Race officials

Irish Sailing Race Officials

If you have any questions please email sl.rossiter@sailing.ie.

Irish Sailing Race Official Courses and Workshops

If you have any questions please email sl.rossiter@sailing.ie.

Irish Sailing Race Official Policies


Irish Sailing Race Official Application forms

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 Management Programme is designed to improve and standardise race management in Ireland. Irish Sailng would like to encourage individuals interested in race management to join this programme.

With an increasing number of top international events being hosted in Ireland it is vital that a very high standard of event management be achieved.

To meet these requirements, Irish Sailing, through the Irish Sailing Race Management Advisory Group, has established a Race Management Development Programme. This will apply not only to race officers but to other race committee personnel with the ultimate objective of establishing a nationally recognised core of experienced and highly competent race management teams throughout the country. Race Officer grading is determined by the Irish Sailing Race Management Advisory Group and will remain valid for 4 years from date of appointment unless subsequently amended. Clubs and Classes are requested to select race officers of the appropriate grade for each of their events and should specify the race officers for each event when submitting their programme of events to Irish Sailing.

Sailing Passport for Race Officials

    Log directly in here
    Learn all about it here

World Sailing Race Officials Manuals

The World Sailing Race Official manuals generally relate to major regattas and championships. Irish Sailing recommends that the advice and procedures in the manuals be followed by all Irish Sailing Race Officials as best practice. The following manuals are available from World Sailing to download here.

  • World Sailing International Judges Manual
  • World SailingInternational Measurers Manual
  • World SailingInternational Race Management Manual
  • World SailingInternational Umpire Manuals (Match and Team Racing)

Irish Sailing Race Officials Regulations

The regulations for officials, Race Officers, Judges and Umpires, has been updated following a lengthy consultation process involving Irish Sailing board members and the groups that advise Irish Sailing on appointments along with other national sailing federations.

The advisory groups on Race Management and Judges and Umpires will continue their valuable work within the new structure. In common with most other national and international systems the new regulations require all officials to renew their appointments every four years. The four year system also allows prospective officials to build up their training and experience over a reasonable time period.

A new feature is that national grade officials are required to work at events outside their home bases. National officials are being encouraged to work on the national rather than the local stage. This has the twin outcome of bring their skills to a wider audience of sailors and giving them the experience of different clubs, classes and conditions.

Existing officials are being brought into the new system and their appointments will be renewed as they fall due in line with their initial appointments. This means that full implementation of the new regulations will take place in an orderly fashion over the next few years.

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

If your Club would like a Race Official Course delivered, please complete the attached Race Officials Course Request Form and return to Sarah-Louise at 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!