As the level of competition on the World Match Racing Tour ramps up so the sailors expect more consistent decisions from the umpires and to help achieve this utopia Bill EDGERTON has agreed to take on the role of 2009 Tour Umpire.
In his new role, Bill EDGERTON (GBR), who is both an ISAF International Judge and an ISAF International Umpire, is charged with providing consistency and development of umpiring across all the World Match Racing Tour events.
"I've been thinking about this role for some time and have worked with ISAF to make it happen,"
said Tour Director Craig MITCHELL. "I think it will be a difficult job and it took quite some time to convince Bill that it could work. I hope that the umpires embrace the idea so that we can provide an umpire service that steps up as the intensity of the Tour steps up."
EDGERTON will work within the appointed teams at each event and will develop new assessment guidelines and educational material with the teams to provide a more structured education process for the top ISAF umpires.
"This will be a challenging year and I hope that I am able to bring a benefit to the Tour, the sailors and to the umpires,"
said Bill EDGERTON.
Umpiring is a key element of any Match Race and is vital in providing the sport with the decisive "first across the line is the winner" aspect. It's because of this finality that sailors are keen to see a high level of umpiring.
"I think this is a great initiative by the Tour as any improvement in the consistency of the umpire calls from event to event will make for better and fairer racing,"
said reigning ISAF Match Racing World Champion Ian WILLIAMS
The 2009 World Match Racing Tour and battle for the 2009 ISAF Match Racing World Championship Trophy
starts today, 11 March in Marseille, France at the Marseille International Match Race.
ISAF Match Racing World Championship - www.sailing.org/matchworlds
ISAF Race Officials microsite - www.sailing.org/raceofficials