All six boats emerge from their waiting pits at the same time.
The period from when the six boats emerge from their waiting pits to the time they cross the start line is called, the "Standby Warm-up". Each competitor contends for their favorite or most advantageous start position while circling counterclockwise around the 2nd marker (a buoy) and the short-cut prevention buoy.
When each boat takes their start position, the boats commence a flying start toward the start line. The race starts when the boats cross the start line within the designated start time. This start time is between 12 and 1 o' clock on the giant clock. If a boat crosses too early (by even 100th of a second) a flying start occurs, and if too late, a late start occurs, and the boat is scratched from the race.
* If a boat is scratched from the race, all bets on that boat are refunded.
The thrill of boat racing comes right after the race starts as the boats approach the 1st marker of the 1st lap. Each competitor tries to maneuver into first place by the 1st marker on the 1st lap. The race for the 1st marker is important because it often determines the outcome of the race.
In boat racing, the undertow of the leading boat presents a major obstacle for trailing boats. Even after the 2nd marker on the 1st lap, the boats continue their heated race for 2nd and 3rd place, sometimes overtaking the lead. There's just no sure winner until the end.
After turning the 2nd marker in the 3rd lap, it's straightaway to the finish line. The finish line is the same as the start line.