Race Officials Development

It is important that we keep clubs and officials up to date to provide the best and fairest possible racing.

Race Officials Conferences & Education

To keep our clubs and race officials up to date, we organise, and with the help of our RYA Race Management and Judging & Umpiring Committees, deliver regional conferences across the country. The purpose of these conferences is to inform officials of any regional updates. It is also a great opportunity for officials to interact with one another outside of racing. 

Once every four years, we hold a race officials national conference, this is an opportunity for officials to indulge in a number of focused topics, such as changes to the racing rules of sailing, re-energising club racing and the importance of measurement and how it plays a vital role in the accuracy of our sport. 

In between delivering these conferences, the Judging & Umpiring Committee and the Race Management Committee deliver a number of refresher days for their disciplines. These are discipline specific days tailored to your qualification and are held across the country. 

RYA qualified Race Officials must attend one of these conferences within their four year cycle, to ensure their qualification remains valid. 

Keeping in Touch 

To keep up to date with all things Race Officials, including new courses, updates and all other information, follow our RYA Race Officials Facebook page.

We also circulate to all Race Officials and major event volunteer's (MEV's) a quarterly race officials newsletter to keep all volunteers up to date on RYA and World Sailing changes and updates. To view the most recent, and previous newsletters, please see here.

Useful Videos & Resources

You will find the videos below from the Across Regions Conference that was held online at the end of March 2022.

You can also find a number of helpful resources to refresh your knowledge as you are getting back on the water.


Across Regions Conference March 2022

               Changes to the Racing Rules

This session was presented by Robin Gray IRO and member of the Race Management Committee and the Race Management Coordinator for Northern Ireland. This is the session Robin did at the Conference in 2021.
 Taking Event and Race Management Online  This session was presented by Paul Jackson IRO and Race Management Coordinator for the East region.
 Redress and the Race Officer  This session was presented by Mike Butterfield IRO and member of the Race Management Committee and the Race Management Coordinator for Wales.
 The Portsmouth Yardstick  This session was presented by Adam McGovern Regional Development Officer in the North West and Adam Parry the RYA Technical Manager.


 Resources for Race Management

Video  Content 

Regional Race Management Coordinator 

Join RYA Race Management Coordinator for Northern Ireland, Robin Gray as he chats and answers questions from RYA's Race Official Development Officer, Jacqui Roberts, including what a Race Management Coordinator can offer you and your club, how they can help, and who each Race Management Coordinator is in each Region and how to contact them. 
Regional Rules Advisor  This presentation is with RYA's Race Officials Development Officer, Jacqui Roberts, and RYA Regional Rule Advisor for the South West, Carol Haines. Each Region has a different Regional Rules Advisor. 

This session will run through what it means to be a Regional Rules Advisor, things they can help you and your club with and things they can provide your club with depending on what you're looking for, and how to contact them.  


 Video Content
Judging Rule 42 - What do the competitors expect  

How do we distinguish between actions that are needed to just sail a boat well from those that are intended to gain an unfair advantage? Finding solutions that lead to fair competition has been a long-standing challenge for Judges at all levels. This is made even harder by the class variations in RRS 42 and the characteristics of the boats being sailed. How do Judges cope?

To give us the answers, this panel discussion video is led by three Rule 42 experts: Bill O’Hara and Jacob Andersen.

The decision making process for Umpires  

So why does a protest committee take an hour or so to make a decision an umpire (or pair of umpires) makes in seconds? How do umpires gain the confidence of competitors? Do you understand how your brain doesn't work? 

This session is presented by two of the worlds most experienced umpires, Alan Baser & Craig Mitchell. Between them they have experienced the demands of officiating at the Olympic Games, America’s Cup, World Match Racing Tour, BUSA Team Racing Championships and many more of the highest-level events that demand the most out of the umpires. Together, they will reveal how they cope with the pressure, how they reach consistent decisions and many of their tips and tricks for performing at the highest level. This is sure to be a high-octane session not to be missed!

