Race Officials

Current Scheduled Race Official Courses

If you would like a course in your area please contact Sarah Louise Rossiter on sl.rossiter@sailing.ie

LocationDateCourse typeContactPriceStatus
Bray Sailing Club3rd of February 2018Local Race Officer CourseEmail Mark Henderson €20 FULL1000-1700hrs
Howth Yacht Club28th of February 2018Becoming a Judging Race OfficialEmail Ailbe Millerick FreeStarting at 2000hrs
Further information
Rush Sailing Club4th of March 2018Local Mark LayerEmail Sean Weldon €20 To pay click HERE1000-1700hrs
Rush Sailing Club11th of March 2018Local Race OfficerEmail Sean Weldon €20 To pay click HERE1000-1700hrs
Howth Yacht Club6th of April 2018Equipment InspectorEmail Fergus O'Kelly €15 To pay click HERE1400-1800hrs

What is a Race Official?

Race officials play an important role in the promotion, organisation and administration of competitive sailing. They are volunteers involved in race administration, judging and umpiring, safety and mark laying who encourage sailors to develop their experience and knowledge. The Race Officials Development Programme has been developed to provide a clear and consistent pathway for volunteer officials in the sport of sailing. 

What does a Race Official do?

Race Officials support racing sailors in their roles by running races and events, making umpire calls, hearing protests and redress requests and laying the perfect course for a great sailing event. Their mission is to ensure quality, integrity and consistency for all participants in the sport of sailboat racing, from casual weeknight club racing to world championships. They are trained, certified and supported by the Irish Sailing Association, and they have the resources of the organization at their disposal. Race Officials volunteer their time because they enjoy the work and because they believe in the importance of giving back to the sport.

Types of Race Officials

There are 5 disciplines of Race Officials:


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. ISA has three categories of Judge; National Judge (NJ), Regional Judge (RJ) and Club Judge (CJ). The highest recognition is the ISAF qualification of “International Judge”.

Race Officers

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.

The ISA 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).

*A number of National Race Officers have indicated that, while active at local or club level, they no longer wish to act as Race Officer 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 ISA Race Officer – National Race Officer Emeritus, NRO (E). It is hoped that these race officers will encourage and mentor those progressing through the grades to achieve NRO status.


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. ISA 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

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. The ISA recognises three categories of Mark Layer: Local Mark Layer (LML), Regional Mark Layer (RML) and National Mark Layer (NML).

Race Officials Development Programme

Race official development programme explained here

See current schedule courses at top of this page.

For all other information on Race Officials, click here

If you would be interested in doing a course to be a Race Official please contact Sarah-Louise Rossiter email: sl.rossiter@sailing.ie

If your Club would like a Race Official Course delivered, please complete the Race Officials Course Request Form Race Officials Course Request Form and return to Sarah-Louise at sl.rossiter@sailing.ie

Race Officials Report Form

Sailing Passport for Race Officials


ISA 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!