, to be eligible to enter this race.

  4. Definition of Teams and Entry Categories/Classes

    A tandem canoe or tandem kayak team entry consists of two members who will travel together down the river in the same craft.

    A solo canoe or solo kayak team entry consists of two person who will travel down the river in the same separate craft, but who will be travelling together and camping at the same location each night.

    A voyageur canoe team entry consists of 6 or more people who travel together downriver in the same craft.

    Each team described above is to be entirely self-sufficient.

    The paddlers on each team who start the race in a boat must finish in that boat for that team to be eligible for prize money.  Voyageur teams that drop paddlers for whatever reason, or any team that drops a paddler and continues on with a paddler from another team, may receive an unofficial time.

  5. Age Limits

    There shall be a minimum age limit of 15 years old for entrants.  The minimum age limit for a solo entry is 19 years old, and at least half the members of a tandem or voyageur entry must be 19 years or older.  Persons under the age of 18 must present a waiver of liability signed by a parent, or guardian, in addition to the waiver of liability signed by the entrant.

  6. Substitution of Team Members

    Each team member may be substituted, after entry has been accepted, up until three days before the start of the race: Final date for 2012 race substitutions: July 15 2012.

  7. Withdrawal before Race

    Teams withdrawing before April 15, 2012 will be refunded 90% of their entry fee.  Teams withdrawing after that, but before June 13, 2012 will be refunded 75% of their entry fee.  Withdrawal after July 1 will constitute forfeiture of the entry fee.

  8. Course and Mandatory Layovers

    The Yukon 1000 covers approximately 1600 km (1000 miles) of the Yukon River through remote Northern wilderness areas from Whitehorse, Yukon to the Dalton Highway Bridge, Alaska.  Teams should be prepared for travel through this type of area.  Bear and moose encounters are possible, necessary precautions should be taken.

    All teams are required to camp during hours of darkness.  All boats must carry a Spot device, and must send an OK message every evening by 23:15 (11:15pm) and at least six hours later, and no earlier than 02:30, from the same location.  Teams are not to paddle in darkness, which is defined as one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise.  Your GPS will tell you when sunset and sunrise are for your location.

    Evening check-ins which are late or morning check-ins which are early will result in a penalty of four times the infraction.  A missing check-ins message will result in a disqualification.  Teams are also required to set their Spot device into Tracking mode from 30 minutes after they leave camp in each morning until one hour before they camp in the evening.

  9. Race Officials (Race Marshal)

    The intent of the rules will guide the Race Marshal and Race Judges in their decisions.  The Race Marshal is in charge of all aspects of the race from the pre-race competitors meeting to the end of the race.  The Race Marshal is in charge of imposing time penalties for rules violations described herein, and also may waive or reduce time penalties for unseen calamities that may befall a team.

  10. Pre-Race Inspections and Meetings

    It is mandatory for all team members to attend the registration, pre-race inspection and competitors meeting on Sunday afternoon, July 15, 2012 in Whitehorse at a location to be determined.

    Following the boat inspections, there is a meeting for competitors.  All paddlers are required to attend.  Failure by a team captain to attend will result in a two-hour penalty applied at the discretion of the Race Marshal.

  11. Awards & Prize Money

    The intent of the Yukon 1000 prize structure is to reward the top paddlers in each category fairly.

    Prize money will be awarded according to the entry fees received.  Prize money will be awarded by category: Solo, Tandem Kayak, Tandem Canoe, Voyageur.  Entry fees for each class will be used for the prizes in that class.  Prizes will be awarded for the top three positions in each class according to the following ratios: 100 for 1st, 50 for 2nd, 25 for 3rd.  No prize will be awarded to the last boat in each category unless they finish within one day of the first boat across the line.  Thus if only 3 tandem canoes start the race, only 1st and second prizes will be awarded and third prize will only be awarded if that boat finishes less than a day behind the fist boat of any class to reach the finish line.


    Each team member who finishes the race before the end of July 2012 will receive a medal.  All remaining racers who finish before midnight on the 5th August will receive a Course Completion certificate.  There will be a finishers' ceremony at a place to be decided, but attendance is not required.

  12. Canoe and Kayak Specifications

    The boats allowed to enter the race must be recreational stock class canoes, sea kayaks, or voyageur canoes as described in more detail below.  Boats not meeting these specifications will be disqualified.  All tandem and solo canoes and kayaks must be equipped with a full coverage spray deck with snaps or tie downs.  All boats must be powered and steered solely by human muscle power.  Use of an illegal steering or propulsion device, including sails, will result in disqualification.  No boat may be equipped with oarlocks, rowlock, or tholepins.

