Rules and Regulations

liberty crown

The Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge hosted by New York Outrigger is one of the world’s premier outrigger events. The urban course provides a tour of some of New York City’s most notable landmarks. Crews must negotiate the strong tidal currents of the Hudson and East Rivers, along with the commercial and recreational boat traffic of New York Harbor.

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) maintains that all recreational vehicles (which includes all outrigger canoes participating in Liberty) must yield to all commercial traffic. Keep in mind that larger commercial vessels cannot and will not stop should you cross their path. Our USCG permit specifically states “The sponsor shall disqualify any participant who interferes with commercial shipping, ferry or sightseeing vessels transiting the area.”

Below are some of the Rules and Regulations that will be discussed at the Captain’s meeting. All steerspeople must attend the meeting. Note: the Rules and Regulations packet emailed to your team captain several weeks before the race is the most up-to-date version and may include changes not listed below.

The following rules are intended to supplement the ECORA race rules, however where conflicts exist, the following will govern as pertains to the Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge.


SIGNALS

STOP

A Red Flag and/or 5 Blasts on the horn means STOP. There is immediate danger ahead. Wait for Yellow or Green before proceeding. Do not pass another outrigger canoe while red is displayed.

CAUTION

A Yellow Flag and/or 3 Blasts on the horn means CAUTION. You must either slow or alter course so as to pass astern of commercial traffic. Look around, the commercial traffic may be a ferry boat traveling parallel but about to pull into a water taxi landing. Look to the safety boat for instructions. Do not pass another outrigger canoe while yellow is displayed.

GO

A Green Flag and/or 1 Long Blast on the horn means GO – ALL CLEAR. Continue racing. This flag is also used simply to indicate direction to alter course if needed. It may also be used to indicate which side to take a buoy in event of confusion. A safety boat may sound one short blast simply to get your attention.

You must obey signals and instructions from safety boats


COMMERCIAL TRAFFIC

Signal or not – All outrigger canoes must adjust course and speed to cross or pass astern of all commercial traffic. Commercial traffic includes tug boats and barges, ferry boats and water taxis, sightseeing and excursion vessels, cruise ships, tankers, work boats and the like. Be aware, commercial traffic may be coming from behind you. Look in all directions frequently Be aware that a water taxi may be passing you and then suddenly turn into a landing right in front of you. If so, you must STOP or change course to pass BEHIND the water taxi.


HOMELAND SECURITY

The Department of Homeland Security requires all recreational vessels to maintain a 150 yard distance  from the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. This distance is clearly marked with white buoys that surround each of these historic landmarks. Approaching the buoy or crossing into the perimeter will trigger an alarm in which Homeland Security Officers will intercept your outrigger canoe in a matter of minutes and stop you from continuing until they determine you are not a security threat. If your canoe is stopped by Homeland Security, a Liberty Safety Vessel will remain nearby. However, the race will not be stopped and any time lost during interrogation will not be deducted from your final time.


CLEARANCES

In addition to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, you must also stay 150 yards away from any ferryboat terminals or any water construction projects. This will include the Wall Street-Pier 11 Terminal, the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, the World Financial Center Ferry Terminal, and the Hoboken/NJ Transit Terminal amongst other smaller terminals along the route. It is prohibited to pass under a ramp leading to a ferry boat landing. Stay at least 150 yards from the outboard end of any ferry or water taxi landing.

You must maintain a 5 yard distance from the end of piers. Always keep an eye out for people with fishing lines in the water along other bulkheads or pier ends. Be sure to also keep at least 25 yards away from any bulkheads surrounding the shore. Be mindful of reflected wakes from bulkheads.

Failure to avoid restricted zones may lead to USCG or NYPD shut down of the entire race.


BOAT CLASS

Spec Canoe “standard” OC-6 canoe, including, but not limited to, the follow models: Lightning, Mirage, Striker, Force Five, and Malia, weighing or upweighted to at least 320lbs
Unlimited six-person canoe with two iako and one ama, which does not include a motor, rudder, keel or center board, of unrestricted weight

AGE DIVISION

A competitor’s age for a racing year is determined by their age on December 31 of that year.

