Canoe Skills Awards

Canoe Skills Awards

Level 2 Canoe Skills

Level 3 Canoe Skills

Level 4 Canoe Skills

Level 5 Canoe Skills


Canoe Skills Awards

Level 2 Canoe Skills

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General Aims

The Level 2 Canoe Skills Award aims to enable participants to

  1. Canoe safely and competently on water of Grade I difficulty as a member of a group being led.
  2. Assist in basic rescues.

Requirements

  1. To obtain the Level 2 Canoe Skills Award, a participant must successfully explain and/or demonstrate the following techniques and skills.
  2. The participant should be capable of carrying out all the strokes in either double and solo canoe (where the stroke is relevant).
  3. An understanding of the Basic Safety Rules of canoeing.
  4. An ability to enter and exit a canoe correctly.
  5. Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle and Stop.
  6. An ability to turn the canoe through 360 degrees in both directions using a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep Strokes.
  7. Simple Draw Stroke and Pry.
  8. Brace.
  9. Trim
  10. Capsize Drill.
  11.  An ability to assist in an assisted X Rescue.
  12.  Knots: a figure of eight and a round turn with two half hitches.

Assessment

  1. The Level 2 Canoe Skills Assessment must take place outdoors on flat water (i.e. water of Grade I difficulty).No part of an assessment may be taken in a swimming pool.
  2. During an assessment all techniques/skills must be performed to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.
  3. It may not be feasible for a junior or disabled person to assist fully in rescues - such candidates should, however, have a full understanding of the correct sequence of required rescues and have some role to play in the completion of the rescues.
  4. All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. use of a simple draw stroke to manoeuvre the canoe to the bank, sweep and Pry should ideally be carried out as a manoeuvre to move the canoe sideways to avoid an obstacle. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the canoe.
  5. The Level 2 Canoe Skills Award is not a compulsory pre requisite for any subsequent Irish Canoe Union skills awards.

                Assessment Guidelines

Notes for Level 2 Canoe Skills Awards

                Safety Rules of Canoeing

Enter and Exit

Using paddles across the Gunnels for balance. For entering, stepping into the centre line, rear canoeist entering first should be demonstrated.

Forward Paddle

A Goon Stroke is sufficient for the solo & Double canoeing, some straying off course is permissible, but a straight line of at least 50 metres is required. Small use of Stern Rudder and Sweep permissible in both solo and double.

Reverse Paddle

Veering is permissible.

Stopping

Should occur in a straight line within four strokes.

Turn

Sweep strokes in Doubles should be demonstrated from Bow to Hip and Stern to Hip and a full sweep stroke in solo, both forward and reverse sweeps should be demonstrate on each side.

Simple Draw Stroke and Pry

The canoe should move sideways in a reasonably straight line. Roles to be reversed if demonstrated in double. Combination of Draw and Pry to be used in doubles.

Brace

Horizontal loom extended beyond the gunnel.

Pry Turn

Under movement the canoe should be turned sharply using pry at the back of the canoe, and sweep at the front.

Capsize Drill

After capsizing, the canoe should be held and towed 10 metres to the bank where it should be emptied correctly.

X Rescue

To be carried out on a half full upright canoe.

Knots

A figure of eight and a round turn with two half hitches.

 


Level 3 Canoe Skills

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General Aims

The Level 3 Canoe Skills Award aims to enable participants to:

  1. Canoe safely and competently on rivers up to and including of Grade II difficulty as a member of peers
  2. Be capable of negotiating obstacles encountered on water of Grade II difficulty
  3. Assist in basic rescues.

Requirements

To obtain the Level 3 Canoe Skills Award, a participant must successfully explain and demonstrate the following techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 2 Canoe Skills Award.

The participant should be capable of carrying out all the strokes in both double and solo canoe (where the stroke is relevant).