    Vessel types and measurements must be recorded on your application.  All vessels will be measured prior to the pre-race meeting, and inspected again on the morning of the start.  Please do not bring a vessel to this race unless you are absolutely sure it fits within the specifications listed below.  Refer to the How to Measure section on the FAQ page.  Contact us if you have questions.

    1. Tandem Canoe Specifications

      The tandem canoe (C2) class allows any boat meeting the USCA Competition Cruiser specification.  Note that this specification allows boats that are not necessarily the most suitable for the race.  Make sure your boat can carry the required gear and is stable when fully loaded.  Each canoe must start the race with an approved, full coverage spray skirt/deck.  Canoes must be paddled with the use of single blade paddles only, and must not be equipped with rudders or skegs.

      See Images and Docs/USCA Main Calendar/USCACompRules2009.pdf section V.A for the full Competition Cruiser specification

      Tandem Canoe Max. Length - 18 feet, 6 inches, stem to stern
      Tandem Canoe Min. Width - 14 3/8% of the length (.14375 times the length) at the 4 inch water line, measured within 12 inches fore and aft of the center of the canoe.
      Tandem Canoe Center Gunnel Min. height: 11½ in.
      Tandem Canoe Min. Height at Bow: 15½ in.

      This rule allows: stock canoes such as the Clipper and Wenonah Jensen 18 models; and canoes such as the Clipper Whitewater II and Wenonah Minnesota II models.  However, all of the above listed boats must have their measurements listed on the application, and will be measured at the pre-race inspection to ensure they meet the specs above.

    2. Solo Canoe Specifications

      This Solo Canoe (C1) class is for the half-decked Kruger-style canoes.  Boats in this solo class must have rudders and must be half-decked.  The deck must slope away from the midline, and there must be a cockpit combing at least 1-inch high.  Solo Canoes must be paddled with the use of single blade paddles only.

      Solo Canoe Max. Length - 18 feet, 6 inches, stem to stern
      Solo Canoe Min. Width Midship - 24 inches, at the 4-inch water line at the widest point.
      Solo Canoe Min. Width Fore & Aft 23 inches at the 4-inch water line, for 2 feet fore and aft of the widest point.

      Additional minimum width measurements:

      28 inches wide, 6 inches above water line at widest 4-inch water line.
      26 inches wide, 6 inches above water line 2 feet fore and aft of widest point.

      This rule allows the Kruger Sea Wind and Clipper Sea One models.  However, all of the above listed boats must have their measurements listed on the application, and will be measured at the pre-race inspection to ensure they meet the specs above.

    3. Sea Kayak Specifications

      This race is for recreation or expedition-style sea kayaks only, with closed cockpits.  Sit-on-tops or an outrigger type craft are not allowed.  Sea kayaks must have storage hatches capable of storing all the gear required for this race.  Kayaks must be paddled with the use of double-blade paddles only.

      The Yukon 1000 Canoe and Kayak Race has adopted the same boat measuring scheme as the Yukon River Quest.  For Kayaks this includes a simple length to width ratio which is determined by dividing the total length of the kayak at the 4-inch waterline (excluding the rudder unless it is faired into the hull) by the midship width at the 4-inch waterline.  Do not rely on other published ratios.  In addition, there is a minimum overall width.  Measure according to directions in the How to Measure section of the FAQs.

      1. Tandem Sea Kayak

        Maximum 4 waterline length-width ratio: 10.2
        Minimum overall width at the widest point: 26 in.

      2. Solo Sea Kayak

        Maximum 4 waterline length-width ratio: 10.8
        Minimum overall width at widest point: 20 in.

    4. Voyageur Canoe Specifications

      The voyageur class celebrates a Canadian heritage.  Teams of 6 or more are allowed.

      Voyageur canoes must be paddled with the use of single bladed canoe paddles only.

      Overall length allowed: 24 to 42 feet

      Minimum widths measured at the 6 inch waterline (for boats of lengths below):

      Boat length: 24-28 feet 6 inch waterline width: 36.25 in.
      Boat length: 28-34 feet 6 inch waterline width: 44 in.
      Boat length: 34-42 feet 6 inch waterline width: 48 in.

      Minimum depth at gunnels: 18 inches


    Substitution with an illegal vessel at any point along the route will result in disqualification.  On prior approval of the Race Marshal, a damaged vessel may be replaced with another of the same class, with a time penalty of two (2) hours.

