Guideline for Paddlers and Steers People
Paddlers agree that there is risk of injury or death from the activities involved in this sport and that they paddle entirely at their own risk.
All RHKYC members, development course fee payers and guests must abide by these safety guidelines when using the club canoes during organized club sessions. All paddlers should ensure that the canoes are in good and safe working condition before setting out for any paddling session, and that the canoes are loaded with the necessary equipment including but not limited to: bailers; life jackets; spare paddles and safety kit.
Paddlers should follow the guidelines set out in detail below
It is the responsibility of each paddler to ensure that:
The steers person works with their crew ensuring that:
Planning: tides, wind and waves
We are fortunate in Hong Kong to have detailed tide and wind forecasts. Check the forecast when planning a long paddle and adjust the point at which you turn back to Middle Island.
Use the Marine Department Hong Kong Tidal Stream Prediction System to check tides. The system offers detailed tides by location and time. The tidal speed on the Southside of Hong Kong Island is usually sub 1knot but remember 1knot is 1.9km/h or circa 20% of the speed of a canoe doing 10km/h. If you paddle for an hour with the tide you will travel 12km when you turn for home against the tide it will take you 1.5 hours to get home!
The Hong Kong Observatory has Wind Forecast for Water Sport Activities .There are forecasts for Stanley and Tai Tam Bay. The forecast wind speed is proportional to the length of the line. A red line represents wind speed greater than or equal to 25 km/hr. Click on the clock for detailed wind speed, temperature and rainfall. Outriggers are relatively light and sit high in the water. Windspeed and direction matters when planning a paddle.
Paddling at Dusk or Night
Paddling at dusk or night: You must carry a 360 degree visibility white light firmly affixed to the canoe to signal your position to other vessels. Stay within well-known areas as it’s easy to get disoriented and paddle into an unsafe position.
Paddling in Adverse Weather Conditions
The definition of 'adverse weather conditions' is extremely subjective based on the individual paddlers relevant experience. Everyone is responsible for their own safety and should make a judgment call based on their level of ability and stay within their own limits. If you do not feel confident paddling in the weather conditions do not paddle. For the purposes of this document reference will be made to The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) Weather Warnings and Signals Record (www.hko.gov.hk.) If in doubt of the prevailing weather conditions, paddlers should check Weather and Marine Forecast Warnings with the HKO.
(a) Hoisting of Typhoon Signal #3 or above by the HKO;
(b) Hoisting of the Black Rainstorm warning by the HKO;
(c) Issuance of a Strong Monsoon warning by the HKO;
(d) Issuance of a Tsunami warning by the HKO;
(e) Lightning visible
4. As Hong Kong has a number of micro-climates, thunderstorms and weather fronts are often localised to a specific area and
move very quickly. In the event of a Thunderstorm warning being issued by the HKO the coach, session leader and/or
steersperson should refer to the HKO 'Weather Information for Water Sports' and/or the 'Weather Radar Images' and/or 'Lightning
Location Information' before making an assessment on the session plan. It is the coach/session leader/steerspersons
responsibility to inform their crew of the potential risk and only proceed if all paddlers are comfortable in doing so. If paddlers are
on the water and the conditions suddenly change, exit to a protected area as soon as it is safe to do so and wait for the storm cell
to pass before returning to the start/finish point.
5. Use extreme caution when paddling in moderate to high winds with moderate to large seas. Never go out in such weather
conditions in an OC6 without an experienced steersperson and spray skirts fitted. If you are paddling an OC1/2 use a buddy
system and stick together. If in doubt, air on the side of caution and stay in the protected areas.
6. All paddlers to be aware of paddling in the following conditions:
a) Conditions with offshore winds. If you are separated from your boat or you cannot continue paddling because
of injury or boat damage you will drift out to sea.
b) Conditions with lee shore winds. A lee shore wind is where the wind blows directly onto the rocks or land. If
you huli close to a lee shore there is a high chance you will be blown onto the rocks.
c) Paddling alone. Chance of rescue if you have injury or equipment malfunction is significantly decreased.
Never paddle alone.
7. If in doubt as to whether an RHKYC paddling session or event will be held in the event of adverse weather conditions, RHKYC
paddlers should telephone/WhatsApp the session leader and/or Coach to verify the continuance of paddling sessions or events.
In most cases a dry land fitness session will be held instead.
All paddlers are recommended to install Hydrographic Office eSeaGo app . Once installed download the offline nautical chart of Hong Kong waters. This app is excellent for planning routes. For long paddles and/or new routes use the ‘route navigation’ function in the main menu to set waypoints to plan the route. This will provide total distance of the route in nautical miles (1.85km – note you can in settings change the distance units to km). Pay particular attention to hazards marked on the chart.
The app tracks offer real time tracking on the chart.
Paddling in/near Commercial and Shipping Areas
When paddling in the shipping or wakeboarding areas, large and small boats often have trouble seeing outrigger canoes and there have been incidents in Hong Kong where vessels have hit or nearly hit outrigger canoes. It is strongly recommended that paddlers are aware of surrounding boat traffic and are conservative when setting their direction of travel. For all shipping/ferry lane crossings, steers people should endeavor to, to the extent that these recommendations maximize safety for paddlers, follow these recommendations:
For all crossings of ferry pier areas, canoe steers people should endeavor to, to the extent that these recommendations maximize safety for paddlers, follow these recommendations:
Club OC1 and OC2 Usage
In order to use an OC1 or OC2 outside a formal training schedule follow the RHKYC OC Club Boats booking instructions ( https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGZ6a44xISBNBNfovVP7m5yyte1CN2gz ).
ADD LINKS TO RIGGING VIDEOS
Canoes can and will occasionally get damaged in normal use but it is unacceptable for damage to be caused through abuse on land or in the boat shed and/or the loss of equipment due to carelessness. We encourage all members to respect the canoes, comply with the usage rules and enable the club to maintain these fun boats in a seaworthy condition for all the members going forward. Any damage should be reported as soon as practically possible to the Rowing and Paddle Sports Manager and the Outrigger Co-ordinator and/or the club coach and/or the session leader.
Note:if you are involved in an incident you must complete the 'incident report form' and forward to The Rowing and Paddle Sports Manager and the Outrigger Coordinator. Please refer to “Reporting Accidents” Section in this document.
Dress, Food and Hydration
Each paddler must ensure that they are adequately dressed for the prevailing weather conditions and be aware of the risks associated with hypothermia. Each paddler should have adequate protection against the elements (e.g. sun, wind, rain, hot and cold temperature conditions). It is recommended that paddlers always wear some foot protection in and out of the canoes, either flip flops, booties, or some sort of water sandal. It is advised not to move the canoes in and out of the water in bare feet.
Each paddler must ensure that they have sufficient water, fluid replacement drinks and food (e.g. power bars, energy gels etc.) for the duration of each paddling session (however short or long). This is particularly important given the hot and humid summers in Hong Kong.
1. Wear high visibility clothing
RHKYC OC training program includes warmup exercises designed to reduce the risk of injury. Outrigger Warm up – Legs, rotation, and balance :
(Remarks: click here to get a pdf copy.)