Strokes

  1. Forward Paddle, a Forward J Stroke, Reverse Paddle, a Reverse J Stroke to be used in the solo and Emergency Stop
  2. Forward Sweep, Reverse Sweep and a combination of Forward and Reverse Sweep.
  3. Draw Stroke and Pry
  4. Sculling Draw
  5. Hanging Draw
  6. Brace for Support
  7. Bow Rudder & Bow Draw
  8. Cross Bow Rudder & Draw
  9. Stern Rudder
  10.  Inside Pivot and Outside Pivot turn

Techniques

  1. Enter and Exit
  2. Trim
  3. Forward Ferry gliding
  4. Reverse Ferry gliding
  5. Breaking in
  6. Breaking out
  7. Knots: an ability to tie a round turn and two half hitches, and clove hitch Highway mans hitch

Rescues

  1. Capsize Drill
  2. X & CurlRescue
  3. Offensive and Defensive Swimming

Theory

  1. Knowledge of Safety Rules
  2. An understanding of Eddies, Standing Waves, V Waves, Stoppers, and Easy River Routes
  3. Knowledge of wind effect on the canoe and trimming of the canoe for wind  and rapids, i.e. weight at back for running with the wind, forward for heading into wind. Sitting towards centre in rapids/drops etc should be known.The importance of trim in Doubles and Solo Canoeing
  4. An understanding of  various signals and commands.
  5. The Painters  at either end of the canoe should be easily accessible during the trip, but should not be able to wrap around the participant's legs whilst they are in the canoe.

Assessment

  1. The Level 3 Canoe Skills Assessment must take place outdoors on water of Grade II difficulty as part of a river trip. No part of an assessment can be taken in a swimming pool
  2. During assessment candidates must demonstrate all techniques/skills at a skills level higher than that required for the Level 2 Canoe Skills Award. All techniques and skills must be performed to an assessor's satisfaction in order to achieve this award.
  3. All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations and demonstrated on both sides of the canoe.
  4. Generally all required assessment rescues will be kept until the end of an assessment.
  5. Participants for this award must be at least 12 years of age.
  6. Member of Canoeing Ireland.

                Assessment Guidelines

                Level 3 Canoe Skills Award Guidelines

Forward Paddle, a Forward J Stroke

To be demonstrated in a  solo or double canoe with only a small amount of veering, near vertical paddle shaft

Reverse Paddle, a Reverse J Stroke

To be used in the solo or double

Emergency Stop

The paddle can cross the canoe in order to stop the canoe veering when solo

Draw Stroke and Pry

To be used in moving water to avoid obstacles

Bow Rudder

To be demonstrated in break out and break in manoeuvres

Cross Bow Rudder

To be demonstrates in break out and break in manoeuvres Bracing

Will be assessed as part of your canoe handling in Grade II rapids

Edging/Trim

To be shown as part of a Breaking In and Breaking Out manoeuvre.

Stern Rudder

Used to compensate at the stern of a double or for maintaining direction. Gunnel can be used for lever

Forward Ferry gliding (facing upriver)

Candidates must ferry glide in a straight line between two selected points on the river

Reverse Ferry gliding (facing downriver)

Candidates must ferryglide between 2 selected points, a combination of offside reverse strokes and reverse J stroke can be used

Breaking In and Out

May be carried out using any of the above strokes, confident strokes with edging and leaning should be evident

Knots

An ability to tie a round turn and two half hitches, clove hitch and Highway mans hitch.

Capsize Drill

An attempt should be made in Grade II water to bring the canoe to the bank and if unsuccessful should form the basis for assessment rescue.

X Rescue & Curl Rescue

To be carried out in a  canoe with the other canoe to be fully flooded and upside down, the rescuees can assist. All participants should act as rescuer and rescuee

Offensive and Defensive Swimming

Participants must fully understand the technique and its uses


Level 4 Canoe Skills

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General Aims

The Level 4 Open Canoe Skills Award aims to enable participants to:

Requirements

During assessment, a participant must successfully explain and demonstrate the following techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 3 Open Canoe skills award and be capable of demonstrating any combination of the strokes competently and efficiently:

Strokes

  1. Forward Paddle, Reverse Paddle and Emergency Stop
  2. All Sweep strokes, including Outside Pivot Turn and Inside Pivot Turn.
  3. Edging &Trim
  4. Bow Rudder, Cross Bow Rudder, Stern Rudder.
  5. Bow Jam & Cross Bow Jam
  6. Support Strokes
  7. Draw, Sculling Draw and hanging draw strokes
  8. Poling & snubbing in a Grade 1 environment

Techniques

  1. An ability to use water conditions available for the effective and efficient manoeuvring of an Open Canoe
  2. Competence in negotiating water obstructions i.e. Standing Waves, Stoppers during the course of a trip
  3. Competence in negotiating bends where water flows under trees or against vertical  river bank
  4. Forward Ferry Gliding (facing upriver)
  5. Reverse Ferry Gliding/ Setting (facing downriver)
  6. Breaking in accurately
  7. Breaking out accurately
  8. Controlling a canoe with a pole in a grade 1 environment

Rescues and Safety Techniques

  1. X Rescue
  2. Curl rescue
  3. Self Rescue
  4. Deep Water Rescue of an incapacitated paddler
  5. Rescue and Tow
  6. Offensive and Defensive Swimming
  7. An ability to use a Throw Rope to rescue a swimmer

Theory

An understanding of the following:

Applying for Assessment

Before applying to attend a Level 4 Canoe Skills assessment, a candidate must:

  1. Have obtained the Level 3 Canoe Skills Certificate
  2. Be a member of the Canoeing Ireland either as an individual member or as a member of an affiliated club.
  3. Have unrestricted access to a fully equipped open canoe, personal equipment and additional equipment (see Level 4 skills list of equipment)
  4. Be a least 16 years of age.
  5. Member of Canoeing Ireland.

Assessment

  1. The Level 4 Canoe Skills assessment will take place during a river trip of at least three miles on water of Grade II–III difficulty.
  2.  During assessment candidates must demonstrate all techniques/skills at a skills level higher than that required for the Level 3 Open Canoe skills award in order to achieve this award.  All techniques, skills and rescues must be demonstrated and assessed to the required level in order to achieve this award.
  3. All strokes and techniques must be demonstrated on both sides of the Open Canoe and in relevant situations.
  4.  All rescues must be executed by the candidate acting as both rescuee and rescuer.  Generally the required assessment rescues will be kept until the end of the assessment river trip
  5. While it is not compulsory to attend a training course prior to assessment, it is strongly recommended.

                Assessment Guidelines

                Equipment List required for Assessment

Properly equipped Canoe:

  • Suitable Buoyancy
  • Sufficient length of painters
  • Method of securing paddles

Personal kayaking equipment:

  • Paddle
  • ISO approved Buoyancy Aid with integrated harness
  • Adequate footwear
  • Wetsuit or dry pants, dry cags or dry suit, with sufficient thermal clothing
  • Helmet

       

Other Equipment:

  • Throw Rope
  •  Knife
  •  4 – 5 m OpenSling
  • Karabiners x 2, one screw gate, one snap gate
  • Towing System
  •  First Aid Kit
  •  Mobile Phone
  • Whistle
  • Torch
  •  Flask and Food
  • Spare Clothes
  • Bivy Bag or group shelter
  • Spare Paddle
  • Repair Kit which should include  duct tape and multi tool (at a minimum)
  • Dry Bag or other method of keeping equipment dry

 


Level 5 Canoe Skills

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This award is designed for Open Canoeists wishing to develop advanced paddling and rescue techniques appropriate to Grade III+ water.  It is an appropriate award for Open Canoeists who paddle with others of similar ability on Level III+ rivers.

The Level 5 Canoe Skills Award is a pre-requisite for progression to Level 4 Canoe Instructor.  The Level 4 Canoe Instructor is the appropriate qualification for those wishing to teach others on Grade III+ water.

General aims

The Level 5 Canoe Skills Award aims to enable candidates to:

  1. Develop the necessary skills and group awareness and management to paddle safely and competently on rivers up to and including rivers of Grade III+ difficulty.
  2. Deal competently with rescue situations, which might occur, on rivers up to and including rivers of Grade III + difficulty.
  3. Deal competently with First Aid situations in a remote river environment.

Training Course

The Level 5 Canoe Skills Award requires that a candidate attend a training programme and a two-day assessment. The general course outline is as follows

  • Trip Planning
  • Equipment for Advanced White Water
  • Methods of River Leading
  • River Reading
  • Protection against Hazards
  • Management of Rescue Situations
  • Rescues from a Canoe
  • Use of a Throw Rope
  • Rope Rescues
  • First Aid in the River Environment
  • At least one Grade II/III river trip leading a group under the supervision of a Level 4 Canoe Instructor.
  • Assessment Procedures.
  • Poling & Snubbing on Grade 2
  • Lining/Tracking

Applying to attend a Training Course

Before applying to attend a Level 5 Canoe Skills Course, a candidate must:

  1. Hold a Level 4 Canoe Skills Award.
  2. Have unrestricted access to a suitable Canoe and the necessary equipment. (See Level 5 Canoe Skills List of Equipment).
  3. Be at least 18 years of age at the time of application.
  4. Have registered, with the Canoeing Ireland Office, as a Level 5 Trainee.

Requirements

To obtain the Level 5 Canoe Skills Award a participant must successfully explain and demonstrate the following knowledge, competence and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 4 Canoe Skills Award.

