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Poole Harbour Canoe Race


A chance to assist Poole Harbour Canoe Club with thier Harbour Race - Both Legacy and Apollo Helms and Crew required for a great day out.

Stake boats and Course marks

  • Red and Yellow Circles
  •             (A), West of Gold point (Yellow/Orange Buoy)
  •             (B), Balls Lake               (Stake boat and Yellow/Orange Buoy)
  •             (C), Pottery pier             (Stake Boat / Nightingale )
  •             (D), Castle                    (Stake boat)
  •             (E), Giggers                  (Stake Boat and Yellow/Orange Buoy)
  • Pink circles Pink Triangular buoys

True Stake boat and Buoy position

  1. A. 50°42.45N 2°01.60W Opposite lake pier West of gold point, visible during briefing
  2. B. 50°41.70N 2°00.20W Balls Lake, Close to East Cardinal at Balls Lake. 
  3. C. 50°41.54N 1°59.37W Pottery pier, aim to get close to Pottery Pier to create a 20m gap.
  4. D. Brownsea Castle. Position not vital
  5. E. 50°41.6 N 2°04.4W Southern edge of Wareham Channel at Giggers

If there are not enough stake boats use the tall yellow and tall orange buoys from RLSS at A and E (B is a lesser priority)

Two Pink Triangular buoys as markers at end of 4 mile course, more distinctive than using kayaks

  1. 1. Close to Poole yacht club rock wall where it meets the shore. (Close to the wall and shore makes it easier to find it)
  2. 2. Close to sand bar at Rockley point

Ribs patrol zones

We plan to have 4 RIBS. Legacy and Apollo - Poole LG, Zulu- Boscombe LG, xxx - Branksome LG.

  • Rib 1 to patrol far end of Brownsea,(Furzey to Castle to Maryland.) Follows the front half of the 15 mile out to Brownsea to get on station.
  • Rib 2 to patrol Patchins point to near end of Brownsea, (Furzey to Pottery pier to Maryland.) Follows the back half of the 8 mile to get on station.
  • Rib 3 to patrol the stretch from Gold Point to Giggers. Can monitor Patchins to Pottery pier until 15 mile competitors reach them.
  • Rib 4 to patrol as needed. (maybe Balls Lake to Gold Point - although this has easy swim to shore.)
  • (All the above Rib patrol areas and movement are varied as safety officer sees fit.)
  • Set of sea kayaks to patrol 4 mile course.
  • In the event of bad weather one of the Ribs should be available to patrol zone by Lake Yard and Moriconium Quay to back up the sea kayak team


  • Ensure safety briefing informs all safety boats and 4 mile safety kayaks about the channel selection which will be made on the day depending on other harbour users. If possible channel will be chosen before day of race.
  • All ribs, stake boats and 4 mile kayak team to have both Mobile and VHF radio communication
  • Ensure start numbers are relayed to stake boat C (Pottery pier gate keeper) + stake boat E (Giggers)
  • Inform everyone of Race day timings and schedule. All starts between 11:30 and 12:00
  • Emphasise that Kayaks give way to sail at briefing
  • Permanent marker on hands at check-in makes it easy to identify any rescued crews
  • All RLSS ribs carry first aid and exposure bags and are crewed by RYA Coxswains and beach lifeguards.
  • Note to patrol boats about kayak and canoe types         
  •             Sea kayaks are stable and don't swamp
  •             Skis are less stable and don't swamp
  •             Canoes are stable but can swamp in rough conditions
  •             K racing boats are both unstable and swamp and also need to be kept level when emptying.
  • If competitors in the 15 mile races haven't passed A for the second time by 13:30 assuming 11:30 start then they should be stopped at A. (At patrol boats discretion)


  • Tide chosen to give adequate water at start.
  • 14th Sept 2024 = Neaps, HT 8:47 1.7m (@12:00 1.4m), LT 14:29 1.2 m, Over 3hrs there is 0.4 m change
  • Risk assessment sent to harbour master in advance of race.
  • One to two weeks before race arrange meeting to give safety briefing for stake boats and ribs to avoid early morning attendance on the day.
  • Circulate mobile phone contacts and call signs for all boats, base station and organisers. Ideally laminated.
  • Check Forecast in week before. Force 3, gusting 4 within the harbour is maximum to run courses unchanged (harbour is 1 point less on scale than open water). K boats are Limiting factor.
  • Sea Kayaks, Skis and Outriggers which are able to self-rescue (remount or roll) continue on original courses up to force 5, gusting 6.
  • Loops of shoreline course adopted for all other boats. Swim to shore and/or moored boats and buoys enable self rescue.
  • Obtain tall yellow and orange and pink buoys from Poole LG.

8:00 Ring Coastguard before and after.

8:00 Meet. Tall yellow buoys and pink buoys.

9:15 Safety team update for 4 mile kayak safety team not yet kitted out. Stake boats and Ribs don't need to be present at briefing as previously given details of positioning and duties

9:30 Check in starts for competitors

10.00 – 10.15 Ribs arrive at lake pier for final check in and choice or confirmation of VHF Channel, and safety update and fit day-glo pennants if not fitted.

10:30    If no stake boat at position A then large Rib to take the tall yellow buoy to position A across at Arne. Needs to be in place by 10:45 ready for the 11:30 start. 

10:30    4 mile buoys 1. and 2 need taking to wall of Poole yacht club and sand bar at Rockley point. Flag buoys by kayak, pink triangular either by car plus kayak or Canadian (Only use Ribs if adequate time to get back)

10:45    Balls Lake B and Pottery Pier C stake boats on station and in radio and mobile contact.

10:45    Kayak safety team launch.

11:00    Competitors briefing

11:15    Castle stake boat D on station and in radio and mobile contact

11:15    Ribs ready to lead or shadow groups of kayaks to get to patrol zones.

11:30 to 12:00 Races start, longest first

11:30 to 12:00 Transmit starting numbers for 15 mile, 8 mile to stake boat C (Pottery pier gatekeeper), and stake boat E (Giggers).  Transmit starting numbers for 4 mile to kayak team.

            Outward bound leg crosses between Patchins point and Pottery pier between 11:40 and 12:15

            ETA at Castle is 12:00

            Return leg crosses Patchins point between. 12:25 to 1:35

            ETA at Giggers is 1:00

12:00    Stake boat E on station at Giggers

Stake boats need to be on station for 10:45 to 11:15 except for stake boat E at Giggers which should be moored on edge of channel for 12:00

1:15 to 2:30 Back home collecting buoys, RIBs and stake boats return for refreshments at Lake pier.

3:00      Ring Coastguard to confirm we are off the water.


Other points

  • The recording of numbers passing stake boat C and E (Pottery Pier and Giggers) is a vital part of safety plan.
  • The start team need to record numbers accurately and mark numbers clearly on Fablon number stickers.
  • The race control desk needs to record and pass on retirements during the race.
  • The finish team need to record race numbers accurately.
  • If the number who start, after accounting for retirements, don't all arrive at Brownsea or at Giggers race control can then take action.
  • A near miss form is laminated to the back of contact list
  • Ambulance pickup points - Baiter public slipway, Haven Hotel, Lake Pier. 
  • The emergency alternative should Lake Pier have to close (eg a heath fire) will be Hamworthy Park.
  • Race Routes are published on website.

Should the race need to be cancelled once competitors are on the water, boats will be directed to a beach and then controlled groups will be shepherded back to start.


14th September 2024
Start Time: 09:00
End Time: 15:00
Available Spots
3 remaining:  
14th September 2024
Start Time: 09:00
End Time: 15:00
Available Spots
2 remaining: