1 BOAT RACE Facilities

When you arrive at the BOAT RACE stadium, start by visiting the water's edge.

BOAT RACE Facilities

2 Basic Information about BOAT RACE

A day-long racing session includes 12 races.

6-boat contest

BOAT RACE is a competition in which 6 boats race to the finish line.
The boat racers' uniforms and boats are color-coded as follows:
boat color-coded

6-boat contest

3 laps counterclockwise

After passing the starting line, the boats vie for the lead by racing around the 1st- and 2nd-turn markers in order, completing 3 laps around the dedicated course (3 laps @ 600 m/lap = 1800 m).

3 laps counterclockwise

From warm-up to start

The 6 boats "pit-out" all at once, but before crossing the starting line, they warm up by sprinting clockwise around marker 2 and the shortcut prevention buoy.

From warm-up to start

The unique way races start

Unlike the "standing start" used in athletic events, BOAT RACE employs the "flying start" system in which boats must pass the starting line within a designated time frame.

The unique way races start

Flying (F) and Late (L) starts

In BOAT RACE, a boat can take the advantage by passing the starting line ahead of all the others.
If a boat crosses the line too early before the needle on the giant clock hits 0, it's called a "flying start" (F). If it crosses too late after the needle hits 1, it's called a "late start" (L).
In either case, the boat is scratched from the race and the bets on that boat are refunded. Be sure to hang on to your betting ticket.

Flying (F) and Late (L) starts

3 Flow of the Race

Start exhibition

In the pre-race "start exhibition," the boat racers who will be competing in the next race jockey for position and perform practice starts in anticipation of the actual race.
This gives bettors an advance look at each boat's condition and each racer's strategies and skills.

Exhibition lap

After the start exhibition, all the boats perform an "exhibition lap" to give the fans another look at the boats and racers. This is similar to the paddock in horse racing.
Racers who do not participate in the exhibition lap cannot participate in the actual race.
In this exhibition lap, the racers' straight-line 150 m exhibition times are posted, which is helpful information when purchasing your betting ticket.

Opening of betting

At the end of the exhibition period, the betting tickets for the race go on sale. Fans buy betting tickets according to their predictions for the race, based on factors such as the talent of the racers, the performance of the engines, the posted odds, and how the boats looked in the exhibition period.

Actual race

Actual race


At the signal, all six boats dash out of their pits together.
In BOAT RACE, the 1st lane has the biggest advantage.



Racers have their own special skills and strategies for seizing the best course.
If a boat gets forced into the first lane, since it's not allowed to stop its engine, lack of remaining distance to sprint to the starting line puts it at a distinct disadvantage.



Suddenly, all 6 boats begin racing at full speed toward the starting line.
Boats must cross the starting line when the needle of the giant clock is between 12 and 1 o'clock. Crossing even 1/100th of a second early is a flying start (F), and crossing after the 1-second mark is a late start (L). The main point is to seize the lead at the start and use this advantage to control of race.


First lap marker 1 (1st-turn marker)

Here’s the real thrill of BOAT RACE.
With the racers' skills on full display,
it's the main highlight of BOAT RACE, and precisely where the race is often won or lost.

First lap marker 1 (1st-turn marker)

Battle at lap marker 2 (2nd-turn marker) and after

In BOAT RACE, the lead boat has the advantage,
and the waves in its wake put the following boats at a disadvantage.
Still, the fierce battle for position can produce dramatic come-from-behind finishes, and the races stay close all the way to the end.

Battle at lap marker 2 (2nd-turn marker) and after

Finish line

After going around Marker 2 on the 3rd lap, the boats race across the finish line,
which is the same as the starting line.
In a close race, the rankings may be determined by photo finish.

Finish line

4 Types of betting tickets

There are 7 types of betting tickets. You can buy any ticket from as little as 100 yen.
In this race example, boat 4 (blue), boat 3 (red), and boat 1 (white) cross the finish line in that order. The results for each type of betting ticket are shown below.

Types of betting tickets
Bet type Winning Terms Winning Odds Winning Numbers
Win Pick the boat that finishes in first place. 1/6
Place-Show Pick the boat that finishes within the first two places. 1/3 or
Exacta Pick the exact two boats that finish first and second in order. 1/30
Quinella Pick the two boats that finish within the first two places. 1/15
Trifecta Pick the exact three boats that finish first, second, and third in order. 1/120
Trio Pick the three boats that finish within the first three places. 1/20
Quinella-Place Pick any combination of two of the top three winners. 1/5


For each race, the odds (that is, the payout, or the multiple paid upon winning) are displayed on monitors inside the BOAT RACE stadium, on the jumbo screen, and on the website.
For example, if you predict the order 1-3, the odds (payout) would be 5.5 times the amount of your bet.


5 How to fill out the OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) betting card

How to fill out the OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) betting card
num1Stadium For an OMR betting card with all 24 BOAT RACE stadiums listed on it, fill in the stadium where you are placing your bet.
num2Race number Fill in the race number to bet on.
num3Bet type Fill in the type of bet you wish to make.
num41st, 2nd, 3rd Fill in the numbers of the boats to bet on. For Trifecta or Trio bets, fill in the boat numbers up to third place. For Exacta or Quinella bets, fill in the boat numbers up to second place.
num5Fill in the amount of your bet. To specify a number like 12, fill in 10 and 2.
num6Fill in the units of the amount of your bet. You can specify 100, 1,000, or 10,000 yen.
num7Cancel If you make a mistake filling out your card, mark here to cancel the entry.

Types of OMR betting cards

Key This is a way to place multiple bets on one or two key boats.
Box This is a way to bet on all possible combinations of the selected boats.