All races are 2,000 meters, referred to as "2K." There are six lanes in each race. The six lanes are clearly marked by buoys every 10 to 12.5 meters. The lanes must be straight and have a width of at least 13.5 meters over their whole length. The competition course must have a depth of at least three meters and the banks should be designed to absorb the waves, not reflect them. While it is not advised, crews are allowed to move across from one lane to another as long as they do not impede or obstruct another crew while doing so.
Crews committing a false start are first given a warning. If a crew has two false starts in the same race, they will be disqualified.
Every 250 meters beyond the start, the distance shall be marked on both sides of the course, either by clearly visible boards on the banks or by cubes on the water. Equipment for reporting intermediate times of the racers is placed every 500 meters.
A boat’s final time is determined by when its bow crosses the finish line. In the case of a close finish, a photo finish will be consulted to determine the order that the bow of each boat crossed the line.