Image credit: Nadzrie Hyckell/SportSG
The start zone of the regatta is the first 100m of the course. Rowers can only enter this area after the athletes from the previous race have left the start zone and with the permission of the Starter. Incoming athletes will be assigned lanes by the Starter and must be in their starting positions at least two minutes before the designated start time. Latecomers may be awarded the Yellow card and the Starter may start the race without them.
The Judge at the start line will determine if the boats are aligned correctly before indicating to the Starter to begin the race. In the event of a false start, the boat that committed the offence will receive a Yellow card. Athletes that cause two false starts will have their two Yellow cards converted to a Red card, and excluded from the race.
Athletes must stay within their lane throughout the length of the race. Any impediment or interference intentional or otherwise with opponents may cost them a penalty. If any athlete makes a move intentional or otherwise to affect the final positioning of other boats or cause a collision, the Umpire can make the decision to exclude them from the race. Under no circumstances may the Umpire change the placing of the boats at the finish line, even if the leading boat was impeded from finishing first. However, the Umpire may stop the race, impose the appropriate penalty on the offending athlete(s) and order the race to re-start.
It is against regulations to give instructions, advice or directions to athletes in the race via any electronic, electrical or technical devices directly or indirectly from outside the boat. When the bow of a boat crosses the finish line, it is deemed to have completed the race, even if the crew is incomplete. However, a coxed boat arriving without the coxswain will be excluded from the race.
In the event that there is a close finish, the judge at the finish line will rely on the picture produced by the photo finish system. Before the decision is posted on the board, the Umpire must check that no athlete has raised an objection. The race is then concluded by the Umpire raising the white flag to indicate to the finish line judge that the race was in order or red flag to indicate that he should hold the athletes at the finish line till the issue is resolved.
Sometimes, even the photo finish picture is unable to determine the placing of the boats. If it is the preliminary rounds, the boats involved can all pass on to the next round. In the event that it is a round before the finals, the boats involved will need to re-row the full course again to determine a winner. If it is the finals, then the crews involved will be given the same placing.
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