Regatta officials play a key role in the promotion, organization and management of sailboat racing in Canada. Volunteers involved with Race Management, Judging and Umpiring are encouraged to follow Sail Canada’s certification program in place to increase skill level, practical experience and knowledge. Many graduates of Sail Canada’s National Race Official program have succeeded to become well respected and recognized volunteers at the national and international levels.
Sail Canada’s Race Management Program has been developed to provide competent regatta management skills for volunteers organizing and running sailing competitions. The program consists of four levels.
RACE MANAGEMENT / RACE OFFICERS
Assistant Mark Layer (AML) – Basic Navigation using a GPS and a hand bearing compass, safety, signals, anchors. Assistant Mark Laying clinics are organized annually by provincial sailing associations.
Advanced Mark Layer (AML) – Advanced Navigation. Advanced Mark Layers are certified by Sail Canada.
Assistant Race Officer (ARO) – covers the duties of the recorder, mark layer, timekeeper, flag officer, signals officer, line judge and rescue crew. ARO certification requires successful completion of a clinic and demonstrated competency in the above skills. Clinics are organized annually by the provincial sailing associations.
Club Race Officer (CRO) – covers all the duties of the on-the-water Race Committee Chairperson and Organizing Committee. Club Race Officers are capable of directing regattas or local races up to the regional level. CRO clinics are organized annually by provincial sailing associations.
National and Senior National Race Officers (NRO & SNRO) – are awarded by the CYA Race Management Committee to candidates who have accumulated experience as Regatta Chairpersons at provincial or national regattas. Applicants must submit their race officer resume to the CYA and be recommended by their provincial sailing association.
Sail Canada’s Judges Program has three aims. First, to serve the sport by producing well qualified Judges and protest committee personnel. The second is to encourage sailors to be become involved in protest hearings at all levels of competition. The third is actively to improve the knowledge and skills of Judges so that they may more effectively administer the racing rules, on the water and in the protest hearing room.
The Program recognizes and certifies three levels of Judge, Club, Regional and National, to allow for each individuals ambitions and capabilities.
Sail Canada’s Judges Sub-Committee is responsible for the Program, developing and/or approving training materials and setting standards, so that the Program is consistent across Canada.
A Club Judge serves their local and area sailing community. They are an important part of the sailing sport structure serving on the club protest committee as well as other events within their area.
The training and certification of a Club Judge is delegated to the Provincial Sailing Associations. Clubs are important to the Program, because they are familiar with the Protest Committee (PC) personnel in their area and so are able to recommend certification to the Provincial Certification Committee. This first step is easily achieved but the initiative to reach a higher level must be self-motivated.
The training and certification of a Regional or National Judge is the responsibility of Sail Canada’s Judges Sub Committee. A Regional Judge will have shown the ability to organize and chair PCs at provincial and national regattas. The National Judge must have the knowledge and experience to be able to assist in the organizing and operation of national and international regattas and to act as the Chief Judge.
There are seminars run during the year, most scheduled by the PSAs during the non-sailing season. Some seminars are run in conjunction with a regatta and the participants are part of the protest committee. But judges of all levels will tell you that seminars cannot replace or compete with the learning that occurs at multi-day events working in close contact with a group of senior judges or working with a mentor. Most national seminars occur in this manner.
To request a seminar at your club or to learn of the seminars near you, contact your Provincial Sailing Association.
Sail Canada’s Umpire Program trains Canadian judges to become effective on-the-water umpires. Umpires are used in match racing to make instant decisions on protests initiated by competitors.
There are two levels of Sail Canada umpires: the Canadian Umpire and the Canadian Senior Umpire. Both require an individual to be at least certified at Sail Canada’s Canadian Judge level, to attend a Sail Canada approved umpire training clinic and to pass Sail Canada’s standard umpire knowledge test. Candidates for umpire must supply two references who are either Sail Canada Umpires or US Sailing Umpires. Training clinics are held at major Canadian match racing events.