Prior to a race commencing the starting procedure consists of two key phases. Pit time and Mill Time.
These crucial elements of the starting procedure are summarised below.
- A two (2) minute period will be announced over the P.A system for the starting and launching of the competing boats.
- At the expiration of the two minute period, there shall be no more boats allowed to launch. (NB) A boat that has the engine running and at the waters edge ready to launch will be allowed to launch. Running in the pits by competitors or their pit crew will not be tolerated and may result in disqualification from the heat.
- Recovery of stalled, launched boats in this period will only be permitted by using the boat hooks provided.
- NO ONE will be allowed to enter the water to affect a recovery. Doing so will bring immediate disqualification from that heat.
- All competitors must complete one (1) full lap of the course after launching their boat before they can ½ course Mill (It is not mandatory to cut the course).
- All boats that cut the course on ½ course mill must enter the infield between the mill buoy, usually the start/ finish buoy and buoy 1, they must re-enter the course on the back straight between buoys 3 and 4 only and must give way to boats that are traveling the full course. A competitor entering the infield or re-entering the course at any other point will be awarded a plus 8 seconds of a race time penalty for each buoy that is cut.
- Boats must not cut the course from an outer lane and force a boat that is traveling on their inside to cut the course.
- Competitors who have not started and launched by the expiration of the Pit Time shall be considered a Did Not Start (DNS) and will be awarded NO POINTS.
- Delays and/or cancellation of Pit Time may only be instigated by the Contest Director and then only for Course and/or equipment failure or corrections.
- During pit time, it is recommended that the Contest Director continually announces the position of dead boats on the course.
- If all boats are on the water, the Contest Director can initiate the 30 second mill time. This can only be done after calling his or her intention to do so to all racing competitors. Any objection by either Competitors or Pit Persons will cause the start sequence to continue normally.
- In the Sub Junior classes, once all boats are on the water and have completed a minimum of one full lap the Contest Director will initiate the 30-second mill time.
- A thirty (30) second period from the expiration of Pit Time, leading up to the race start, will be announced over the P.A system.
- All competitors may, after completing one full lap, run the ½ course mill up to the 10-second call. Any boat which turns in around the mill buoy after the 10-second call will be assessed to have made a buoy infraction and will be awarded a PLUS 8 SECOND OF RACE TIME PENALTY.
- All boats must follow the set course from launch and driver/buoy infractions will be called from launch to returning to the pit area unless otherwise directed to safely cut the course by the race official.
- During the last Five (5) seconds of Mill Time, boats passing buoy 6 MUST steer a straight course and observe driver safety rules (refer 8.6) in selecting lanes. Zigzagging, ‘S’ turns, or fishtailing to delay crossing the start line early will either a PLUS 8 SECOND OF RACE TIME PENALTY (refer 8.6) or, should the other boat be disabled, the offending boat will automatically be ordered from the course, disqualified from the heat and awarded ‘No Points”.