  13. Claims

    Each team member agrees to hold the Race Committee, the race sponsor(s) and othr contributors (that is, sponsors and contributors to the race and the Race Committee, as distinguished from the sponsors of individuals or teams) harmless from any claim or demand based on any alleged action or inaction by the team member, their agents, employees and volunteers from any claim or demand resulting from injury to the team member or his/her property.  Further, the Race Committee has the unqualified and unrestricted authority to permit the race sponsor(s) to photograph and otherwise collect information for advertising, public relations, or other publicity purposes.

  14. Team Report

    It is the duty of each team member to report all violations of these Rules to the Race Marshal or Race Judges.  The forms for reporting violations will be available from race officials in Whitehorse.

  15. Protest Form

    A participant who wishes to lodge a protest shall submit the protest in writing accompanied by $50.00US protest fee to a race official, no later than one 17:00 (5pm) on 4 August 2009.  This fee is refundable if the protest is upheld or deemed reasonable by the race committee.

  16. Failure to Comply

    All decisions by the Race Marshal and/or Race Judges shall be final.  Failure of a team member to comply with the Rules of General Race and River Procedure will result in disqualification or time penalty as decided by the Race Marshal.

    River Procedure

  17. Common Start/Late Start

    Teams will leave the riverbank at Rotary Park.  All teams will have a common start time of 11:00am on July 16, 2012.  Any team which has not left by 14:00 (2pm) will be deemed a no show and will be withdrawn from the race.

  18. Mandatory Equipment

    The following items are considered mandatory equipment for each team starting the race, and are to be carried the entire length of the race course.  Not carrying these items shall result in disqualification:

    1. Each canoe must start the race with a single-bladed canoe paddle for each person in the vessel and a spare single-bladed canoe paddle.
    2. Each kayak must start with a double-bladed kayak paddle for each person in the vessel and a spare double-bladed kayak paddle.
    3. Voyageur canoes must have one single-bladed canoe paddle per person and two extra single-bladed paddles
    4. One Spot device and spare batteries in each boat.  Solo teams must carry two Spot device.  Carrying a spare in all boats in not a bad idea.  The results can be correlated with two devices for each boat, and that way a device loss or failure will not take you out of the race.
    5. Each vessel must have a towline attached to the vessel.  This must be appropriate for towing and mooring the vessel.
    6. Each team member must carry a U.S. Coast Guard or Canadian Department of Transport approved Personal Flotation Device.  This must be worn at all times when on the river or in the water (e.g. Swimming).  Self-inflatable PFDs are not allowed.
    7. It is required that a team wear a full coverage spray-skirt deck with snaps or tie downs while traveling on the river from Whitehorse to Lower Laberge and Carmacks to Rink Rapids.  Lack of, or non-use of the spray-skirt on this section will result in disqualification.
    8. Voyageur canoes without a spray skirt will require internal floatation device.
    9. A buoyant heaving line of not less than 15 meters (50 feet) in length and at least 1/4 diameter.  It must be accessible to hand.
    10. Sufficient food to last the duration of the race, with reserved for storm days, or rest days forced by injury or otherwise.
    11. bear proof food container(s) approved by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, or equipment to hang food
    12. One Bailer (bucket or pump)
    13. River Map
    14. Basic First Aid Kit
    15. One sleeping bag per person rated to -15C.
    16. Free-standing tent(s) to shelter all members of a team.  Solo entries are advised to carry one per boat in case they become separated.
    17. Backpack stove and fuel with a pot capable of boiling 1 litre of water.
    18. Documentation for crossing the US border at Eagle
    19. One emergency space bivy sack per person.
    20. Waterproof fire starting kit
    21. $20 in Canadian currency
    22. $20 in US currency
    23. Whistle
    24. Credit card
    25. Knife
    26. signalling mirror
    27. USCG approved emergency strobe
    28. Radar reflector.  (this can be aluminum foil and duct tape).
    29. Water resistant electric torch showing a white light
    30. Bear Spray

    Items s through z must be in life jacket pockets or attached to the life jacket.

  19. Teams in Distress

    Any team witnessing another team in obvious distress is compelled to render all assistance appropriate.  Failure to offer assistance in an emergency situation will result in a lifetime disqualification from Yukon 1000 Canoe and Kayak Race for all team members.

    A team requiring rescue should use their Spot device to send a Help or 911 message.  The race organisers will relay Help message on to the team's emergency contact.  That is the limit of the race organizers involvement in rescues.

