Click here for a pdf of the rules.


Before racing

  • Crews will be registered before the start of the event. Unregistered crews must not take to the water during events
  • Crews will declare their WSRA points category at registration. This cannot be changed once racing is underway.
  • All boats must display their correct number on the hull in a legible size.
  • All boats must be seaworthy to race.
  • All crew members must have paid their WSRA personal levy/affiliation fee and be registered with the WSRA membership secretary. Crews consisting of non-affiliated members will not be allowed to race and will be disqualified.
  • All crews must send a representative to the coxes' briefing. All local rules explained in this meeting must be abided by.

Race starts


  • Boats are lined up on the beach. They may be afloat. Rowers are ready to row.
  • The boats when lined up must have two metres of space between extended oars.
  • The cox must hold the boat in position and have one leg on the seabed.
  • One minute prior to the start a flag is raised together with a sound signal.
  • One minute later a second signal is sounded and the flag lowered to indicate the start.

Crews may opt to have the cox in the boat and another crew member to hold the boat or all crew in the boat and a shore helper to hold the boat.


  • All crews are to take to the water promptly when asked to do so.
  • Crews should form a line between 2 start markers (2 buoys or 1 buoy and 1 start boat). Crews may start behind the line but not in front of it. Penalties may be applied to crews jumping the start line (see organising events).
  • Yoles will start a one end of the start line.
  • When crews are resembling a line, the race organisers will signal a 'ready' alert (identified in coxes' briefing) and the raising of the race flag. Racing may start at any point after this.
  • The start of the race will be signalled by the dropping of the race flag and the sounding of a hooter.
  • All coxes must wear lifejackets.
  • All junior crew members must wear lifejackets. U18s must wear a lifejacket even when rowing with a senior crew.

During the race

  • The race will take the course outlined in the coxes' briefing. A lead boat will lead the rowing boats around the course and will display the following flags:
  • Green flag - Racing under way. Course as advertised.
  • Yellow flag - Racing under way. Course altered. Follow lead boat against advertised course.
  • Red flag - Race cancelled. Follow lead boat to shore. Do not hinder progress of other boats.
  • Overtaking boats must yield to the crew being overtaken. The leading crew has priority (except under certain circumstances - see buoy turns).
    • An overtaking crew becomes the leading crew once overtaking has been fully completed and 2m of clear water is obtained.
  • Keep clear means at least one and a half metres between the oars in calm conditions. In beam winds and rough water more space is required.
  • Ramming from any direction is prohibited.
  • Weaving and other unsportsmanlike behaviour is prohibited.

Buoy turns

  • Priority at any turn is determined 3 boat lengths from the turn.
  • At 3 boat lengths, if there is any overlap between 2 crews, the inside crew (i.e. crew closest to the buoy when turning) has priority. The outside crew must yield to the inner crew and not impede their progress.
  • At 3 boat lengths, if there is clear water (i.e. no overlap) between the 2 crews, the leading crew has priority. The chasing crew must yield to the leading crew and not impede their progress.
  • As the distance to the buoy decreases, it is likely any gap will shorten or disappear due to the lead crew slowing for the turn. If the chasing crew catches the lead crew and gains inside overlap inside 3 boat lengths, the chasing crew must still yield at the turn.
  • The crew with priority may take any course around the buoy unimpeded.
  • The above rules will cascade through the field. It is possible that a leading crew may have to yield to the crew in 4th or 5th position under some circumstances.
  • An official boat may be stationed on buoy turns to ensure correct procedures are followed. Crews found to obstruct other crews holding priority may have points/positions docked or be disqualified entirely. This is at the discretion of the league official at the race.