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What to Expect on Race Day

So, it's the morning of the event, and your first GBSUP race is ahead. What can you expect on race day?

Before the big day

You will receive your Paddler Information Pack about a week before the event. This pack contains all the details about the event, the schedule and any last-minute changes you need to be aware of. The pack will give you directions to the event site, parking information and what to do about your kit drop-off and registration. Your pack will also include a finalised event schedule, giving you all the key timings for the day.

For some events, such as Cardiff, BaySUP and Falmouth, there will be a pre-event Virtual Briefing. This will be run on Facebook Live, with all competitors being emailed a link to join live and a recording after incase you couldn't make it or want to recap on the details. Usually, the Virtual Briefing takes place a couple of days before the race.

For 2024, you will also be invited to our event platform, Buccaneer Sessions, a mobile app containing all the event information broken down into individual sessions across the event. You will find all the event information, course maps and links to the recorded Virtual Briefing here. The Buccaneer Sessions app is a community platform so you can meet your fellow paddlers before the big day, ask questions to the community and receive any updates from GBSUP through push notifications.

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Arriving at the location

Hopefully, after a great night's sleep, you are ready to take on the challenge of your personal goals or competitive ambitions. Having some pre-race nerves is normal, so get yourself sorted and make your way to the event.

GBSUP events take place in some iconic and beautiful locations, from cities to stunning beaches, so make sure you take it all in and enjoy the experience. Following the directions in your Paddler Information Pack and Buccaneers Sessions Event, you will make your way to the event location. You will either be directed to an exact location following local signage or using What3Words to pinpoint the car park location or kit drop. Our friendly marshalls will be on hand to point you in the right direction or give you any updated instructions on parking or making your way around the site. Depending on the event, once you are parked, you might have some spare time to get your kit sorted, eat some food, or it's time to make your way to registration.

Registration / Check-in

GBSUP events use a pre-event registration where you enter your fleet and are assigned a race number. On the day, you will need to check in with our event team, confirm your details and collect your race number and bib. Check-in takes place at Race HQ in the GBSUP tent or inside, depending on the weather and the location. Our event team will be on hand to answer any questions and will let you know where to put your race number for the day's events.

Race & Launch Briefings

You will be called to Race HQ or the briefing location just before your scheduled start time. The Race Director will welcome you to the event and talk you through the Race Briefing for any events that haven't had a Virtual Briefing or jump straight into a Launch Briefing for those that have.

Race Briefings (and Virtual) will give you a breakdown of the day's timings and details on race start and finish procedures and make you aware of any safety information. Launch Briefings will take you through getting on to the water and where you need to go to make your way to the start line.

You will have the opportunity to ask teh Race Director any final questions before you head off to get yourself sorted and on to the water.

Pre-Race Warm Up

At each event you will have the opportunity to get on the water and warm up before your start. There is usually a minimum of 30 minutes between the Race Briefing and the first start or there will be a dedicated time where you can get on the water. At some events, you will need to wait for the safety teams to launch before going to warm-up, so make sure you have checked timings in your Paddler Information Pack and on Buccaneer Sessions.

Race Starts

Each event will have a start schedule, with fleets setting off at a specific start time. The Race Director or Start Official will manage the start process and call each fleet to the line ready for their start. Usually, the Competitive Race Fleets set off first, with the Challenge Tour starting last. If you are taking part in the Challenge Tour, you will follow the same start procedure as the Race Fleets but with relaxed rules, so it won't matter if you are slightly over the line, for example.

Race Finish

As you finish your race, you will follow the finishing procedure and return to the launch spot or Kit Drop. Each fleet is timed across the course, and results will be posted live on the results platform, with each competitor receiving an email with your time. There will be an appeal window during which any paddler may raise a protest, and the Race Director will call any paddlers to Race HQ to discuss. During this time, you are free to get yourself changed, grab some food and chat with your fellow paddlers about your achievements.

Event Ceremony

As the event draws to a close, we celebrate our winners and medals are given to the Race Fleet podiums and Challenge Tour paddlers. The Race Director will give you details of the next GBSUP events and any information for on-going activities at the event site. Then its time to pack up, make your way back to your accommodation or head safely home.

Post Event

Results will be available on our results platform, with links on our website and in Buccaneer Sessions. Our media partners will post any content and official images normally available a few days after the vent. All links and post-event offers from our sponsors will be available on the website, Buccaneer Sessions, or emailed directly to competitors.

Hopefully, you enjoyed paddling with GBSUP, and you will join us at the next event, set your goals and take on the challenge once more.


Connecting to GBSUP: 

Step 1: Navigate to the Buccaneer Sessions app, download it from the relevant App Store, and create a user account (Standard Buccaneer User Profile) – Then log in to the app. 

App links as follows: 


Step 2: Once you have logged in, the simplest way to connect to the event is to open this email on your phone and tap the following link. 



This link will take you to a screen in the app that looks like this: 



Tap JOIN EVENT – you are in and connected. 


Once you are in, you can navigate to the Sessions/Activities” page to see the itinerary. 


If you navigate away from the event to look at the other features in the App, the easiest way back to the GBSUP event is to tap on the “Sessions” icon in the navigation at the bottom of the Buccaneer screen. 


Messages and updates will arrive through push notifications in the usual way on your phone. These can be accessed directly in the app by tapping on the Bell icon in the top right corner of the screen.


If, for some reason, the link doesn’t work due to your phone's settings, etc., you can still easily connect to the event by: 


Step 1: After downloading the app and setting up your user account. From the front screen in the Buccaneer app, type “GBSUP” in the white search box. You will get a search result called GBSUP” Tap on this, and it will take you to our profile page.  

Step 2: Once you are on our profile page tap the “Sessions” icon towards the top of the screen under our logo banner. You should then see a tile with an orange header called The Bewl BashTap on this, then tap JOIN SESSION” at the Bottom of the screen.  

You are in!!  

The Buccaneer Sessions guys will be on site on the day so if you have any questions, feel free to go chat to them. 

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