This enables some very exciting team racing, and it enables teams to be formed that combine rowers of different abilities as a way to even out boat performance and make the races very close at the finish.
A very popular form of Venue Racing, particularly for schools and gyms that have fewer ergs, is team relays. Each erg has a team assigned to it, and during the course of the race they very quickly swap from one person rowing to the next.
In one form of team relays, the foot straps are unbuckled and held in place by two of the team who are not currently doing the rowing, to make change-overs faster. This is exciting but can present hazards in the change-overs.
Another less demanding form of team relays is where there are set breaks of say 1 minute between one person finishing and the next starting, so the overall race is more like a series of intervals.
Small informal Venue Races are commonly used as a way to wrap up fitness or training sessions. Participants can be paired up into doubles to balance out different ability levels so the races have close finishes to add excitement.
These fitness session wrap-ups can be as short as 100 meters. They add a real buzz to the end of the sessions.