Additional Resources:

World Sailing Rule 42 Interpretations 

A document including Interpretations of Rule 42 from World Sailing. 




How to ask insightful questions - investigatory techniques for dealing with misconduct

Allegations of misconduct are often the most difficult cases to deal with, and many shy away from following the rule 69 process for fear of the implications of getting it wrong. However, for a healthy sport it is imperative that allegations of misconduct are dealt with swiftly and in a fair and transparent manner.

Michael McParland QC has over 35 years’ experience at the bar and is highly experienced in the sporting world, including sailing. His experience is sailing includes having been standing counsel for the British Sailing Team during the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics and representing the RYA in arbitration proceedings following a competition ban imposed by the RYA.

In this video Michael will discuss the art of questioning and what techniques we can use, whether acting as an investigator or a protest committee, to get to the bottom of misconduct allegations.

Whose decision is it? The art of delegation

Whether you’re running a committee boat, heading up the Jury or leading the equipment inspection team you rely on the other members of your team. But how can you be sure you can get the most out of your team, especially when you may never have worked with them.

Additional Resources: 

Rule 69 Mini Guide

Guidance on Rule 69 (Misconduct) for Judges at Club and Class events. 

Guidance to Protest Committees on Rule 69 Hearings and Decisions

Guidance on the role and involvement of a complaint, the role of a PC member who is the complainant, when the PC should consider a warning and what to include when publishing a decision. 

World Sailing Misconduct Guidance

Guidance on dealing with misconduct at events. 


 Video  Content 

Teaching Rules to Juniors

Join International Judge & Umpire Chris Atkins as he shares his approach and top tips for teaching and explaining the rules to junior sailors. 
How to encourage more female engagement in Race Officiating 

This session will provide you with ideas and ways to encourage more female participation at events, and within race officiating. This topic is led by the Sailing Development Officer for the RYA Midlands, along with  RYA Race Officials Development Officer, Jacqui Roberts. 

Diversity, Equality & Safeguarding - What do you need to know? This workshop will be led by RYA Safeguarding and Equality Manager and will explore how diversity and equality sits within safeguarding and the effects of discrimination, specifically looking at the role of race officials and how they fit into safeguarding, and what you can do to protect yourself as well as those you work with. 


Video Content 
Preparing for a protest or redress hearing involving the race or technical committees

Have you ever been called to a protest hearing or redress hearing involving the Race or Technical Committee but not sure of the process?  Carol Haines, Chris Henderson and Adrian Stoggall are all very experienced International Race Officials in their fields of expertise  and will talk you through everything you should know when you get in the room!

Remote protest hearings

It is becoming part of the ‘new normal’ to hold Protest Hearings remotely. Mike Short is an experienced IJ and has Chaired many high-profile events. He has conducted numerous remote hearings since the current pandemic began and will give you tips and ideas on how to run a successful Remote Protest Hearing.

Making sound decisions and avoiding appeals

If you serve on a protest committee, you are sure to find yourself appealed eventually. How do you make sure you find the right facts and that your decision will stand up to scrutiny? 

To answer these questions, we are delighted that International Judge Lynne Beal, from Canada will share her knowledge and experience. Lynne is a highly experienced International Judge whose experience includes high-level events across the world including many Olympic Jurys as well as the 2016 Paralympics and 2019 World Sailing Cup Final. She is also Chair of the Sail Canada Appeals Committee and so has first-hand experience of the mistakes protest committees can make and how to avoid them. Be sure to tune in to make sure your decisions are bullet proof and even if your appeal won't be overturned!

Additional Resources:

Redress for Other Boats

Guidance on how to conduct redress hearings when other boats may be affected by the decision.

Hearings conducted by remote protest committees

Guidance on protest and redress hearings held by email, teleconference or video.

