Starting Procedures


9.1. Schedule of Races:

All races are expected to start on time as posted in the most current schedule posted on


9.2a. Competitor Identification – Visual:

All competitors are issued identifying shirt number cards, bow number cards, and instructions for required display of cards at Registration (See Rule 5.3). Competitors without required identification displayed may be penalized or disqualified from Starting.


9.2b. Competitor Identification – Verbal:

It is the practice of the HOCR to call each competitor to the Start Line by Surname (1x scullers) and/or by name of the Institution represented (for crews).

N.B.: It is useful for competitors to familiarize themselves with the names of competitors preceding them in the Start Sequence


9.3. Competitor Start Time:

All competitors are required to be in the Start Line Chute area within earshot of the Start Line no less than 5 minutes prior to the scheduled race start time.


9.4a. Latecomers:

Because of the nature and size of each event it is impossible to wait for latecomers. Each crew and sculler is responsible for being on time for their event.


9.4b. Late boats:

Late arriving boats should not cross the line of buoys to jump into the starting sequence, but should await instructions from the Marshals or Starter. Any boat that starts out of sequence against the orders of the Starter will be disqualified.


9.5. Basin Traffic Pattern:

All Competitors warming up for the start must follow the Basin Traffic Pattern (this map should be downloaded from the Maps section of the HOCR website) except when otherwise directed by Marshals.


All competitor s should be in the buoyed Queuing Zone five (5) minutes prior to the start of their race. Boats should assemble in the Queuing Zone in numerical order in two rows, with ODD numbers on the Boston side and EVEN numbers on the Cambridge side (see: Start Chute Traffic Pattern on previous page).


9.6. Equipment Failure Prior to Start:

If a competitor loses his/her bow marker or experiences equipment breakage prior to the Start, he/she should notify Marshals as soon as possible upon entering the Basin.


9.7. Start Line Approach:

Boats should merge into ONE a single file line in numerical order as they enter the Start Chute, allowing an interval of 2-3 lengths (or as instructed by Marshals or the Starter) of open water behind the preceding boat. Boats should maintain an interval of 2-3 lengths as they approach the Start Line. Crews or scullers that fail to follow the commands of Marshals or the Starter will be penalized.


Note of Advice:

Passing is permitted prior to the BU Bridge using extreme caution. Overtaking boats must ensure room is available to complete a safe pass and are subject to a safety penalty (Rule 10.1) in the event that the overtaken boat is forced into an abutment. The railroad trestle bridge’s second arch from the right (Cambridge) shore is the mandated route. The right (closest to Cambridge) arch of the railroad bridge may not be used. Use of this arch will result in a 60 second penalty.


9.8. Re-Start:

Once a boat has crossed the starting line and a Start time has been captured, under no circumstances shall a restart be permitted.


9.9. Time Gaps between Event-Divisions:

The HOCR Starter may instruct competitors to maintain a predetermined variable gap of several minutes between each event-division.