(a) The Belt Race is an individual event. Each Beltman is assisted by four Reel Handlers.
(b) The Reel Handlers consist of a Reelman and three Linemen. Reel Handlers shall not be considered to be competitors but shall be required to:
- (i) Be currently proficient SLSA Bronze Medallion/Cert II holders.
- (ii) Be a member of the same club or team as the competitors and be entered at the competition (exemption may be given by the Referee for a member of another club or team to be a Handler provided that the Handler is entered at the competition). Note: Reel Handlers may handle for more than one Beltman in each age category provided that each Beltman has a full complement of Reel Handlers in each round of the event contested.
- (iii) Wear a competition cap and shall be required to wear a distinctive high visibility pink, orange, yellow, green or red coloured vest as determined by SLSA (or relevant SLS Event Organiser) if entering the water beyond knee depth.
- (iv) Comply with all instructions of the officials.
- (v) Make every effort to ensure that they, or the equipment that they are handling, does not impede another competitor, otherwise both their competitor and the Handler may be subject to disqualification.
(c) Competitors in Belt Race events shall assemble in the marshalling area. When entries have been checked the Marshall shall notify each Beltman of their buoy colour and buoy peg.
(d) After marshalling, the Referee, Sectional Referee or their deputy (e.g. the Marshall or Announcer) shall give the command for the Beltman and Reel Handlers to file into the competition area and proceed to the nominated buoy peg
Note: Prior to marshalling, the operation of the belt safety pin may also be checked by the beltman.
(e) The reel should be placed with the rear lower spreader bar against the buoy peg.
(f) The Beltman shall remove the belt from the reel. The belt and line must be placed flat on the sand, neck-strap to the front, 5 metres in front of the buoy peg, loop thrown and ready for use. No slack line other than the loop at the belt is permitted. The Beltman may be assisted in this process by the Reel Handlers. The Beltman and the Reel Handlers shall move to the starting line and await the start.
(g) At the pistol shot or other given signal the Beltmen and Reel Handlers shall run up the beach to the reel, line and belts. The Beltmen don their respective belts and enter the water without impeding any other competitors in the event and swim to their allocated buoys.
Note: A starting break by a handler may result in disqualification of the beltman from the event.
(h) The Reel Handlers pick up the reel.
(i) The reels are then carried by the four Reel Handlers directly to and not more than five metres beyond the starting line. When placed, any part of the reel must be on or over the starting line. The three Linemen may leave the reel individually and proceed to their payout positions.
The Reelman shall, as appropriate, control the flow of line by using the reel brake, drum and/or their hands.
Note 1: To arrive at their payout positions (to perform a line payout procedure the Linemen may proceed through deep water provided they maintain control of the line.
Note 2: Linesman may pay out using either an overhead or underarm procedure.
(j) In the event of seaweed entangling the line, the Linemen may assist in its removal.
(k) The Beltman shall, on reaching their allotted buoy with their belt and line intact, place their forearm over the top of the buoy and then signal their arrival by raising their other arm to a vertical position whilst remaining in contact with the buoy. The said signal, subject to all conditions being fulfilled, shall be the determining factor in judging excepting that should a competitor swim to a wrong buoy and signal they shall be disqualified.
Note: The swimming buoy is described as the buoy only and does not include any attaching ropes or straps.
(l) If requested, Beltmen shall indicate to the Course Judge-in-Boat that their line and belt are intact, by displaying the equipment to the judge. The Beltman, unless specifically requested by the Judge-in-Boat or the Referee may discard the belt and swim off the area upon completion of the swim by the remaining competitors or at the expiration of the time limit.
(m) On returning to the beach place getters should be informed of their finish position.
(n) The Linemen shall not commence to haul in the line until all Beltmen arrive at the buoys or at the discretion of the Referee. The line shall then be wound on the reel and the reel carried off the beach as directed by the Referee or Sectional Referee.
(o) Failure by any Reel Handler to comply with the above conditions may result in the disqualification of the Beltman.