  20. Bear Precautions

    Teams are expected to take appropriate bear precautions when they stop for the night.  Between Eagle and Circle they are required to store all food in bear canisters as approved by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, or hang all food "at least 10 feet off the ground and at least 4 feet from any tree trunk".  If you do not take bear canisters for your food with you in your boat, you will be required to sign a statement that you will conform to these requirements.  This is a requirement of our permission to race through the Yukon-Charley National Preserve.  You may be required to demonstrate how you will hang your food before you leave Whitehorse.

  21. Team Support

    No planned help is allowed throughout the race pace boats (i.e. crafts paddled or powered that follow or lead a team for the purpose of keeping speed up, offering support, sustenance, conveying water food or supplies) are prohibited.  Teams should carry enough food to sustain them throughout this wilderness race.  Breaches of this rule will result in disqualification.  No team may accept help that is not equally available to all teams.  Unplanned assistance from other competitors (Good Samaritan actions) are allowed.  If there is a suspicion that help is planned, then teams may be penalized.

  22. Alcohol and Drugs

    Under no circumstances shall a participant use a performance-enhancing drug that has been defined by the Canadian Canoe Association as such.  If there is cause to believe a racer has taken such a drug, it will be the right of the Race Committee to have a laboratory test done that will prove or disprove the presence on any illegal drug in the racers body.  Any participant in the race who has a physical ailment for which it is necessary to ingest or inhale a stimulant type of medication to control said ailment must bring this fact to the attention of the Race Marshal before the start of the race.  Alcohol is discouraged.  You will be passing some dry communities in Alaska.  If you stop in a dry community with alcohol in your boat you are opening yourself to the risk of a bootlegging charge.  Circle, Beaver and Stevens Village are dry.

  23. Interference

    Intentional interference with another team's progress, whether on or off the water, will result in disqualification

  24. No Littering.  No Removal of Artefacts

    Litter of any kind along the river and its banks will not be tolerated.  This includes the dropping of extra food at any point along the river.  Teams must practice 'no-trace' camping at all points along the river.  Teams proven to have littered at any point along the route will be disqualified.  The Yukon River has been termed 'the world's longest museum.' It is the site of many historical artefacts and properties.  Removal of, or interference with, any artefacts will result in disqualification.

  25. Statutory Compliance

    In addition to these rules, the rules and laws applying to any historic sites or properties along the race route govern competitors.  Any team member who violates a territorial, national or international law while in the race may be disqualified if convicted.  Teams may not carry firearms while competing in the race.

  26. Check in Procedures

    Teams are required to stop each night.  They must use their Spot device or devices to send an OK message before 23:15 (11:15pm) each evening, and again at least six hours later, and no earlier than 2:30, from the same location.  Teams must not paddle in the dark, which is defined as from one hour after sunset until one hour before sunrise.  Your GPS will tell you when sunrise and sunset are for your current location.

    Note that the Spot device may take several minutes after you press the OK button before the message is sent.  The message carries the location from and the time at which the message was sent, not the location and time when the button was pushed.  Allow for this.

    In addition, Teams are required to send Tracking messages during the day.  Teams may be forced to withdraw from the race it they are out of contact for any significant time.

    Teams Spot pages must be shared, and the URLs given to the Yukon 1000 Canoe Race.  Registration will not be considered complete until the team has used their Spot device to track while they paddle a boat, and to simulate an overnight stop.  Teams will not be allowed to compete unless this is done before June 16th 2012.

    There will be some verbal checkpoints along the river.  Teams MUST identify themselves clearly to the checkpoint staff.

  27. Withdrawal from the Race

    A team wishing to withdraw from the race must inform the race organisers as soon as possible by phone, and in writing as soon a possible.

    The race does not provide safety boat support or any rescue service.  If a team needs emergency rescue from the river, the cost will be borne by that team.

  28. Finish Line Procedures at the Dalton Highway Bridge

    A team finishes the race when it passes under the Dalton Highway Bridge.  The pull out point is just past the bridge on the North side of the river.  Once past the bridge, the team should press OK on their Spot device one last time, and phone the race organisers as soon as possible.  There is a pay phone at the Dalton Highway Camp Hotel about 100 metres from the river.

    The event officially ends 23:59 (one minute before midnight) AST Saturday 6th August 2012.  After this time, the race organisers will no longer be responsible for monitoring Spot messages.

    The Finish Event and Awards Presentation will held on Saturday 28th July, and the consolation party will be in Whitehorse, on Saturday 4th August.