Sajima Marina, is located about 60 km south west of the capital, Tokyo. The seminar was organized by International Umpire (IU), Bocci AOYAMA (JPN) and held in conjunction with the ISAF Grade 4 Spring Match at Hayama Marina Yacht Club, the host club of the traditional ISAF Grade 1 Nippon Cup, which this year will be held from 14-20 November.
Match racing is a rapid growth area in Japanese sailing and five Japanese National Umpires attended the seminar. They were seeking to maintain and further their support for match racing in Japan and also meet the country's need for IU's.
The seminar was lead by Marianne MIDDELTHON (NOR), member of the International Umpires Sub-Committee, assisted by AOYAMA. It included intense classroom sessions and two days on the water allowing delegates to test their skills in the 'pressure cooker' environment match racing entails whilst at the same time being assessed on their decisions.
In Italy, the Societa Canottieri Palermo and Federazione Italiana Vela hosted the seminar in conjunction with the ISAF Grade 2 Palio del Mare Match Race. Organized by Angela CARRA (ITA) and Luigi BERTINI (ITA), the five day seminar included two days in the classroom, including the opportunity to sit a written test, and a scheduled three days out on the water. Unfortunately the funeral of Pope Jean-Paul II and poor weather reduced this to one intense day on the water.
The instructors were Jan STAGE (DEN), Chairman of the International Umpires Sub-Committee, John DOERR (GBR), Chairman of the Race Officials Committee and Pierro OCHETTO (ITA), member of the International Judges Sub-Committee.
The instructors found great enthusiasm amongst the nine delegates and according to STAGE, 'there is good reason to believe that ISAF will have a number of new International Umpires in the near future as a result.'