Build Your Own Boat Competition

If you’ve ever had nautical dreams of steering a finely crafted ship through challenging seas, here’s your chance. The Build Your Own Boat Competition puts hand crafted vessels to the test down our man-made whitewater channel featuring class II, III and IV rapids. Judging will be based on the crowd reaction, creativity and seaworthy-ness of each boat, with the winning team’s name joining the ranks of past champions on the coveted BYOB rock and blade trophy. Come for the action and stay a while for the prized commentating and libations of Whitewater’s Fall Festival.

Event Details:

  • Date – Saturday, October 5, 2019
  • Time – 12:00pm


  • $40 – Pre-registration through October 3
  • Note: There is a 40 boat cap for this event. First come, first serve during registration.
  • For breweries looking to complete in the Brewery Edition of Build Your Own Boat, please register using this form.


Friday, October 4

  • 4:00pm – 8:00pm – Mandatory check-in, boat drop off, float test, and style judging at the Kayak Center
    • Note: Typical parking fees apply
    • You do not have to show up in full costume but it is helpful in your score.
    • You will get wet during the mandatory float test

Saturday, October 5

  • 12:00pm – BYOB Competition begins
  • 4:00pm – BYOB Competition ends


  • Drop off location: Kayak Center & Competition Channel river right (See schedule above for times)
  • All boats will check in at the Kayak Center and proceed to assigned location
  • Vehicular access is limited to the Kayak Center only. No vehicles will be allowed past the Kayak Center.


  • Teams may consist of 1-4 people.
  • All participants must be ages 16+.
  • Boats will be ranked based on style. Funky, creative costumes and teams of four are encouraged. Remember, you must be able to swim in your costume (no masks).


  • Style: Boats will be ranked based on creativity, design and theme
  • Completion: Boats that are not able to navigate the entire length of the competition channel with the entire team “mostly on the boat” will not be eligible for the overall award
    • Boats that do not complete the competition channel are still eligible for the Style Award and the Fan’s Choice Award
  • Fan’s Choice: Boat’s will be ranked based on fan’s reaction throughout the event


  • All crafts must be human powered.
  • Everything must float.
  • Craft must not exceed 10′ wide x 10′ long x 5′ tall.
  • Rope sections may be no longer than 4′ and must be tied tightly/securely against some part of the craft’s structure (no open loops)
  • No enclosures or compartments on the craft
  • 150 lbs. maximum
  • The following items cannot be used:
    • Metal objects
    • Sharp objects
    • Straps or devices that hold you to the craft (participants must be able to exit at any time)
    • Manufactured crafts designed for whitewater (rafts, kayaks, duckies, riverboards, SUP, etc.)
    • Wood (plywood, boards etc.) over 1/4 inch thick
  • Pool toys, floats, etc. are okay.
  • Participants must be prepared to swim the length of the channel unaided and must wear the PFD and helmet provided by the USNWC.

Specific build questions should be sent to the Race Director at



Awards will be given to top team in each of the following categories

  • Overall Winner (based on style and completion as outlined in the “Scoring” section above)
    • Team name included on the B.Y.O.B. winner’s trophy (kept at the USNWC)
  • Style Award (based on creativity, design and theme only)
  • Fan’s Choice Award (based on audience’s vote)

2019 Results:

  • Overall Winner – ShipFaced
  • Style – Great Scotts!
  • Fan’s Choice – The Plumbers

2019 Brewery Results:

  • Overall Brewery – Legal Remedy Brewing
  • Brewery Style – Suffolk Punch Brewing
  • Fan’s Choice – Suffolk Punch Brewing

2018 Results:

  • Overall Winner – Owensby Boatworx
  • Style – Owensby Boatworx
  • Fan’s Choice – The Pip Heads
  • Brewery Edition – Hyde Brewing

2017 Results:

  • Overall Winner – Brother’s Boenisch
  • Style – The Beatles
  • Fan’s Choice – The Jenny



Additional Event Info:

  • Volunteers 
  • Waiver Policy 
    • May be printed and brought to packet pick-up or completed on site.  
    • The waiver is not included in the online registration form.  
  • Refund and Transfer Policy 
    • Race Registration is non-refundable 
    • A 100% registration transfer must be requested 2 months (or more) in advance of race day via 
    • A 50% registration transfer must be requested 1 month (or more) in advance of race day via 
    • Registration transfers are only applicable to the same race the following year 
  • Forgotten Add-On Gear/Participant items 
    • All purchased add-on gear must be collected during packet pick-up 
    • Items will not be shipped 
    • If items are unable to be picked up during packet pick-up, you must arrange pick-up with and collect from Outfitters within one week from event date 
    • The race director will not email you to arrange your pick-up 
    • All unclaimed items will be donated 
    • Typical parking fees apply 
  • Forgotten Awards 
    • Applies to participant shirts, finisher’s awards and age group/overall awards.  
    • Participants not present for awards may collect their award from Outfitters within two months of the race date 
    • Items will not be shipped 
    • All unclaimed items will be donated 
    • Participants must email to arrange award pick-up 
    • Typical parking fees apply 
  • Trail Marking 
    • Designated race course will be denoted by colored arrows. 
    • Color associated with specific route will be communicated during prerace announcements.  
    • Whenever possible, mile markers will be present along the course. 
    • Whitewater Race Series events take place on multiple surfaces, including natural surface trails over uneven terrain. As such, race distances and mile markers are approximate. 
    • Your personal mileage may vary. It is our goal to ensure that you travel at no less than the posted mileage for a given race.  
  • Trail Safety  
    • Trails will be open to other runners, hikers and bikers 
    • Headphones, iPods, MP3 players, etc are strongly discouraged 
    • Remain attentive and courteous at all times 
    • Communicate when passing other trail users 
    • No pets allowed on the course 
    • No E-bikes or any form of powered transportation will be allowed in any Whitewater Race Series events 
    • During events taking place after sunset, all participants are required to carry/wear a light source.  
  • Race Bibs 
    • Race bib must be visible and worn on the front of shirt to receive an accurate time 
    • Pacers 
    • Unless otherwise stated in the event specific race document, pacers are not allowed in Whitewater Race Series events 
    • When pacers are allowed, pacers must check in/register with the Race Director and complete an assumption of risk agreement 
  • Aid Stations 
    • See Course Map for aid station locations 
    • Unless otherwise indicated, aid stations will consist of water only 
    • Plan accordingly if you think you may require additional hydration or nutrition during the race 
  • Weather Policy 
    • Event will proceed rain or shine unless conditions are deemed unsafe by the Race Director.
    • Any changes will be communicated via email by the Race Director 
  • Parking Policy 
    • All guests are required to pay a $6 parking fee at the Whitewater Center unless guest has an annual parking pass. Annual parking passes are available through the Whitewater Center for $50 
  • Emergency Policy 
    • The Whitewater Center does not conduct trail rescues in the event of an emergency. Participants must call 911 if emergency vehicles and operations are needed. There are emergency location markers to communicate where emergency personnel can find you