Open 39 years old and under
Masters* 40 years old and over

*Masters division only available in Spec Canoe class


RACE REQUIREMENTS

  • In all canoes, a competitor will sit on a seat. Kneeling is not permitted.
  • Moving off the seat in a canoe, while turning a buoy or marker, is permitted.
  • There will be no more competitors in a canoe than the number of seats in that canoe.
  • A canoe must finish an event with all seats in a canoe occupied by registered team members.
  • A canoe will follow the instructions as provided by the Race Director and safety boats from time to time.

DISQUALIFICATION

  • A team or competitor must be notified as soon as possible after the commencement or completion of the event of any disqualification.
  • Only the Lead Race Directors may disqualify a team after consultation with the appropriate officials. The disqualified team will be given the reason(s) for disqualification at the time of notification by the Race Director.

AUTOMATIC PENALTY

The following instances will trigger an automatic penalty for the offending crew:

South of start line at beginning of race
  • 2 minutes added if <90 feet south of start line
  • 5 minutes added, or disqualification, if >90 feet south of start line
Traveling inside of pier heads into an embayment
  • 1 minute added to time if inside pier head <1 minute
  • 2 minutes added for every minute inside thereafter
Disregarding instructions of a Race Official
  • 4 minutes added to time
Time correction request made at GPS tent
  • 4 minutes added to time

CUTOFF TIME

  • All teams must reach the Hyatt Regency pier in Jersey City before two (2) hours after the race start.
  • Any team reaching the Hyatt Regency Jersey City at two (2) hours or thereafter will be automatically disqualified and must return directly to Pier 26 without completing the remaining portion of the race course.

RACE STARTS

  • The start line is an imaginary east/west line between two buoys set northwest of Pier 26.
  • Canoes must be within the staging area no later than four (4) minutes before the start.
  • Canoes are allowed to leave the staging area and line up for the start after the two (2) minute warning.
  • Canoes must be north of the start line at the time of the race start.
  • Canoes need not line up inside the buoys, however canoes may not be east of the Pier 26 pierhead.
  • Starting signals will be given regardless of absentees, overturned canoes or broken paddles.

PASSING CANOES

  • Where two canoes are not overlapped (meaning the stern of the leading boat is completely clear of the bow of the following boat) the leading boat has right of way and the following boat must avoid contact.
  • Where two canoes are overlapped, both boats must offer reasonable clearance for the other and neither canoe may turn into the path of the other boat.
  • There should be no deliberate ramming of canoes by either the lead or passing canoe.

TURNS

  • Canoes must travel in a clockwise direction around all buoys.
  • Canoes must clear the buoy without the canoe touching the mark.
  • Where canoes are clear of one another and no overlap exists, the leading canoe has right-of-way and the following canoe must make all efforts to keep clear and avoid collision.
  • Where an overlap between boats occurs within 90 feet of the buoy, the canoe with the inside line to the mark has right of way and the outside canoe must provide room at the mark for the inside boat to turn safely.
  • If the overlap is broken and both boats clear each other inside of 90 feet, the overlap rule requiring room at the mark will continue to apply.
  • Where there is genuine uncertainty between racers and officials regarding the existence of an overlap at the 90 foot zone, the presumption will be that an overlap did exist.
  • Any intentional collision in or around the turn could be cause for disqualification or time penalty.

OBSTRUCTIONS (Incl PIERHEADS)

  • Where canoes are clear of one another and no overlap exists, the leading canoe has right-of-way and the following canoe must make all efforts to keep clear and avoid collision.
  • Where an overlap between boats occurs within 90 feet of the obstruction, the canoe with the inside line to the obstruction has right of way and the outside canoe must provide room for the inside boat to pass the obstruction safely.
  • If the overlap is broken and both boats clear each other inside of 90 feet, the overlap rule requiring room at the mark will continue to apply.
  • Where there is genuine uncertainty between racers and officials regarding the existence of an overlap at the 90 foot zone, the presumption will be that an overlap did exist.
  • Any intentional collision in or around the turn could be cause for disqualification or time penalty.

