Race Officials

Irish Sailing Race Officials

Irish Sailing has six disciplines of race official - Judge, Race Officer, Umpire, Measurer, Mark Layer and Event Safety Coordinator.

Full Poster is available here.


The work of a Judge in the sport of sailing includes a wide range of services to competitors and race organisers, including the hearing of protests and requests for redress, deciding questions of eligibility and boat measurement compliance, and being present on the water watching for rule infringements. Irish Sailing has four categories of Judge; National Judge (NJ), National Judge Emeritus NRO (E)*, Regional Judge (RJ) and Protest Committee. The highest recognition is the ISAF qualification of “International Judge”.


Race Officers are sailors who serve on-the-water as the Race Officer (previously known as the Officer of the Day or OOD) and manage a race. The term Race Officer refers to the person who leads the team running races. He or she is normally on the committee boat or in the start area ashore.

Irish Sailing has established four categories of Race Officer; National Race Officer (NRO), National Race Officer Emeritus NRO (E)*, Regional Race Officer (RRO) and Local Race Officer (LRO).


Both Match and Team Racing use a system of umpiring, in which penalties are imposed during the race, avoiding, for the most part, the need for conventional protests. Irish Sailing recognises two categories of Umpire; National Umpire (NU) and Regional Umpire (RU). The highest recognition is the ISAF qualification of “International Umpire”.


Measurers are appointed by a class association to ensure that boats are built and continue to comply with the class measurement rules. The highest recognition is the ISAF qualification of “International Measurer”.


Mark Layers main responsibilities are for laying marks to set the course for a race and also give information to the Race Officer on wind strength and direction at any time across the course area. The Mark Layers usually work from a fast power boat equipped with a GPS. Ideally there will be more than one mark laying boat to facilitate speedy course alterations for wind direction changes. During the race, they may also be used as a patrol/safety boat. Irish Sailing recognises three categories of Mark Layer: Local Mark Layer (LML), Regional Mark Layer (RML) and National Mark Layer (NML).

*A number of National Race Officials have indicated that, while active at local or club level, they no longer wish to act as Race Officials for a national championship or other major event. In recognition of their many years’ service to racing sailors and their considerable knowledge of race management, it was decided to institute a fourth grade of Irish Sailing Race Official – National Race Officer or Judge Emeritus, NRO (E) & National Judge Emeritus NJ (E). It is hoped that these race officials will encourage and mentor those progressing through the grades to achieve National Race Official status.


The Event Safety Co-Ordinator assesses risk, establishes a safety plan and liaises with designated emergency services, race officials and event organisers. They co-ordinate team activities on the water. Suitably trained team members provide first-aid when necessary. 


Irish Sailing Race Official Policy Group

The role of the Race Official Policy Group (ROPG) is to:

  • decide and recommend race official policy in the area of race management, support, judging, safety and administration
  • approve the appointment of race officials to ensure consistent high-quality delivery of club & regatta racing to sailors.
  • on receipt of a complaint, review the performance of a race official and consider sanction if required
  • actively promote and train race management amongst sailors so as to maintain a steady flow of suitably qualified officials.

If you would be interested in doing a course to be a Race Official please see if there are any scheduled here or contact Sarah-Louise Rossiter email:  sl.rossiter@sailing.ie

Irish Sailing Race Officials facebook page link is https://www.facebook.com/ISARaceOfficial/

This page is for helping classes and clubs find a race official for events whether it is a Mark Layer, Measurer, Race Officer, Event Safety Co-Ordinator, Judge or Umpire of any level. It is also for any race officials looking to assist and officiate on an event.

  • If you have space on a boat, let us know!

  • If you need a space on a boat, let us know too!