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Coping with Large Numbers

Initially as we start AquaPaddle, we will limit the numbers of AquaPaddlers at each location. This will then be the model as we roll out each new location. This allows the Local Volunteer Crews learn about “their” AquaPaddle and how AquaPaddlers behave. Remember, safety is our foremost concern. 

Once through the Start-up phase, the AquaPaddler cap will be increased to a sustainable level for the location. There is no point in running an AquaPaddle if the waterway is so crowded that AquaPaddlers cannot access the water safely or impede and disrupt other waterway users.  

However, this does not stop people tuning up “On Spec” and trying to take part. If this is the case, it needs to be made clear to the unregistered AquaPaddlers that they will not be given a time if they paddle. Only paddlers registered for the AquaPaddle event will be given a time.  

When might Big Numbers occur? 

One-off events such as:  

  • Special Day  
  • New Year’s Day  
  • Anniversary  
  • Another AquaPaddle close by is cancelled  
  • An event close by attracting AquaPaddlers (such as a race in the locality)  
  • The popularity of the event increases over time and regular attendance grows. 

Things to consider if there are large numbers 

  • Traffic Management 
  • Enough Marshals on the water 
  • Other waterway and waterside users 
  • Safeguarding  
  • Health and Safety 

Local volunteer crews should set a maximum number of paddlers that are permitted to join the AquaPaddle, and this should be adhered to. This should be based on practical and safety limitations such as the size of the waterway, preparation and access space as well as likely parking facilities (the aim being to avoid people parking across residents drives or blocking roads etc.). It will also depend on the ratio of first aiders and marshals needed to AquaPaddlers, based on the risk assessment of the event and route.