A Voice for the Sacramento River System Since 1984

Race Rules


All race participants and volunteers will be required to sign waivers.  Registered racers will receive waivers in pre-race package that will be sent out before the race.

Mandatory Check Points

The 50 and 100-mile race courses have mandatory checkpoints. EVERY participant must stop at each checkpoint and be checked off by a race official before re-entering the water. It is especially important that relay members come to the check in table together – both the people finishing the leg and those starting a leg. Failure to check in at these points will result in disqualification, no exceptions.

Closure times will be set for each checkpoint based on the conditions and flow for paddler safety. Times will allow for all paddlers progressing at a reasonable pace to continue. If you arrive at a checkpoint near the closure time, race officials will confer with you to determine if you should continue or not. Cut off times will be determined close to, or on race day, depending on flow conditions. A total race cut off time will be established. Please keep in mind that the water is a moving current and must be taken into account when estimating paddling time. Predicted current for the race is between 2-4mph. This factor is variable and we won’t know an exact current speed until shortly before the race.

Boats & Boards

Your boat/board must meet the standards set forth in your registered category. At the pre-race check-in, we will be visually confirming that your boat fits the category in which you registered and that you are in possession of the other required equipment. We will want to see that you have a life jacket, lights, glow sticks, etc. To keep the check-in moving smoothly, please have these items handy. Paddlers must use the same boat they start in for the entire race. For relay teams, each relay leg is considered separate and team members may use different boats per leg. Each race craft must be propelled exclusively by paddle power (double or single blade) while on the water. No rowing configuration is permitted. No sail or kite is permitted.


All participants agree to appear in the event related media coverage free of charge.


All checkpoints will have water to refill your containers, some basic food items (fruit pieces, nutrition bars), toilets, and places to rest. You should not rely on the checkpoints as your only source of food. Each participant is allowed unlimited race support and is responsible for their own support. An additional list of river accesses will be supplied on the Race Course & Maps page of this website. Participant’s support teams may use the designated checkpoints or other public river access to exchange food, beverages and trash. Scouting the race course and local river parks is strongly recommended. If paddlers do not have a support team, they may bring a small drop bag for each or any checkpoints labeled with their first and last name. Bags can be dropped at check in on race day and they will be delivered to the checkpoints. Support crew may not, in any way, assist with propulsion of the boat. They may only touch the boat when the boat is in contact with the shore. Physical contact with support can only occur when the boat is grounded. No contact on the water is allowed. No support provided from a support boat is allowed. The organizers of the race will not provide any outside support during the race other than emergency medical assistance.

Assistance in Forward Progress

Outside assistance that provides intentional aid in the forward progress of a boat/board is not allowed. This includes towing, wake riding, deflection of wind and “rafting up”. However, limited interaction between the competitor race craft, as is the case in most paddling marathon races, is acceptable. This will be restricted to only wake riding and wind deflection. No towing of race craft is permitted.  If a paddler receives forward assistance on the water because of injury or accident, and they decide to continue, their affiliation with the race may be terminated pending conference with race officials.


For any “shortcut” to be legal, it must have a flow of river water through it. Overland portages are not allowed.

Mandatory Equipment List

  • Cell phone (most carriers have continuous coverage along the river)
  • Coast Guard approved Type III inherently buoyant (not inflatable) vest style personal floatation device must be worn at all times while on the water to comply with event insurance.  Prone paddlers may use inflatable type III PFDs.
  • (For 100 milers only) 2 Chemical lights, 12 hour type, fixed to bow and stern of boat for night travel (also called glow sticks)
  • (For 100 milers only) Minimum of 2 forward facing lights (Headlights or bow lights or one of each is fine. The second is a backup)
  • Space Blanket
  • Method of carrying at least 1/2 gallon of fluid per person at all times
  • 1 whistle per boat
  • First Aid Kit (you may want things like anti-diarrhea, blister treatment, Pepto Bismol, Band Aids and tape)

Recommended Equipment

  • GPS
  • Spare paddle, fin
  • Quick fix items like pipe tape, stickers for dings, duct tape for paddle glass splinters.

Stand Up Paddler Leashes

If a leash is worn by a stand up paddler, the paddler must demonstrate at the check-in that the leash is quick release. No exceptions. In general, California 100 does not recommend leashes connecting equipment to paddlers as it poses risks in moving water.


The river is wide and mostly flat water, but there will be between 3-5 mph current and there are dangers. Swift currents and riffles at the start of the race have been known to flip unprepared paddlers. You must know how to maneuver your vessel in swift currents to avoid hazards. You should know how to get back in your boat while on the water if you fall out. The water is cold (low 50s) and hypothermia can set in within a few minutes of falling out. Other hazards on the course are semi-submerged trees in the water – snags that act as strainers or sieves. Keep alert and avoid any branches that are partially submerged or hanging into the water from the banks of the river.

Age Restrictions

Due to the extreme nature of this event, strict age limitations will be enforced. Any solo participant must be at least 18 years of age. Any tandem participants must be at least 14 years of age and travel with an adult over the age of 25 at all times. No exceptions. If you are suspected of being under the age of 18, identification with birth date is required at check in.


Each participant must supply their own transportation to the start and pick up from the finish, however, we do have someone offering shuttles for a cost. We encourage connecting with other boaters to work out carpools and shuttles on the California 100 Facebook page. See the FAQ page for more details on shuttles and parking.

Night Travel

For those who do not finish during daylight hours the race will be continuous into the night. Bow and stern chemical lights must be lit at dusk. Two forward facing lights are required to be on your vessel at dusk. These can be bow or head lights. We recommend you have a powerful bow light and primarily use that after dark if needed. Headlights will attract insects to your head and potentially bats too, but you may need them for other uses

DNF on the Course

If for any reason you disqualify yourself from the event, you must notify a race official immediately. If you do not notify the proper authorities, you will be banned from any future events and may be held responsible for the cost of a search and rescue. Phone numbers for race officials will be emailed out prior to the race.


Once you have registered, your entry fee is non-refundable. In the event of a natural disaster or flood, you may receive partial refund on your registration fee. The amount returned in event of natural disaster will be determined based on the expenses paid in preparation prior to the race.

Sporting Conduct

If participants see a fellow racer in need of help, they must stop and either assist the person, or call for help. Cal 100 will not tolerate unsportsmanlike conduct on the course. Disqualification may be the result, to be determined by race officials.

Alcohol/Illegal Drug Consumption

No participant is allowed to consume alcohol or illegal drugs during the race. Any participant suspected of consuming alcohol or illegal drugs is subject to disqualification and being banned from any future races.

Litter on the Course

Cal 100 will have a zero tolerance for purposeful littering on the course. Possible disqualification will be the result, to be determined by race officials.

Rule 100

The organizers of this event reserve the right to revise any prior rules or regulations as a result of conflict, hazard or unforeseen incident.

Also see Frequently Asked Questions for more info.


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