RACCC Sweep-Safety Boat Team - Jock River Race (Reminder: wear your PFD!)

 RACCC Sweep-Safety Boat Team - Jock River Race (Reminder: wear your PFD!)

jock river race start lineHuzzah to the organizers of the 2022 annual JOCK RIVER RACE!  And to RACCC for once again providing the Sweep-Safety Boat Team for this annual race (for the past 20 years!)... please see our special message to ALL paddlers (below)

The 2022 Jock River Race was held on Saturday, April 16, with a record 173 boats and 248 paddlers! It's fun and extremely well organized Held annually, since 1971 on a lovely stretch of the Jock R, winding for 12.5 km through farms, forest, fen and marshes. There's a mix of current (some class 1 rapids) and slack water/meanders.  Paddlers are in canoes, kayaks and SUP's of all kinds - a mix of serious racers and recreational paddlers, as well as families for a fun toot down the river. (picture - courtesy of the race organizers)

Kudo's to RACCC (and RACCC alumni) volunteers for our 2020 Sweep-Safety Boat Team: Lynette, Judith, Laurence, Bruce H, Cathy O, Isa L-M and Valerie S! Plus our Shore Team/gear 'roadies': Dot and Linda D.
Honourable mention goes to: Kate M ('ready' to paddle if needed) as well as to Matthew V, Dan P (sidelined per injury/ illness.  Maybe next year?). 

Our job is to make sure that all paddlers have crossed the finish line (no one left lost and meandering in the Fen - a stretch of flooded forest). We provide assistance as required e.g. if anyone dumps or is in distress. With ice recently off the river - we especially focus on hypothermia prevention and check that everyone is correctly wearing their PFD (a Transport Canada and race rule).

Of NOTE: During the race, our team members came across 5 racers not properly wearing their PFD (lifejacket). NOT good! NOT wise!  In case of flipping and immersion, cold water will knock the breath out of you, for up to 45 seconds.  This means that otherwise good swimmers will not be able to swim even short distances to shore safely and drown without a PFD . Many may not even be aware of this danger while paddling in our cold-water seasons. 

 So, HERE"S OUR MESSAGE TO ALL PADDLERS: WEAR YOUR 'LIFEJACKET'! Cold water immersion is dangerous for the 'swimmer' as well as any would-be helpers! Please see this video re: cold water immersion! Every Cold-Water Paddler Needs To Watch This Video - Paddling Magazine 
Cold Water Immersion Research Key Points: 1 - 10 - 1 :   It takes about 1 minute to regulate your breathing. Then you will have 10 minutes of purposeful movement. Finally if you remain in the cold water: you have about 1 hour before succumbing to Hypothermia.  Wearing your PFD (lifejacket) gives you a chance to survive.

RACCC is a great club. Members share expertise and knowledge with each other as well as supporting community events like the Jock River Race. Thanks  to the RACCC Executive for supporting our club's involvement in this community service.

NOTE: all our sweep-safety boat team members are capable/trained whitewater paddlers with First Aid training (e.g. Wilderness First Aid, Advanced Wilderness First Aid and some First Responders) as well as River Rescue Training and a tonne of experience per northern wilderness canoe trippingn addition several are Whitewater Instructors and Instructor Trainers. Thanks to RACCC for encouraging this kind of leadership development.

Again: Stay safe everyone - wear your PFD.