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Annual Hilbre Island Sea Kayak Event Safety

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Safety Requirements.
The route around Hilbre Island is 13 Km down the Dee Estuary past the Little Eye and Middle Eye (Little Hilbre Island), and clockwise around the end of Hilbre Island. The Island has a rocky coastline and seas break on off-lying reefs when there is a swell. There are overfalls on the north end on the flood tide. You are advised not to go too close to the island in these conditions. Tidal streams are not extreme, but do cause some disturbed water in places when running at their fastest. Experience of paddling in these conditions is essential.

All competitors must wear approved buoyancy aids/lifejackets (with whistles). All boats must have maximum buoyancy, and end loops / toggles. (Elite racing skis will not have these and elite paddlers will paddle at their own risk knowing that safety boats may not be able to tow or rescue their craft)

Boats deemed not to be seaworthy for the prevailing conditions will not be allowed to compete.

If weather/sea conditions are unfavourable, changes will be made to the course.

Safety Cover
There will be a number of safety boats in attendance. These will concentrate on the tail end of both races and on the North end of Hilbre where seas will be roughest.

All participants should be confident of their ability to stay upright in the prevailing conditions; they should be suitably dressed to survive a prolonged immersion; they should be experienced in deep water rescue rescues.

If you see other competitors in trouble and no rescue boat is in attendance please give assistance.

If you have any doubts - bearing in mind the conditions on the day - please join the Little Eye Event, which will be more closely supervised. Little Eye paddlers can also opt to join the West Kirby short course around the blue buoy.

Although we will do our best to take care of all competitors, it is ultimately YOUR responsibility to compete on the day. If you grossly overestimate your ability, you could risk other lives as well as your own.

All competitors are issued with bibs which are checked out and back. All bibs must be handed back in to confirm safe return of the competitor. If for any reason you abandon the race, return the bib to event control asap. 

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