top of page

athol-orange river rat race official rules

1. Canoes must be of conventional type open construction design with no coverings from front to rear and in good condition. No sculls, kayaks, or Olympic racing canoes are allowed. Canoes cannot be over 18 feeT

2. Front and back of canoe must be higher than the middle. Canoes must be .14375X length, which shall equal the minimum width 4" above the keel at the canoe's maximum width. Center depth shall not be less than I I ½ inches.

3. life jackets must be worn (as designed) during actual race & practice runs. no co2 vests or belts are allowed.

4. canoes must have sufficient flotation and safety lines (6-8ft. long). must be attached to and stored in both bow and stern to aid in recovery.

5. canoes must be propelled by single blade paddles only. no motorized or battery-operated devices allowed.

6. no portages allowed. contestants must follow the natural flow of the river.

7. old numbers from previous river rat races must be removed. failure to remove past numbers will result in disqualification.

8. the official judges reserve the right to make all final decisions in regard to any part of the race.

9. anyone under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian to enter as his or her partner.

10. post positions will be drawn at The Athol Town Hall, Main Street,  on friday april 7, 2023 at 7:00pm. all contestants should be present to receive their starting number and final instructions. if you cannot attend, you may pick up your number at ELSE WHERE UPS STORE at 1485 MAIN STREET FROM 8:00AM to 11:00am on race day, saturday, april 8, 2023. a signed note is required if you authorize someone to pick up your number for you.

11. the race starts at 1:00pm on Saturday, april 8, 2023 on the east bank of the miller's river, upstream of the south main street bridge in athol, and finishes 100 yards before the south main street bridge in orange. the race has a "le mans" style start, which has all canoes starting at the same time. contestants in their canoes line up at the river's edge according to post position number. the start is signaled by a single shot fired from a cannon. assembly time starts at 11:30am. the first 40 canoes out of the river will be jigged and measured. you must have a receipt of inspection in order to claim any awards.

12. trophies and cash awards will be presented at the orange riverfront park at approximately 5:00pm following the race. trophies will be awarded to the first 3 teams to reach the finish line. trophies will also be awarded to the first 3 aluminum, canvas, women's, mixed, men's recreational, and women's recreational teams regardless of their overall placement. trophies will also be awarded to the first 3 local canoes, open to residents living in the 9-town north quabbin region.

13. the number of entries determines cash awards. please include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you want confirmation that you've signed up. if you sign up on the website, you'll receive confirmation by email.

14. refunds will not be issued once a team signs up.

15. switching partners is not allowed once positions are drawn. a change in partner between the post position draw and race start will relegate your boat to the last post position at the start.

16. recreation division canoes must be manufactured (no custom canoes in class) fiberglass canoes that weigh at least 50-pounds with no added weight. they must not exceed 18-feet in length.

bottom of page