3 Star Assessor Notes


  • Swimming: This should be signed off in the log book as witnessed or with certification attached. 75m swim on the front and 25m on the back, or personal qualifications/certification from ASA/RLSS/STA etc.Foundation Safety and Rescue Training, Ideally with WW Racing craft used in thetraining
  • First Aid: A recognized 4 hour first aid qualification.
  • Evidence of Competing. Entered into the log book and verified.
  • Evidence of Paddling Grade 2 water. If this is not evident from the Race Results, then it would have to be evidenced by a coach.


Any Wild Water Racing kayak or canoe can be used, this includes Wavehoppers or other similar plastic boats. The award can also be assessed in a C2, it would be expected, however that both paddlers are of similar standard and ideally both are training for the award.


For the flat water paddling skills, any flat water environment can be used. For the white water personal paddling skills, rivers of Grade 1 standard with sections of Grade 2 are required.All venues must be risk assessed for their suitability ‘on the day’A number of different venues can be used over a period of time for assessment Suitable sites and individual rapids will be identified over time and information published to assist assessors in their selection of venues.


Attendance at a formal training course is not a requirement, however it is expected that elements required are signed off as having been observed prior to attendance at assessment. This is to ensure that candidates are of a standard that 3 Star Assessment can be safely considered For fitness sessions etc, then a PE Teacher or other suitable knowledgeable/qualified person can sign off as completed.

Part A – Flat Water Personal Paddling Skills

A.1 Fundamentals of Paddlesport

Students should be assessed on their knowledge of the Fundamentals of Paddlesport. Posture,Connectivity, Power Transfer, Feel., Application of the Fundamentals is more important than the theoretical knowledge.

A.2 Basic Principles of Forward Paddling

The key basic principles of forward paddling should be known,Reaching as far forward as possible; Legs providing the drive; The boat moving past the paddle;Blade extraction as the knees come past the hand; The whole stroke completed in front of the body.This is a theoretical knowledge as the practical aspect will be aasessed in A.3.

A.3 Efficient forward paddling.

This is putting the previous two elements into practice. Students should understand the key points of good forward paddling technique and the importance of engaging the larger muscle groups of thebody and not just relying on their arms. A relaxed but efficient technique should be demonstrated with good use of the legs in a kayak and the upper body in a canoe and not just the arms. Boat speed is not particularly important at this level, the emphasis being on smooth running and good technique.

A.4 Steer and control with the edges of the boat

Students should demonstrate putting the boat on one edge or the other to initiate and then control aturn without breaking paddling rhythm or radically changing their technique.The avoidance of sweepstrokes and ruddering is desirable. A course of buoys or other obstacles can be laid out as targets for the students to negotiate

A.5/6 Moving sideways both stationary and on the move

Stationary draws:
Students should demonstrate some body rotation towards the direction of movement. The paddleshaft should be as close to vertical as possible without compromising stability and with the blade relatively deep in the water. Appropriate edging to help the boat move sideways should also be demonstrated Sideways movement should be efficient with little or no yawing, correction methods should be employed should this happen.

Moving Draws:
At this level a continuous fluid movement should be evident. Students should demonstrate incorporating the stroke into the normal forward paddling cycle. This should be co-coordinated and smooth, with a clear movement of the boat sideways and yet the boat should continue moving forwards on its new path with little loss of forward speed, Students should appreciate the role that boat speed has on effective side slip and how they can maintain this speed using fine adjustment of blade angle in combination with boat trim and edge.

A.7 Supporting, both stationary and on the move

Students should demonstrate supporting the boat when it is out of balance on either side in a kayak or towards and away from their paddling side in a canoe. They should be off balance and the paddler should keep their actions within their ‘safety box’. An understanding of this concept is important.

A.8 Rolling on flat water

The Roll does not have to be perfect but it must be successful first time on flat water. Any rolling technique could be demonstrated, but again, the actions must be within the ‘safety box’ Paddlers in a C2 could demonstrate rolling in a C1 if desired

A.8 Wash hanging on the side wash

The student to demonstrate sitting comfortably on the side wash of a boat of the same class and be able to maintain the position on the wash with changes of pace from the lead boat. Use of edges, dropping off the power, change of stroke rate or leg pressure should be abserved as means of achieving and maintaining position.

Part B - White Water Personal Paddling Skills

The ability to manage the boat on typical grade 1(2) white water Students should demonstrate paddling on simple rapids using good paddling technique and use of the water to help their progress. The rapid needs to be appropriate e.g. deep enough so a good clean paddle stroke can be applied and should be typical of a Wild Water Racing venue on this grade of water. Venues should be selected that keep boat damage to a minimum.

Personal skills: Moving water.
Assessments should be conducted on sections of moving water of grade 1 to 2. Students should navigate as directed by the assessor.

B.1 Lifting, carrying & launching

Good lifting and carrying techniques should be demonstrated. An understanding of why certain lifting and carrying techniques are more appropriate than others should be understood. This includes carrying boats in pairs, spine in line, slide and glide etc..Lloading and unloading boats from a trailer, roof racks or other common storage facilities should also be assessed . Students should demonstrate launching and landing from a range of reasonable access/egress points e.g. beach, steps, high riverbank, rocks etc. The student should also fit his or her own deck before leaving the launching point.

B.2 Breaking in and out

Students should demonstrate suitable techniques to get into and out of simple eddies successfully with effective use of speed, angle, edge, trim, timing, dynamic balance and good body rotation. With regard to body rotation: looking for ‘future water’ when turning should be understood and evident. Eddies on both sides of the river should be used.

