What’s New in the 2021 Avon Descent Rules?


The Avon Descent is back in 2021 with a few rule changes aimed at improving the competitor experience. Additionally, prior to the 2020 cancellation we saw several new rule changes last year that we have also highlighted below.

  • Paddler Competency
  • Day Two Powercraft Cut-Offs
  • Paddler Seeding & Grids
  • Powerboat Adventurer Class

Paddler Competency

Initially introduced in 2020 and continuing in 2021, the paddler safety competency rules have been reviewed to allow a more flexible competency for those who have achieved appropriate safety competency outside of the Avon Descent.

Paddler Safety Competency

Competency can be met through any one of the following:

  1. Recent Avon Descent experience – completion of both days of the Avon Descent within the previous five years.
  2. An Australian Canoeing Award System course completion.
  3. Alternatively, the competitor may be signed off by a current qualified and suitable instructor who has deemed the competitor competent in all required proficiencies of the Safety Skills Assessment
  4. Completion of the Avon Descent Safety Skills Assessment – for participants who cannot provide other evidence (a, b, c) of safety competency. The Avon Descent Safety Skills assessment can be attained through NADA recommended paddle trainers, and is valid for three years.

Competitors wanting to make use of this clause will need their instructor to provide a signed declaration to the NADA sporting department vouching for the competitor’s safety competency before their competency will be validated. Instructors may contact the Avon Descent sporting department through our website.

Cut-Off Times

Cut-Off Times for Powerboats on Day Two of the event have been adjusted in 2021 including a new cut-off location, all aimed at giving powerboaters more time to get through those final stretches of the event.

Power Craft Day 2 Cut-Off Times




Emu Falls Checkpoint

Start + 1h 45m

Start + 1h 45m

Stronghills Checkpoint

Start + 2h 30m

Start + 2h 30m

Syds Rapids Checkpoint



Bells Rapids Checkpoint

Start + 3h 30m


Upper Swan Checkpoint

Start + 4h 30m


Middle Swan Checkpoint




Cut Off times are measured according to the Start of the race, E.g. 8:00am on Saturday for Powercraft) and are the same for all competitors regardless of your grid or individual start time.

Paddler Seeding & Grids

Following feedback from paddlers and a rules committee review, 2021 sees a full overhaul of the Avon Descent paddler seeding procedures and front grid allocations.

To find out more about these changes we have created a separate article outlining everything you need to know.

Powerboat “Adventurer” Class

An initiative by the Power Dinghy Racing Club and Northam’s Avon Descent Association to create a recreational entry point for powercraft, the Adventurer class was introduced in the 2020 Rules but are yet to make their (re-)appearance.

Designed to make it easier than ever to take that first step into powerboat racing, the Adventurer Class allows boats of any material that are mass produced and generally available for sale to the public (not custom made) to compete in the Avon Descent as well as in lead-up races during the season.

For those wanting to take the plunge into powerboating one step at a time, this is the perfect time to check it out.

You can read the full 2021 Event Rules here

Questions or Queries?

More information about rules changes & new initiatives will be available via our Facebook page or you can contact us directly through our website.

The Avon Descent Team



Leave a Reply

Related Posts


Northam’s Avon Descent 2021 KEY POINTS: Safety Info for Competitors (Competitors may choose to laminate and carry in craft for reference)   Northam Weir –

Read More »