Upskilling opportunities for running racing in the North East

Would-be race officials urged to register their interest
23 Nov 21
On the water picture from RYA Mark Laying course at Yorkshire Dales SC in November 2021 with instructor and two participants in RIBs.

Club members across the RYA North East region have been making the most of courses which help to develop race management skills for running open meetings and events.

A mark laying course at Yorkshire Dales SC and online Regional Race Officer course were both fully booked and more courses for the region are now planned.

Anyone keen to develop their skills so they are better able to support events at their home club, class circuit events or championships, is invited to register their interest here.

Sam Usher, Regional Development Officer for RYA North East, said: “It was great to see the enthusiasm in the region for the race management courses we’ve had so far and the feedback from participants has been really positive.

“It not only helps to support quality racing but also coincides with the region having hosted some big events over the last year, with more to come in 2022, which is raising the profile of our clubs and encouraging classes to bring their events to the North East.

“If you or your club would like to develop your race officer or mark laying skills, or develop your knowledge for any other roles such as umpiring, please do let us know as it will help us to plan further opportunities for training in the region.”

Mark laying

The two-day RYA Mark Laying Course at Yorkshire Dales SC was led by Drew Winstanley, a National Mark Layer, whose wide ranging experience includes Royal Ocean Racing Club events and having been a technical officer for the London 2012 Olympics.

Among the participants was Imogen Gibb, of Teesdale SWC, who said: “I applied so that I had a better base of knowledge, either for when I'm the race officer, so I know what I'm asking my mark layers to do, or so I can be more useful at events as a mark layer.

"I enjoyed the weekend, I learnt some new skills and refreshed some old ones, and enjoyed meeting new people. I do feel more confident in laying marks and more comfortable in my own skill level.”

Also on the course was Jamie Kerslake, of Ripon SC and the RYA North East Regional Volunteer Team, who added: “We’re starting to get some really good events in the North East and people are having the confidence in us as a region, so to have these courses where we can upskill is great.”

Running opens

The RYA Regional Race Officer course took place online over three evenings in November led by International Race Officer Adrian Stoggall, along with Ella Ashcroft, a National Race Officer and member of the RYA Race Officials Academy.

Those completing this course included Andy Young, of Scaling Dam SC, who supports race officer duties at his club and at open meetings, plus the North Topper Travellers Series, in which his daughter Erin competes.

He said: “For the Topper opens we can have up to 40 boats and we run those in the same way as the national circuit events, with a trapezoid course. I enjoy doing it and the Regional Race Officer course was a good opportunity to develop my skills.

“It was really interesting and there was a good mix of people, including yacht sailors and someone from SailGP, and it worked well online. I learnt new things, especially about tidal compensation, and I’d be interested in now doing a judges course as when I’m race officer, we do occasionally have to deal with a protest, so it would be useful to develop my experience and knowledge.”

Find out more

If you would like to develop your skills to support racing events, RYA Racing has a form where would-be participants can register their interest, which enables courses to be set up in response to demand and you will also be contacted when opportunities become available.

Register your interest on the RYA Race Official Courses Waiting List for any of the following: Regional Race Officer; National Race Officer; Regional Mark Layer; National Mark Layer; Regional Judge; National Judge; Introduction to Umpiring (Regional); National Umpire - Match Racing; National Umpire - Team Racing; National Umpire - Fleet Racing; Sail Measurement Course; Racing Safety Management Course.

If your club needs extra support for an event or to upskill any volunteers involved in running racing, visit the RYA Race Officials directory to search for judges, mark layers, measurers, race officers and umpires by name, location and qualification type.

For beginners wanting to support club racing or have a refresher before carrying out a duty, there is also a new, free-to-access online RYA Club Race Management Course designed to give confidence to those not regularly involved with running racing.

For updates follow RYA Race Officials on Facebook and for lots more information about running racing – including roles, templates, training and updates – visit RYA Racing.