The typical course is an oval with the start line at the end of the dock in front of you where the clock is located. Upstream to your right is Turn 1 and downstream to your left is Turn 2. The turns are marked by 3 Yellow inside course Buoys - an entrance pin, a center pin and an exit pin. The buoys are held in place by ropes to anchors on the river bottom. The outside of the course is indicated by Orange Buoys, attached to anchors, or to hazards on the water, such as a log boom or the dock. These establish the extreme outside of the course, and any Racer that goes beyond them is disqualified. Drivers are penalized if they damage or dislodge any of the Buoys. The Start line stretches from an Orange Buoy just in front of “The Barge,” to a Yellow Buoy on the inside edge of the Course.

Newberg’s Course on the Willamette River throws a couple challenges at Racers. First, the Racers are accustomed to racing on lakes with no current, whereas the River has a current that can be quite strong, depending on the height of the river. Also, instead of a simple oval, because the course extends upriver and somewhat around a curve, there is a dogleg in the backstretch of the course, which forces the Racers to turn ever-so-slightly to the right. Because the Boats are built for racing Counterclockwise around an oval, they are built to turn to the left only, and this dogleg, although slight, can be a challenge.