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9 November 2009, 12:00 pm
From Busan: Charley Cook On ISAF Race Officials
Charley Cook at today's Race Officials Committee meeting
Charley Cook at today's Race Officials Committee meeting

ISAF Annual Conference 2009
Busan, Korea

Charley Cook, the new Chairman of the ISAF Race Officials Committee, gives an update on today's meeting and the Committee's aims for the next three years.
There are over 500 ISAF International Race Officials worldwide, spread across the four disciplines of International Judge, International Measurer, International Race Officer and International Umpire. Today in Busan, following on from separate meetings for each of the four Sub-committees (one for each discipline), the ISAF Race Officials Committee held their meeting. We spoke to Committee chairman Charley Cook to get an update on the topics under discussion.

There was a lot of talk this morning about the strategy and development of the Committee. What were the main points that came up?

We spent a lot of time this morning talking about how we can increase our pool of Race Officials and in particular provide greater service to what we call underserved areas, which are areas where we don't have as many Race Officials now as we'd like. In particular Asia, Africa and South America.

Where there any specific ideas that came out of that discussion?

We're going to be more pro-active in marketing our seminars and clinics. We're also going to try to wrap seminars and clinics around significant events in each areas. So for example we may send two instructors to run a clinic on judging immediately before a Regional Games or a significant regional regatta in these areas and keep those instructors there to serve as Race Official advisories or coaches to local people. Unlike most of our clinics these would be conducted in the native tongue of the host country. We're excited about the opportunity to grow and develop Race Officials in these areas where we haven't done as much previously.

Are there any specific areas you're targeting at the moment?

We have a few things on our plate already. We're going to do a Race Management Clinic in conjunction with the South American Games in Colombia. We're going to implement a new national judges programme in Chile with two Spanish speaking instructors. The thought being there we will leave the materials and Chile can then develop their own national judges scheme. We're hoping to do something along the same lines either in China or somewhere else in Asia in the third-quarter of 2010. then we're looking for other opportunities at this point for 2010 as well.

As well as expanding the numbers of Race Officials, are there any other major aims for the ROC over the next few years?

Over the next few years we also need to increase the number of top level Umpires with the growth of women's match racing in the Olympics. We're finding that we need of the top tier Umpires available and we need to provide the very best services to them.

We're also looking at a way to reach out to more people with education on Rule 42, the kinetics rule. Currently we have several people who go events and conducts clinics and share their knowledge as Rule 42 experts. That's been very successful but we figure we're reaching five hundred to one thousand competitors per year. We're looking at some sort of web-based library with an e-learning process that would be targeted to a number of classes, different ages, that would be available to everybody online and hopefully rather than 1,000 people a year, 100,000 a year.

Find out more about ISAF Race Officials at www.sailing.org/raceofficials.

For more on the 2009 ISAF Annual Conference, visit www.sailing.org/meetings.

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