The event begins with as many as 52 baroquely crafted boats arranged in columns of five on the river. These 52 boats are steered by 2,311 oarsmen from the Royal Navy. The oarsmen roar the boat with complete precision adhering to the commands from the leader on each boat. Along with this smooth sailing technique, the oarsmen begin to chant to a soothing tune. The 4 main Royal boats lead the procession. Watching the thin strips of boats floating across the calm river is truly a majestic sight.