Rules

Rules

1) Failure to follow any of the rules and regulations may result in disqualification from the race. The rules apply to all paddlers, team captains, coureur des bois, and support personnel registered or unregistered.

2) All entrants will be notified if any change to the rules and regulations are necessary prior to the race.

3) Tour du Teche rules and regulations, and all USCA rules apply to all races.

4) Teams are subject to random checks along the race route for adherence to all rules and regulations.

5) Paddler or coureur des bois must call the Command Center if:

  •  Emergency: call 911 and Command Center
  •  You plan on pulling out of the race, at any point, including checkpoints and finish lines

Registration

6) Teams are required to race as indicated on the entry form. Any change in pro race division class or move from voyageur race division to pro race division after registration closes will require a new entry form to be filled out. The original form will be cancelled and a fee of $100 per paddler, in cash, will be required at the time of the change. Any change from voyageur race division to pro race division must be accompanied by the difference in fees in addition to the penalty. There will be no penalty assessed, or refund given, for moving from pro race division to voyageur race division.

Liability

7) All team members shall enter the race at their own risk. Tour du Teche and its officials and sponsors are not responsible for accidents to personnel, or damage to boats or equipment.

8) All liability waivers shall be signed prior to the race.

9) A parent or legal guardian shall be present to sign a waiver of liability for all minors 17 and younger. All ages are calculated as of day of race.  A coureur des bois is MANDATORY for any boat that has a paddler 17 or younger.  A coureur des bois will not be mandatory if an adult 18 years or older accompanies the minor in the boat.  

10) All registered racers are covered by insurance through USCA. Your registration fee includes the premium for this coverage.

Safety

11) Under no circumstances shall any illegal drug be taken during the race period. Teams are not allowed to drink or have alcohol in the boat during the race. No paddler is permitted to be under the influence of alcohol on the water.

12) Each paddler must have in his or her possession in the boat a properly sized and in servicable condition United States Coast Guard approved Type I, II, III, or V (inflatable) personal flotation device. Type V (inflatable) PFDs are not allowed for paddlers under the age of 17.  FAA approved PFD shall have “Approved by USCG” printed on the PFD to be valid. PFDs must be worn according to the directions for that type PFD from the St. Martinville start to beyond Keystone Lock & Dam, Wax Lake Outlet, and on the Atchafalaya River.  PFDs must be readily accessible and not under a deck.All paddlers under the age of 17 are required to wear a PFD at all times when on the water. All paddlers participating in the Tour de la Riviere Rouge 275 and the 410 de Louisiane must wear a PFD around the neck and chest when on the water between Bossier City and Port Barre.  A type V can be worn but not be inflated until needed, it must be worn around neck and secured at waist.  PFDs must be on and secured at boat check according to the directions for that type PFD.

13) A coureur des bois is MANDATORY for all boats in Tour de la Riviere Rouge 275 and the first stage of the 410 de Louisiane.  This includes all waterways from Bossier City to Port Barre.

14) Boat shall have adequate flotation to float while swamped. Life jackets cannot be used for this purpose.

15) A SPOT tracker (www.findmespot.com) is required for all Pro Class racers in Races 1 – 11. Fresh batteries daily are required for your SPOT tracker.  SPOT must be turned on 30 minutes before the start of the race each day and when on the water.  Your boat may be disqualified if no continuous track is visible on Tour du Teche computers. Remember to refresh your SPOT tracker at least every 24 hours to maintain a constant tracking signal. Between Bossier City and Port Barre, during Race 10 & 11, it is recommended that you check-in with your coureur des bois via SPOT on a regular basis.

16) Teams are required to carry one fully charged cell phone enclosed in a waterproof container for safety and emergency use. Tour du Teche strongly recommends an additional power source for cell phone as well for races 10 and 11. Telephone number shall be given to race official at boat check.

17) Each team shall have a 360 degree white light on the stern and must be on during night travel and reduced visibility or between times determined by Tour du Teche race officials. The white light visible for two miles must be on during these times. This rule will be strictly enforced by TDT, LA Dept Wildlife and Fisheries, US Coast Guard and all Sheriff Departments. If a paddler obstructs the view of the white light on the stern then a white light (flashlight) must be secured to the bow of your boat in addition to the white stern light. These lights and attachment to the boat will be checked at boat check. Violation will result in disqualification from the race and require removal of your boat from the water.  This rule applies to all Tour du Teche sponsored races.

18) Each paddler shall have one flashlight in the boat.  A flashlight attached to the bow of the boat does not serve this purpose.

19) Each paddler shall have one audible signaling device (pealess type whistle or airhorn).

20) Teams may replace paddles, PFDs, or damaged equipment at any point along the race course.  Each paddle used for Tour du Teche 135, 410 de Louisiana, Tour de La Riviere Rouge, Acadian, Black Bear, and Sugar races shall have white reflective tape around the shaft and/ or back of the blade.

21) Tour du Teche race officials may cancel a race at any time due to severe weather. Should a hurricane affect a race date an alternate date will be posted on the official Tour du Teche web site, www.tourduteche.com. There are NO REFUNDS for weather cancellation.

22) One paddler or registered coureur des bois from team MUST SIGN IN AT EACH FINISH LINE.

  • Each boat or the registered coureur des bois must communicate that boat number to race official at each check point. Race official must have a visual sighting of your boat at each
    checkpoint.
  • Each boat or their registered coureur des bois shall sign in at the finish line to verify the official time. Race official must have a visual sighting of your boat crossing the finish line.

