Boat racing is a sport in which boats race on water. Boat racing powered by oars is recorded as having occurred in ancient Egypt, and it is likely that people have engaged in races involving boats and other water-borne craft for as long as such vehicles have existed.
There are three broad categories within boat racing that define how the craft is powered. Self-propelled, human powered boats, wind (sail) powered boats and motorised, frequently referred to as motorboats or powerboats.
Human-powered boat racing
- Canoe racing, competitive forms of canoeing and kayaking
- Dragon boat racing, a type of human-powered watercraft racing
- Kayak racing
- Outrigger canoe racing
- Rowing (sport), a sport in which athletes race against each other on rivers, on lakes or on the ocean
Sail-powered boat racing
- Team racing, also known as teams racing, is a popular form of yacht racing
- Yacht racing, the sport of competitive yachting
Motorised powerboat racing
- Offshore powerboat racing, racing by large, specially designed ocean-going powerboats
- Inshore powerboat racing, and within this category, the F1 Powerboat World Championship
- XCAT Racing, a sport involving Extreme Catamarans or XCATs. XCAT Racing is promoted by The World Professional Powerboating Association.
- Drag boat racing, a form of drag racing which takes place on water rather than land
- Hydroplane racing, a sport involving racing hydroplanes on lakes and rivers
- Jet sprint boat racing
Types of race format
- Kyōtei, parimutuel boat racing in Japan, referred to as "BOAT RACE"
- Match race, a race between two competitors, going head-to-head
Notable boat races
- The Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge Universities
- The Welsh Boat Race between Cardiff and Swansea Universities
- The Northumbrian Water University Boat Race between the University of Durham and the University of Newcastle
- The Harvard–Yale Regatta, also known as "The Race"
- Snake Boat Race, the traditional boat race in Kerala, India
- Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race in Alleppy, Kerala, India
- 24 Heures Motonautiques de Rouen. a 24-hour circuit boat race in Rouen, France
- Archer eade memorial, an unlimited outboard race consisting of six laps
- Musi Triboatton, an annually international boat race across more than 500 km of Musi River in South Sumatra, Indonesia
- Evžen Strouhal, Life of the ancient Egyptians (1992), p. 46.