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.
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.
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.
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.
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 race officials are appointed by World Sailing. Applications need to be endorsed by Yachting New Zealand.
For more information about becoming an international race official, see World Sailing's website. http://www.sailing.org/raceofficials/index.php