HULIED (CAPSIZED) CANOE

  • Competing boats must keep a safe distance from all hulied canoes and related paddlers in the water.
  • Any competing canoe that does not keep a safe distance away when passing a hulied canoe may be disqualified.

FINISH

  • The finish line is an imaginary line between 2 fixed or anchored markers.
  • The finish of a race is when the bow of the canoe passes the finish line between the finish buoys/flags.

PROTEST

  • Protests must be lodged with the Race Director at the designated athlete tent no later than 15 minutes after the completion of the heat in which the incident took place. The Race director will issue a protest form and designated time frame for the form to be completed.
  • A protest fee of $50.00 will be delivered to the Race Director with the protest form, within the designated time frame. If the protest is upheld the fee will be refunded in full. If the protest is dismissed, the fee will be forfeited.
  • On receipt of a protest the Race Director will immediately notify all parties involved in the protest.
  • The Race Director will deliver the protest to the Protest Committee for deliberation.
  • The Protest Committee will hear, investigate, and rule on all protests and any other matter brought before it by the Race Director.
  • Any ruling made by the Protest Committee will be final.
  • Protests made at the GPS timing tent will incur an automatic 4 minute penalty for the crew.

PROTEST COMMITTEE

  • A quorum of a Protest Committee will be not less than 3 persons who will not be members of any club involved in the protest (Race Director excluded)

GPS TIME ADJUSTMENTS

  • Requests for time review or corrections must be lodged with the Race Director at the designated athlete tent no later than 15 minutes after the completion of the heat in which the review is desired.
  • Crews may request a review of one specific point in a race at no cost.
  • Crews wishing to make additional requests must provide the $50.00 protest fee to the Race Director along with a complete list of all time correction requests.
  • Requests for time reviews or changes made at the GPS timing tent will incur an automatic 4 minute penalty for the crew.
  • Requests for time reviews or changes made after the event date will not be accepted.

COURSE MODIFICATION/RACE CANCELLATION

  • In the event of the issuing of a severe weather warning, terror threat, or public safety concern by applicable authorities, or at the sole discretion of the Lead Race Officials, the race course may be altered or shortened, and individual heats or the entire event may be cancelled.

MANDATORY SAFETY EQUIPMENT

  • All canoes must carry six (6) USCG approved lifevests.
  • At least two (2) buckets or similar pieces of equipment to be used to bail out a canoe.
  • A whistle or similar audible signaling device.
  • If a decision is made by the Race Director that spray skirts are to be fitted before racing, all teams must use covers or will not be permitted to compete.

RECOMMENDED SAFETY EQUIPMENT

  • Safety knife or similar to remove fishing lines.
  • Spray skirts are encouraged but not required, unless expressly stated by the Race Director.
  • A suitable tow rope of 25 meters in length.
  • VHF radio.

ENVIORNMENTAL

  • Crews may not dispose of any waste, including food wrappers or water bottles, in the harbor or adjacent waterways.
  • Crews are responsible for removing all waste from the canoe after the race and disposing of it properly.
  • Any crew seen littering during the race may have time added to their overall race results or be subject to disqualification.

DISPLAY OF SPONSOR LOGOS

No teams borrowing canoes may affix stickers or corporate logos to any canoe without prior written consent of the canoe owners and the Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge officials. Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge officials reserve the right to refuse the display of team sponsor logos on any canoe or apparel. No airline logos may be displayed on any canoe or apparel other than Hawaiian Airlines. Refusal to comply with this rule will result in the disqualification of the team and forfeiture of all monies paid to Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge and the organization that owns the canoe. Canoe owners retain the right to bill the offending team any expenses required to remove the offending stickers to restore the canoe to its original state.

 

 

 

 

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