Section Q3 & Q4 of the Race Management Guide


Video Content
An introduction to Measurement and Equipment Inspection Technical Manager Adam Parry shares the basics of measurement & equipment inspection, including looking at the importance of measurement and how its part plays a vital role in the accuracy of our sport. The second part will look at equipment inspection and how best to set this up at your event. As part of this we will look at how equipment inspection in the new world could work.
Safe lifting operations in check weighting dinghies and keelboats Safe weighing of dinghies, keelboats and racing yachts is an essential part of the measurement activity for a boat. With dinghies, it is a simple exercise. However, with increasing size and weight with keelboats etc. the safety issues become more significant, to the point where weighing is out of the scope of many individuals and Race Officials and Technical Committees may need to bring in professional help to do this job safely. 

Additional Resources:

Race Officials Guidance - Equipment cheating - concealed correctors

Where evidence of possible equipment cheating is identified it is important that swift action is taken to investigate and if necessary follow disciplinary processes otherwise the opportunity to take action may be lost.


Video  Content
How do you start and signal a race?

Race Management Committee member and Chair of RYA Cyrmru Wales, Mike Butterfield, shares a simple more fool proof way of signalling and starting to use with a reduced number of volunteers, or those under training.

Event set-up: How to prepare the race office, technical area and protest facilities

Have you ever had to arrange an event and don’t know where to start? Sally Reynoldson, WPNSA Events Supervisor, Yvette Harris Event volunteer, Olivia Risk, RYA performance Operations Manager, and Adam Parry, RYA Technical Manager will share with you their vast knowledge and experience with the do’s and don’ts and tips for a successful event.

Additional Resources:

Timing and Control Systems for Race Management

Guidance to show the range of potential solutions to control the timing and starts for club and open event racing. 

World Sailing Jury Policies

A number of useful documents including protest forms, hearing forms and notice of race and sailing instructions guides.

Race Management Guide

How to start and signal a race - Sections M & N

Event Set up - Section E


Video Content

Changes to the Racing Rules of Sailing 2021-2024

World Sailing Racing Rules Committee Chair, John Doerr, guides us through all the new changes to the RRS for this new cycle.

Changes to the Equipment Rules of Sailing 2021-2024

International Measurer for the 39er/49erFX, Musto Skiff & B14 classes, Rob Taylor reviews the changes to the Equipment Rules of Sailing for the 2021-2024 cycle and how they can benefit your events and class rules. 

Rob has been involved in the development and drafting of the ERS and class rules since 2005 and provides guidance to class technical committees and measurers on what to look out for. 

What do the changes mean for Race Management?

In this 2021-2024 cycle, there are more changes than usual that affect the way we do our job as Race Officers. This video is led by International Race Officer and Race Management Committee member Robin Gray. He will take a closer look at how the changes in the rules will work and what we have to do differently

What do the rule changes mean for Judging?

This video will answer your questions: what do the 2021-2024 rule changes mean for Judges? What is hearsay evidence? When are the results final?

Chair of the RYA's Judging & Umpiring Committee, Jon Napier, will guide us through the answers to these questions and more, during this workshop.

What do the rule changes mean for Umpiring?

The racing rules of sailing have now changed, but what about the call book? In this video, International Judge & Umpire Chris Lindsay will explain how the rule changes impact match and team racing, and the new calls that aim to make these disciplines clearer and more accessible. 

Chris is a member of the World Sailing Team Racing Rules working party and an experienced umpire in match, team and fleet racing. Chris has been appointed by World Sailing to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where he will be one of the first to take on the role of Video International Technical Official.

Additional Resources: 

Racing Rules Guidance Booklet

The RYA provides a Racing Rules Guidance book based on the 2021-2024 RRS, which includes all RYA published Racing Rules Guidance from the RYA's Racing Rules Committee. 

We have also created a singular guidance note which highlights the main changes to the RRS 2021-2024, this can be found here

World Sailing App

The latest versions of the RRS, World Sailing Cases & Calls and RYA Cases are all available through the World Sailing App. The app will automatically be updated with any future changes or corrections as they are issued. 

Download the app today through the Apple Store or Google Play. 

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