Flags are an integral part of powerboat racing. Whether you are a curious spectator or amateur racer, you will want to know the meaning of each flag and how flags are used during a race. Regulations for this sport define that flags used for powerboat racing must be at least 24”x24” to ensure that racers can easily see the flags. In addition to the size of the flags, each has a distinct color and corresponding meaning.
Green flags are used in powerboat racing for a few situations. A green flag is displayed just prior to the race to let participants know to be ready for the start. A green flag is also used to indicate the time between the signals for five minutes and one minute. Green flags are often used during a powerboat race.
The white flag is used during the race to let competitors, pit crew, and spectators know that the leading boat is in the final lap. A white flag is also used to indicate one minute to start.
Yellow flags are cautionary in powerboat racing. Racers do not have to return to their pits, but should exercise caution. The yellow flag indicates that there are problems on the course, and racers must maintain their positions until the flag is cleared.
Blue flags are used in powerboat racing to let racers know that they should exercise caution. The difference between yellow flags and blue flags is that racers do not have to hold position when blue flags are shown.
A red flag indicates a serious problem on the course. When a red flag is shown, racers are to stop racing. Red flags are sometimes accompanied by orange or red flares.
Black flags are used in powerboat racing to indicate that the race course is closed, and racers must return to their individual pit areas. This may be due to an accident or debris in the water that places racers and spectators at risk. Some black flags used for powerboat racing have neon stripes to make them more visible in certain weather conditions.
Checkered flags are the most recognized in powerboat racing. When a checkered flag is waved, the race is over, and the winners have been determined.