Return to Wild Water Racing

Wild Water Racing

The Sharks are planning to restart Wild Water Racing Session at Harefield in January on Monday evenings at 6pm, meeting at Tory Lake.

Wild Water Racing is an amazing sport, exhilarating, you versus the elements, you choose your routes down the river and your times are compared to other competitors at the end, the tastes wins. There are two kinds of race, Classics, which are longer races usually over a distance of between 2 miles and 5 miles at the longest and Sprint races over a course of about 200 metres

We use the facilities of Rickmansworth Sailing ClubAccess is from the A412, Denham Road, alternatively you can park at the Coy Carp and walk along the canal, over the bridge at the cut and turn left and we are on the left as you go over the wooden bridge. We meet on Thursday evenings at 6pm all year round, we use a stretch of the canal which is lit for training in the Winter. For more information please contact us by email: or by telephone on 07951 770241. We are always looking for new members, so please do get in touch.

What is Wild Water Racing?

It is, as the name suggests racing down Wild Water, sometimes know as white water, the objective is to get down a stretch of river quicker than anyone else. There are no markers to dictate your route, you make all the decisions. The races are in a time trail format, so paddlers usually go off at one minute intervals (sometimes 30 seconds) and your elapsed time is used to calculate the results. Visit for more information and the lates news.


At entry level races are usually on twisting streams without much rough water, but has you get better, the water gets more challenging and obviously the competition gets tougher.

There are, as mentioned above two types of race:

Classic Races

These races are normally between two and five miles, you have one run down and that is it, obviously you can practice beforehand to learn the course, find the best routes down the river. The race is in a time trail format and elapsed time are calculated and the results published.

Sprint Format

These races usually take place on a 200 metre stretch of river, you get two runs down the course and your fastest run is the one used to calculate the results. The first and second runs usually take place about an hour apart, but it does depend on the number of people racing.


Like many disciplines in canoeing, there are different classes: There are K1 events, where people race in single kayaks, there are Canoe events, both singles (C1) and doubles (C2), and as you would expect there are female and male races in all classes.


The fastest boats to use are Composite Wild Water Racing Boats, but the rules dow allow for you to paddle any boat that is smaller, so when you start out you can use more stable boats, and boats you are more confident in and as your confidence and skill grow, you can progress to faster style boats.


The Sharks have an impressive record in Wild Water Racing, we have had a number of age group champions over the years, we have had a 14-year-old paddler with the Women’s English Open Championships. We have even had a paddler represent Great Britain at the European Championships and at the World Under 23 Championships in the USA.


We have the experience and the kit to get you on your way, and who knows where you might end up?

Take a look at the last full year of racing and at some of The Sharks paddlers, including the lates Shark Champion, teh one thing all paddlers have in common, is that when the started, they were novices, so no excuse, give us a call on 07951 770241, or email

Some pictures from the past



Richard Crooks = Lee Valley WWR