Beginner in a stable kayak at the Quadrathlon Wassersuppe (GER) 2012 (c) LG Wassersuppe

While I encourage everyone to read (and obey!) the full World Quadrathlon Federation RULES, it is probably best for most athletes to start with the following. These are the most common and most important guidelines to making competition fair and safe for all.


  1. You may not receive personal assistance of any kind other than what is provided by the race organizers. No assistance (other than first aid and encouragement) can be obtained from spectators, fans or other competitors.
  2. No headsets/headphones or glass containers can be used at any time during competition.
  3. You must wear the unaltered race number provided so that it is visible on the front during the run.
  4. It is the athlete’s responsibility to know the course at all times. You may leave the course at any time, but must re-enter the course at the same location. Race directors are required to provide you with maps prior to the event. Know the course.


  1. You may use any stroke, tread water, float, stand or rest on an inanimate object at any time. You may not use the bottom or other objects to make forward progress if it provides you with an advantage over other competitors.
  2. You cannot wear propulsive devices or snorkels, but may wear a wetsuit if it falls within specified guidelines.


  1. You may use any canoe or kayak, as long as it has an airtight bulkhead or space for a floatation bladder and a life jacket.
  2. You are not obliged to wear the life jacket, but it is recommended in race conditions which may cause you to capsize.


  1. Helmets must be fastened at all times while you are in possession of your bike and must be worn any time you are on your bike at the race site.
  2. You must obey the rules of the road unless directed by police/RCMP or a certified official. This includes riding as far right as is possible, stopping at stop signs, obeying traffic lights. In addition, do not cross the centerline of the road at any time.
  3. You cannot follow within 10m of each another bike (drafting) and may not ride within 3m to the side of each other (blocking). You may break these rules only when passing and have a maximum of 15 seconds to enter the 10m/1m zone and complete the pass on the left. The competitor passed (or a person who attempted and failed a pass) must immediately drop out of the draft zone before they attempt to re-pass.


  1. You can run or walk, but they don’t let you crawl.
  2. Rollerblades? Nice try!


  1. You must place your boat and rack your bike in a designated space and have a limited amount of space for personal effects. Officials will normally point this out during the briefing.
  2. You may carry personal effects/aids with you during the race but you may not discard any personal effects unless at your designated transition location or a race-organized aid station.
  3. Bikes cannot be ridden in transition and you will be instructed to mount and dismount your bike at designated location known as the mount/dismount line.

If you break a rule at any point during the event;

  1. An official will normally blow a whistle, say your race number and ask you to safely come to a stop for further instructions. When you oblige, the official may;- a. give you a verbal warning and/or Penalty- b. give you a warning/penalty and a time penalty to be served on the spot- c. give you a warning/penalty and a time penalty to be added to your final time- d. give you a disqualification and remove you from further competition- e. give you a disqualification and allow you to continue to race pending your ability       to appeal the DQ- f. remove you from the competition for medical/safety reasons. You do have the right to appeal
  2. You may also protest things like the course and another competitor’s conduct. There are time limits and protocol to follow, but you do have rights and should know them.

Each race has a pre-race briefing and this is an excellent time to hear the Rules and special items that may apply on the day. When in doubt, ask an official for clarification.

Enjoy your season of racing and be safe, have fun and stay healthy!