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Is there an obvious meaning to this phrase in the following sentence (the context is a motorbike race) :

This is where the big boys stand out and race their flags on the boards.

How should I interpret it ?

closed as off-topic by StoneyB, Damkerng T., user3169, Tyler James Young, Em1 May 21 '14 at 20:37

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  • I'm unfamiliar with "on the boards" being used like this. Perhaps, it makes more sense in sailing, where "board" could mean "a distance covered by a vessel in a single tack". – Damkerng T. May 21 '14 at 15:59
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    This not idiomatic English; its source is an advertising blurb which was clearly NOT written by a native speaker, and there's no telling what the author meant. – StoneyB May 21 '14 at 16:37
  • I don't find the expression anywhere except in the motorcycle racing app blurb that the OP is probably reading. Here's a speculative possibility: in Australian Supercross rules, a black board with a rider's number, along with black flag held stationary, means that that rider has to come in for a pit stop on the next lap. This could be a "flag on the board". Since managing your pit stops well is essential in a race, then "racing your flags on the boards" could mean that you have to manage your race around your pit stops. – BobRodes May 21 '14 at 16:39
  • And then as StoneyB points out, there are plenty of grammatical erros in Zinida Tulchinski's blurb, which suggests that he/she might have made up the term as well. Since it's the only place I can find the expression, it's likely that StoneyB is right. My speculation was still creative, though. :) – BobRodes May 21 '14 at 16:41
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The phrase is a metaphor.

The scoreboard of the race will show the flags of the competitors. As the competitors race, their position, and so their flags, moves on the scoreboard.

Hence a metaphor for the race itself is a race of the flags on the boards.

It is not a common expression and smacks of the hyperbole used by sports commentators.