Rules and regulations
for the « Loire 725 » 2024
Dates and times
A conference on environmental issues concerning the Loire, 15th June 2024 at 6 pm.
The race will start on Sunday June 16th 2024 at 6am in Roanne (Loire, Auvergne-Rhône Alpes) opposite the Fire Station, (Centre d’Incendie et de Secours) ; GPS 46*02*26.6**N 4*05*11.8**E.
The race will finish at Paimboeuf (Loire Atlantique, Pays de la Loire) opposite the Lighthouse of La Chaussée Neuve. The race will end on Saturday 22nd at 10pm, GPS 47*17*25.5**N 2*01*57.3**W.
One simple rule : the participants will paddle following the sun using either a single or double paddle without any other means of propulsion (engine oar, sail…) from 6am to 10pm. You will be allowed to go beyond this time by a maximum of 30 minutes in the evening, but this time must be made up the following morning. For example: If I stop at 10.12pm, then I may not leave before 6.12am the next morning. The tracker will be used as proof.
1) Cut-off times
For security reasons, cut-off times will be applied, beyond which participants will have to stop.
-Bec d’Allier Km 191: must be crossed before Monday 17th at 5pm
-Orléans (Pont Royal) Km 365 : must be crossed before Wednesday 19th at 10am
-Bouchemaine (Club Nautique) : must be crossed before Friday 21st at noon
The tracker will be used as proof.
2) Compulsory stops
There will be three compulsory stops for material and medical checks. During these stops, refreshments will be provided by the race organisers.
The first of these will be at Km 184 at Nevers, the second at Km 424 at Blois, and the third at Km 605 at Bouchemaine (Club Nautique).
The GPS references will be found on loire725.com under the heading ‘riverbook’.
Boats/Bib numbers /Trackers
Boat categories accepted : kayak K1 and K2, canoe C1 and C2, dug-out canoe OC1 OC2 V1 V2, stand up paddle monoplace and biplace. All boats must be unsinkable or with buoyancy reserves.
The number of bibs will be limited to 200 boats, including a maximum of 50 in relays.
This race can be done in relays. The relays will be at the choice of participants but the number of relayers will be limited. One relayer for each monoplace, and a maximum of two for each biplace. A special relay classification will be set up.
Each boat will be handed a GPS tracker supplied by « Loire 725 » in order to follow its route. The maximum time allowed for the race is 7 days, arriving by Saturday 22nd at 10pm. A deposit of 150€ will be required for the tracker which will be returned on arrival. In the case of abandonment, the team will have to go to the finish point in order to have their deposit returned.
Respect for the natural environment /supplies /logistics /equipment
NB: a conference on environmental issues concerning the Loire will be held by France Nature Environnement on June 15th 2024 at 6pm at the capitainerie in Roanne. All competitors must attend (at least 1 per boat) and any absence will result in exclusion from the race without compensation. Appeals will be examined on a case-by-case basis by the race management.
Sites for disembarkation, embarkation and bivouacs
Each participant manages their logistics and supplies as they see fit ; the rule being to leave from where they disembarked to eat, spend the night…the tracker will be used as proof.
These must be sites on the waterway already made for this purpose – slipways, quays, landing stages etc. The aim is to avoid any damage to the bank, disturbance of nesting sites or all kinds of animal habitats.
Special arrangements will be made for disembarkation at the first obligatory stop in Nevers. A marked corridor will be organised in order to prevent any spreading of the invasive alien aquatic Ludwigia (floating primrose willow, or jussie.) Depending on the level of the Loire, this could, for example, be some form of ground protection.
Wild bivouacking is totally forbidden along the length of the 725 km.
The book « La Loire vue du Fleuve » indicates facilities for camping all along the river.
You will thus be asked to prioritise sleeping in camping-cars, gites or campsites in compliance with current legislation.
Natura 2000, reserves and biotope protection orders
The entire route crosses a Natura 2000 protection zone and goes through certain regional and national nature reserves. Some sites are listed as Biotope Protection Orders which gives the highest possible protection.
This is why everything must be done to respect the stringent rules about disembarkation, and bivouacking on any of the islets, sandbanks and riverbanks.
In particularly sensitive areas, whose updated details will be supplied, it will be forbidden to navigate as far as possible less than 50m from the banks, and SUPs will have to paddle sitting down in order to limit their visibility. These sites will be clearly identified on the maps sent to all participants.
Throwing anything out of the boat, whatever it may be, is strictly prohibited, and the waste material produced by competitors (taking refreshments on the water for example) must imperatively be given to the obligatory support vehicle at each meeting. In addition, all the competitors must strive to navigate in a way which is least disturbing for the fauna of the Loire, in particular for birds, some of which may be at the end of their nesting period.
Using drones is strictly forbidden for the entire length of the route.
Be careful, any infringement of these rules may result in a criminal charge, as well as expulsion from the event.
The Loire is the last wild river in Europe, let us keep it that way !!
Each boat must have a support crew on land. One support crew may serve several boats. In this case, the latter should stay together so that the support crew can follow and ensure the security of the group. The relay team may act as a support crew.
Any abandonment must be reported to the race organiser immediately. In this case, the boat and the competitor(s) will be taken in charge by the support crew.
The wearing of a life jacket meeting FFCK standards for the river will be compulsory for all boats, including the SUP. For the stand-up paddle the use of a leash will be forbidden up to Bouchemaine, and compulsory from Bouchemaine to Paimboeuf.
Each boat must carry a waterproof mobile phone, an external fully charged battery, and for each crew member a survival blanket, a whistle and a waterproof headlamp.
It is mandatory for the support crews to supply their telephone details. All this equipment will be checked at the start and during compulsory stops. Le SNSM is our partner in safety all along the route.
Registration will be open to holders of FFCK and FFS licenses, whose licenses are up to date with the mention « Competition ». For those without licenses and foreigners, it will be necessary to provide proof of insurance suitable for this type of competition taking into account a possible repatriation. An « open » license will always be possible with a medical certificate which mentions competition in canoe, kayak, or stand up paddle.
Please note that a sports curriculum vitae will be requested at the time of registration; the organisers will have the right to refuse the candidate if they consider his or her level or experience insufficient.
Rates per boat
-Monoplaces 250€ (2 meals and 3 snacks for two people)
-Biplaces 450€ ( 2 meals and 3 snacks for three people)
-Monoplace in relay 400€ (2 meals and 3 snacks for 2 people)
-Biplace in relay 600€ (2 meals and 3 snacks for 4 people)
These prices include the rental of a GPS tracker per boat. A deposit of 150€ will be required.
Rankings will be decided by category of boat, and by women, men and mixed ; the same applies for the relays.
Any breach of the above regulations may lead to disqualification by the race management, without compensation.
A comprehensive guidebook by Jean-François SOUCHARD will prove very useful, essential even.