  1. A Level 5 Canoe Skills candidate would be expected to:
  2. Demonstrate all techniques/skills at a skills level higher than that required for the Level 4 Canoe Skills Award and of a standard comparable with the techniques/skills necessary to paddle competently on water of Grade II to III+.
  3. Demonstrate a thorough of knowledge of safety precautions and procedures to be adopted while paddling with a group on water of Grade III+.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to assess any group's competence to deal with conditions likely to be encountered on water of Grade III+.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to command trust from a group of peers.
  6. Demonstrate the necessary communications skills on water of Grade III+.
  7. Deal with rescue situations that are likely to occur on water of Grade III+.
  8. Be capable of knowing where on the river a group is at any time and have sufficient knowledge of the river's environs.
  9. Demonstrate an ability to read white water to a high standard.
  10. Present a suitable and correctly fitted out canoe and other appropriate personal equipment (See Level 5 Canoe Skills List of Equipment). It would be expected that a candidate's equipment would be of a standard consistent with the responsibilities of paddling with others on Grade III+ rivers.

Applying for Assessment

Candidates wishing to be assessed for the Level 5 Canoe Skills Award must:

  1. Have completed an RSR 3 Training Course and obtained an RSR 3 Certificate.
  2.  Attend an approved Level 5 Canoe Skills training programme with the 24 months proceeding a selected assessment date.
  3. Have recorded in a Level 5 Canoe Skills Logbook, following completion of a Level 5 Canoe Skills Training Course at least 10 river trips of a minimum of 20 hours duration on a variety of rivers under the supervision of peer paddlers or if possible at least two Level 4 Canoe Instructors.
  4. In addition to 5.03 the candidate must provide documentary evidence of a range of river trips.  These must show experience of low/medium volume rivers as well as technical rivers.  Such experience must have been gained over a minimum of three years’ white water paddling, showing a bias towards ‘wild rivers’.  Wholly artificial courses and weirs would not count towards the evidence
  5. Posses a current and approved First Aid Certificate (for example, REC Level 3)
  6. Be at least 18 years of age
  7. Have returned to the Canoeing Ireland Office a completed Level 5 Canoe Skills Logbook accompanied by a Level 5 Canoe Skills Assessment application form no later than three weeks before a selected assessment date.
  8. Member of Canoeing Ireland.

Assessment

  1. The Level 5 Canoe Skills Assessment will take place over two days and must include a river trip on a minimum of Grade III difficulty over a distance a 3-5 miles
  2. The Assessment Group on the river trip element of the assessment should consist of the following

Assessors

Minimum of two registered Level 5 Canoe Skills Assessors

Assessees

Minimum of two and up to a maximum of four Assessees

Other River Trip Participants

 

Minimum of two and up to a maximum of four participants who must hold Level 4 Canoe Skills Award

Level 5Canoe  Skills Panel Aspirants

Maximum of two Level 5 Canoe Skills Panel aspirants (These may form part of the participant group above)

               

Assessment Guidelines

The format of the Level 5 Canoe Skills Assessment will include assessment of a candidate's

A correctly equipped Canoe:

  • Suitable Buoyancy
  • Sufficient length of painters/swim lines
  • Method of securing paddles

 

Personal canoeing equipment:

  • Paddle
  • ISO approved
  • Buoyancy Aid with integrated harness
  • Adequate hard sole footwear
  • Wetsuit or dry pants, dry cags or dry suit, with sufficient thermal clothing
  • ISO approved helmet

Other equipment:

  • Throw Rope
  • Knife
  • Sling x 2, one open sling
  • Karabiners x 5, two snap gate, three screw gate
  • Prussic Loops x2
  • Towing System
  • First Aid Kit
  • Mobile Phone
  •  Whistle
  • Torch
  • Flask and Food
  •  Spare Clothes
  •  Bivy Bag
  • Group Shelter
  • Spare Paddle
  • Repair Kit
  •  Map
  • Dry Bag or other method of keeping equipment dry

 

The candidate’s personal and group kit will be evaluated.  Candidates must present with suitable personal equipment, plus any additional equipment deemed to be appropriate to support other paddlers in the group.  Equipment should reflect such things as the season, the ability of his/her peers and the difficulty of the waters to be paddled.  Borrowed equipment will be assessed as if it were the candidates own.  The candidate should be aware that on the level of water being paddled, having too much equipment can be nearly as hazardous as having too little.