Handicapping for racing

I’m planning a single “all-class” paddling race, not serious, just for fun, at an afternoon party I’m planning this summer down in Galveston at my bay house, call it the “Pusser’s Cup”, winner gets a bottle of Pusser’s rum and a cheap little trophy. I’ll be throwing my boats I own in the water, and anyone who wants to bring their own boats can also bring them down. The course will be from the bulkhead of my canal that borders my yard, up the canal, out into the cove, around the central “no wake” marker, and then back into the canal. (We’re also having the worldwide croquet championship). My question - is there a simple way to roughly handicap boats to make a more level playing field, like and addition ofso many seconds per inch of boat, and a multiplier for tandem kayaks?

Since no one answered yet, I’ll chime in
It is almost impossible to properly handicap a race with all the various factors such as composite, plastic, length, experience, etc.

I was in a race last year on the French Broad River in Asheville, NC that was the weirdest that I have been in yet, but it seemed to turn out pretty fair.

Prior to the start the organizers announced that it would be handicapped with four different starting times. There were about twenty or thirty boats, (both canoes and kayaks).

The kicker was that we were supposed to put ourselves in the starting group where we thought we should be.

I was paddling a QCC-700 so I put myself in the third wave, mainly because there was an Olympic C-1 paddler (Leckki somebody or other or something like that) in the fourth wave with a bunch of elite paddlers.

When our wave went off, before we went a hundred yards I was way in front of the others, so I turned around, went back and got in the fourth wave.

Believe it or not, just about all the boats finished up where they should have.

I was looking forward to that race again this year, but there was a challenging ocean race the same day, so I opted for that.

So there is a suggestion for you any way.

But I think I would handicap it myself if I were doing it.

I would put all the rec boats off first, (and ones with kids even before the adults). Boats 10 to 14 feet next. Longer Composite boats with females next, and then longer composte boats with males . If there are any suf skis I would naturally put them last.

Oh I almost forgot the “over the hill” class for us old timers.

If you have any canoes you will have to fit them in where you can.

On that Pusser’s Rum; rather than give it as a prize, open it and make “painkillers”, (after the race naturally) for every one of the competitors and they all go home happy.

That is what they do at the Bogey and Bacall beach party down in Key Largo on Saturday night after the thirteen miler.



Thanks for the suggestions
Oh, there will be plenty of painkillers to go around. Which reminds me, I’m headed to tortola in 9 days! Spending a couple of days in tortola, then 5 days on a crewed yacht, then a couple of days in St. Thomas. Man, I am stoked.

Pass out the Rum before …

many first place trophies
Everyone loves a winner. The best way to handicap is to give out mant first place trophies. Maybe a 2-4-6-8mph system where 2mph boat race against 2mph boats. If it says First place then maybe it is a piece of pallet board that has been hit with woodburner. Have been in many races and many First Place trophies will make many happy!