23) United States Coast Guard, Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, law enforcement agencies and Tour du Teche officials have the authority to disqualify any paddler or boat for violation of any rule of USCG, LDWF or Tour du Teche. Boat shall be immediately removed from the race.
24) Boat and equipment check is MANDATORY. All paddlers are required to attend and sign-in and registered coureur des bois are encouraged to attend and sign-in.

Boat

25) Only human muscle powered boats will be permitted to race. Rowing gear, motors, sails, or engines of any kind are prohibited.

26) Your boat must meet all specifications of class in which you are racing.

27) Teams must finish in the same boat they started in.  Switching boats during any portion of any race is prohibited.

28) All members of a team shall travel in the same boat. Should a team member drop out of the race for any reason, the team member can not re-enter the race or be replaced by another paddler. Relays in any form are prohibited.

29) Teams may bring their own food and drink in the boat or get food or drink at any point along the race course. Being resupplied by boat, paddle or motor driven, is prohibited.

30) A number for your boat will be assigned to you. The number can be picked up after the boat and equipment check. The number must be affixed one to each side of the bow of your boat. Those boats that don’t have an accommodating bow for this purpose shall affix the number on the decks fore and aft.

31) Names for boats should be painted or affixed to each side of the boat. Not required but strongly recommended. Individual boat sponsor names and logos are encouraged to be affixed to the boat.

32) You cannot interfere with another team’s progress.

33) No intentional littering of the bayou or its banks.

34) The official race map is the map provided at registration check-in, it may also be found on this website.

Portages (There are no portages for Race 8 & 9.)

35) During Tour de la Riviere Rouge 275 and 410 de Louisiane, racers are allowed to lock through or portage around dams 1, 2, 3, and 4, located on the Red River, on the opposite side of the lock. Portages are prohibited at dam 5 (this is the first dam that will be encountered from start of race).  You must lock through.  If you decide to portage dam 1-4, you must exit the river before the safety line +/- 600 yards (1800 feet) in front of the dam gates.  Large boulders line the banks.  Each portage around the four dams on the Red River is +/- .5 miles.  Locks can be reached on Ch. 16 or tie up in view of the control house, sound horn one long blast, or use signal rope.  Wait for lock horn signal to exit lock.  Keystone Dam, West Gate and East Gate at Wax Lake outlet, and the Berwick Lock are mandated portages for Tour du Teche 135 and 410 de Louisiane. NO OTHER PORTAGES are allowed except in the case of an unavoidable, unexpected obstacle in the bayou.

36) Vehicle portage is allowed for Race 10 & 11 at Krotz Springs from the Atchafalaya River to Bayou Courtableau where it intersects with LA 190 (see map for boat launch locations).  The speed limits in Krotz Springs and on LA 190 are STRICTLY ENFORCED by the Krotz Springs Police Department, St. Landry Sheriffs Department, and the Louisiana State Police.  If a speeding ticket is issued to a paddler, coureur des bois, or other support staff during the portage, the team shall be disqualified.

37) No assistance from coureur des bois, public, or racers from other teams can be received for mandated portages. However, the use of wheels is allowed. If wheels are used, they must be brought to and removed from the portage site by the boat that is using them. (Exception: Paddlers in voyageur division, can receive assistance at mandated portages from other paddlers.)

38) No penalty will be assessed for emergency assistance by a safety boat.

39) Coureur des bois and public are allowed at portages around dams 1, 2, 3, and 4, during Tour de la Riviere Rouge 275 and the first stage of 410 de Louisiana. Neither coureur des bois nor public are allowed at portage sites or at levees leading up to the portage on Bayou Teche during Tour du Teche 135 and the Bayou Teche portion of the 410 de Louisiane.

Protest

40) A paddler who wishes to lodge a protest shall submit the protest to the Tour Officials only, in writing and signed, accompanied by a $100.00 cash protest fee. Should the protest be upheld by Tour du Teche officials, $50.00 will be refunded. A person who lodges a protest should be prepared to provide evidence of the infraction being protested. The decision by TDT Executive Board is final.

41) Written and signed protests must be filed by 6 AM Saturday for Friday races, 6 AM Sunday for Saturday races, and by 2 PM Sunday for Sunday races.

Required Equipment

  • SPOT (www.findmespot.com) and daily supply of batteries for Pro Racers (Race 1 – 11)
  • Coureur des bois (bank runner) per boat (Race 10 & 11)
  • Cell telephone in waterproof container
  • PFD Type I, II, III, or V (inflatable) – USCG approved
  • Audible signaling device (pealess type whistle or airhorn)
  • White light or lights visible for 360 degrees
  • One flashlight per paddler
  • Reflective tape on paddles for 410 de Louisiane, Tour de La Rivier Rouge 275, Tour du Teche 135, Acadian, Sugar, and Black Bear
  • Adequate boat flotation to float while swamped

Recommended Equipment

  • SPOT (www.findmespot.com) for Voyageur Racers.
  • Coureur des bois (bank runner) per boat or ice chests with supplies marked with name and boat number to be dropped off at checkpoints or finish line. (Strongly Recommended Race 1 – 9)
  • Emergency Blanket – Mylar Foil Type
  • Mosquito repellant
  • Extra batteries for lights
  • Proper clothing including hat
  • Plenty of water and food
  • Rain gear
  • Multiple power sources for cell phone (Race 10 & 11)