Race conduct and penalties for Traditional Boat Race

 traditional boat race

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For races up to 1000m, boats must maintain a 'straight line' course from the start to the finish line. Crews will be issued a verbal warning by the course umpire if they deviate from their racing line. If crews deviate too far off their race line and impede other boats, they may be given a penalty of five seconds or disqualified.

Wake riding - the act of paddling across the angle of an adjacent boat's bow wave to gain an increase in speed is not permitted. When overtaking another boat, the boat attempting the overtake must give clear water to other boats as it is overtaking. Boats that are being overtaken are not permitted to alter its course to make it difficult for the overtaking boat. In the event of a collision, the boat umpires must report the circumstances of the incident to the chief official. If it is determined that the collision could have been avoided by taking corrective action, then all crews concerned may be disqualified.

The distress signal should only be used when a crew member is overboard or for any other emergencies. Distress signals given without just cause may result in disciplinary action. Boat swamping or deliberately capsizing their own boat or another will result in disqualification. Boat damage, done deliberately or otherwise, will also result in disqualification and a fine to cover the cost of repair.

For races longer than 1000m, boats must pass the turning buoys in an anti-clockwise direction. When more than one boat is making a turn, the boat on the outside perimeter must leave room for boats turning on the inner lane. Boats are allowed to make their turn as close to the buoy as they want but penalties may be awarded for endangering the safety of other crews and impeding other boats to gain an advantage in speed or distance.

The following table states some other offences and penalties in traditional boat racing:



●     Not following directions from race officials

●     Crews showing up late to the starting line

●     Crews leaving their lane during the race

●     False start

●     Crews disturbing the process of the race by unsportsmanlike behaviour

●     Crews not correcting their course after two calls from the umpire

Disciplinary action and warning for a first time offence.

5 second penalty or disqualification of either the offending competitor and / or entire crew.

Winning the race by breaking rules and regulations

Disqualification of either offending competitor and / or entire crew.

Receiving help or coaching during the race

Disciplinary action

Jumping the start

Up to two 5-second penalties may be awarded.


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