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Race official pathways

Race officials are the people who enable participation in our sport. Sailing worldwide relies on the hard work and dedication of race officials who run races for sailors and ensure it is carried out in a safe, fair and sportsmanlike manner.

There are four types of race officials:

At present, Yachting New Zealand have formal qualifications for two levels of race officials:

Club level - capable of officiating at club racing and local and regional regattas
National level - capable of officiating at national/major events

These qualifications recognise that an individual has completed Yachting New Zealand's training, passed the test and has a certain level of practical experience in their field.

Yachting New Zealand maintain a national register of people with these qualifications, provide training for their ongoing development and a structured pathway for moving through these qualifications.

All qualified race officials must agree to abide by the Yachting New Zealand Race Official Code of Conduct

Where to start

If you are interested in learning more about race officiating, Yachting New Zealand have an online course called Introduction to Race Officiating this can be accessed here via our online learning platform Embark.


    Race officers

    A race officer is the person in charge of running races. They set the course and administer and score the races. He or she is normally on the committee boat or in the start tower ashore.

    Race Officer conference, training seminars, and training courses have been moved to Yachting New Zealand's updated Embark Platform. 

    The Club Race Officer  is now an online course that you can complete in your own time. To access this course please transfer to Embark

    The National Race Officer course is an in person weekend course that are run two times a year over the winter months. Click here to see when the next National Race Officer seminar is. 

    Qualification applications/revalidations

    Download the Club Race Officer Revalidation AND Application form.

    Download the National Race Officer Revalidation form.

    Download the National Race Officer Application form. 

    Download the National Race Officer and Club Race Officer Referees Questionnaire



    Judges administer the racing rules on and off the water. They serve on protest committees, resolving conflicts that occurred on the water or measurement/eligibility issues, and can also be present on the water watching for rule infringements.

    Yachting New Zealand has formal qualifications for Club Judges (CJ) and National Judges (NJ). Initial appointment will be for a nominal 4 years, with the termination date being the nearest June 30th to the fourth anniversary of the appointment date. Renewal will be on a four-yearly basis. 


    Umpires provide instant justice regarding rule disputes on the water in match racing and teams racing events. In these types of racing, on-the-water umpiring is used and penalties are imposed during the race. This avoids, for the most part, the need for conventional protests. 

    Yachting New Zealand makes a distinction between Match racing umpires and Teams Racing Umpires. As the Racing Rules of Sailing pertaining to match racing and teams racing differ, and thereby the way in which protests and umpiring calls are made, there is a distinction made between match racing umpires and teams racing umpires.

    Umpire pathway/qualification criteria 

    Download the Club Umpire Teams Racing application/ revalidation form
    Download the National Umpire Teams Racing application/ revalidation form

    Download the Club Umpire Match Racing application/ revalidation form
    Download the National Umpire Match Racing application/ revalidation form


    Currently Yachting New Zealand does not have a club and national pathway for measurers. This is something that is in development. 

    Many class associations have class measurers, who can be contacted via the class association

    New Zealand has two World Sailing qualified International Measurers. 

    International appointments

    International race officials are appointed by World Sailing. Applications need to be endorsed by Yachting New Zealand. Advanced notice of intention to apply needs to be given to Yachting New Zealand, so we are able to assess the applicant and determine whether endorsement will be given. A 12 month notification period is advised (see YNZ Regulation 4.4)

    Yachting New Zealand criteria for endorsement of International Race Officials

    For more information about becoming an international race official, see World Sailing's website.