With an overall length of 2.45 km (1.52 miles), the men's course is a grueling testimony to the sport of boat racing. The crew must line themselves at their respective stake and, when the signal is given, race to their designated buoy at the bottom of the pond.
Should one full minute elapse with no mis-start, accident or equipment damage, the race is considered official and will not be stopped unless an emergency occurs.
The first crew reaching their buoy will be given right of way to round the buoy. To successfully complete the course, crews must round the buoy on the south side, and approach their starting stake on the north side. The distance between the buoys at the top of the pond is 36.5 meters (119.75 feet) and at the foot of the pond they are 15.7 meters (51.5 feet).
Though a shorter course, the women's course is no less grueling or impressive to watch.
The length of the course comes in at 1.225 km (0.76 miles) and like the men's course, crews must reach their buoys and round them on the south side, approaching their starting positions from the north.
The distance between buoys are the same in both courses as is giving right of way to the crew which reaches their buoy first.
Both courses follow the same set of rules for conduct and sportsmanship.