B.3 Ferry gliding

Students should demonstrate crossing a consistent flow using a forward (upstream facing) ferryglide. without any major loss of height, from a simple eddy to a simple eddy on the other side,maintaining the ferry angle and making adjustments in ferry angles if required.

B.4 Efficient forward paddling on moving water with constant cruise speed

Students should demonstrate forward paddling skills on moving water, Simple stretches of consistent, but fast moving water should be used. There should be minimal steering strokes used ,minimal loss of balance and good application of the Fundamentals and Basic Principles of Forward Paddling

B.5 Good negotiation of rapids

The Student will demonstrate good clean negotiation of rapids. Good choice of the fastest andcleanest lines down rapids with minimal use of steering strokes should be

B.6 Reverse Ferry Glide

Students to demonstrate slowing the boat in the stream, creating an angle across the river andreverse ferry glide (facing downstream) to one side of the river. This is to simulate re-adjusting a linedown a river in case of a sudden obstruction or a blockage in a route. Fast flowing rather than rapids can be used here. Gates could be used as targets to achieve in the assessment rather than a rocky section of river.

B.7 Shoot small drops

Carefully selected simple drops to be used, the student must demonstrate a good clean negotiation timing their paddle strokes correctly to avoid any loss of speed or damage to equipment. Appropriate boat speed into the drop, then stroke timing and reacceleration are all aspects that must be observed

B.8 Turn to one bank, then the other

On a carefuly selected piece of river, the student will demonstrate turning towards one bank then the other whilst keeping the boat moving downstream in a series of zigzags. If rocks are present avoidance of them would be part of the assessment.

B.9 Re-accelerate the boat immediately after a feature on the river

The student to demonstrate slowing the boat down then picking up speed again suddenly after passing a particular point of the river. This could be done in conjunction with another skill (e.g. B.7)

B.10 Take split times for a group of paddlers

Take split times during a time trial or a race with a small (6) group of paddlers. Record, calculate and give the paddlers the information. The location will be selected by the assessor with plenty of distance between the split point and the student so there is time to calculate the splits before the paddler passes.

Part C – Rescue Skills

The Training for this section will have been covered in the candidate’s Foundation Safety and Rescue Training (FSRT) Course. An assessment of their key skills is required though as part of their assessment process.

C.4 Throw line rescue

Students will be assessed on throwing a line to rescue a swimmer 10m from the bank. If the line does not reach the swimmer first time then they have a further minute to gather in the line and throw again.The swimmer should be instructed in how to hold the line and be pulled back to safety. The rescuer should have a dynamic and safe stance when the swimmer takes hold of the line. The “Clean line” principle should be observed. There is an expectancy that everyone carrying a throw bag is wearing a BCU Wild Water Racing Star Awards Buoyancy aid and a helmet when by the river bank. They should also be carrying a knife that is readily accessible. Being a casualty at the other end of the line will also have to be demonstrated.

C.5 Capsize with spraydeck, swim and self-rescue

The student must demonstrate a basic capsize drill in moving water of sufficient depth not to cause injury, remove the spraydeck and swim to the shore with all equipment, empty the boat and re-enter.This can be combined with a throw line training session with the students working together. The water only need be moving and not neccesarily be ‘white water’

C.6 Defensive Swim

The student should demonstrate ‘defensive swimming’ on a simple fast flowing river, this can be combined with the throw line session with students working together taking it in turns.

Part D – Safety, Leadership & Group Skills

D.1 Personal risk management

Students must have the experience and judgment required to safely operate within a group on grade1(2) water. They should be able to identify hazards and choose suitable lines down the river. Theyshould also understand the use of suitable equipment and clothing for a training session and at anevent and they must demonstrate good river etiquette, i.e. keeping clear of other paddlers on adescent, not pulling out directly into the path of a descending paddler and understanding the needs of other paddlers from other disciplines on the river.

D.2 Awareness of others

Students should understand and be aware of the importance of what is happening to them and others around them. They do not need to be responsible for others but they should work together when descending as a group and physically moving out of the way to allow faster paddlers to pass. They should also be aware of the needs of others they approach, particularly if they are in a ‘playwave’ or similar feature, or practicing sequences of gates.

D.3 Paddle a section of grade 2 water as part of a led group

Experiences on different rivers or sections of river are important, being led; not paddling too close, or too far apart is key here. This is to ensure that paddlers can train together in a group and work without impeding each other and also prepare them for paddling as a team.

D.4 Chase boating

The student must understand the principles behind safe effective ‘Chase boating’ and be able to assist in rescues on rivers of grade 1(2) of both swimmers and equipment. A simple demonstartion on moving, but not white water would suffice at this level

Part E – Experience

Students would be expected to participate in a number of Wild Water Racing events in a single season, this can be before or after the training for the star award, but would be in the season of the assessment or the one preceding if not enough events have been held that season at the time of assessment. Classics, sprints and team events may be considered at the same venue on the sameweekend, however, the same event type cannot be counted over the same course over the same weekend if the weekend was a ‘double header’ This is to show the paddler can paddle in a variety of conditions at a variety of venues and not just be able to paddle one river

Part F – General Fitness

The student should be using the listed methods for training in their preparation for Wild WaterRacing. Evidence can be from a training log/diary or could be verified by the club coach etc.

Part G – Compulsory Theory

Students should answer questions on the topics listsd, the sample questions outlined in the Assessors notes may be used.

Part H – Selected Theory

Students to select 3 topics from the list to study or research. They would have to answer questions at their assessment, or provide other evidence of study, this could be a written log or report, attendance at a presentation etc.