US Sailing recognizes that the cancellation of sailing events and courses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult or impossible for some officials to meet the requirements for reappointment.

The Race Administration Committee has adopted a temporary policy to accommodate officials whose renewals are due in 2020 and who may not be able to meet the requirements for reappointment.

Main points:

  • If you can meet the requirements this year, please apply for renewal as usual. If necessary, you may count events and education from the past five years (2016-2020).
  • If you cannot meet the events and training requirements this year, on request you will receive an automatic extension until December 31, 2021, during which time you will remain certified and insured.


Advisory on Race Administration Seminars

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, US Sailing has postponed all in-person Race Management, Judge and Umpire Seminars until it is safe to reschedule them. Online Basic Race Management Seminars and online Club Judge Seminars are now available - please see the seminar calendar. For further information, please contact the seminar organizer or the Race Administration Office - email or call (401) 342-7948.

Ensure safety, integrity and quality for all participants in the sport of sailboat racing

Give back to the sport of sailing by volunteering and becoming a race official. You’ll run races, make umpire calls on the water, hear protests and redress requests in the jury room, and classify sailors to compete in disabled sailing events.

What are Race Officials?

Race Officials represent US Sailing on and off the race course. They are trained, certified and supported by US Sailing, and they have the resources of the organization at their disposal.

The primary responsibility of race officials is to ensure the safety, integrity and quality of racing.

Race Officials are sailors like you who volunteer their time because they enjoy the work and because they believe in the importance of giving back to the sport.


Race Officials In The Spotlight

Meet Team Iowa

What’s better than an experienced Race Official? A TEAM of experienced award-winning Race Officials!
“Team Iowa,” as they are known, consists of Dean Drevlow, Dick Leaders, Craig Johnson, and Fields Gunsett. These guys are not only very active in their own club, Saylorville Yacht Club near Des Moines, IA, but are regularly called on to run regattas far out of their venue.  Read more about Team Iowa

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Meet Mary-Lawrence Bickford

According to Essex Yacht Club Vice Commodore Bill Gunther, “Mary-Lawrence has always been a willing volunteer, and her endless energy is an inspiration to us all. In 2019, she received the James Orne Willets Trophy for her many contributions to Essex Yacht Club. It is awarded for the purpose of promoting the true Corinthian spirit, and recognized Mary-Lawrence’s continuous exemplary display of the highest ideals of amateur yachting.”
Read more about Mary-Lawrence

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Meet Donna Sue Marks

“Donna Sue is exactly the sort of person we are looking for in a Regional Race Official,” said Mary Ellen DeFrias, member of the US Sailing Race Management Committee and a principal race officer at the Buzzards Bay Regatta in Massachusetts, where Donna Sue has run the kite circle for several years.  “Her positivity and patience working with other volunteers motivates her team to excel, and she is the kind of race official who can come in and work with a new club and leave behind more confident volunteers.” 
Read more about Donna Sue

Do you know a race officer whose work is exemplary and should be celebrated?

Please contact your Area Race Officer to nominate one or more officials.

Newly Appointed or Upgraded Race Officials

Date of Certification
Liz Rettenmaier Club Race Officer October 2021 A Susan Schneider
Steve McGillen Club Race Officer October 2021 J Steve Kuritz
Samantha Andrews Club Race Officer October 2022 H Bruce Ladeira
Mamsie Manard Club Race Officer October 2021 D JD Rosser
Robert Gibbs Club Race Officer October 2021 J Steve Kuritz
Rodney Rieger Club Judge November 2021 K Mike Kaspar
Brian Neubauer Club Judge November 2021 E Nancy Zangerle
Jerry Moulton Judge Emeritus November 2021 J Steve Schupak
Suni Petersen Club Race Officer November 2021 G Jeff Zarwell
Peter VanColen Club Judge November 2021 A Mary Pierce
Clay Morris Club Judge December 2021 D Edith Collins
John Butler Club Judge December 2021 F Chris Luppens
Henry Killion Club Judge December 2021 D Edith Collins
Yolanda Cortes-Mares Club Judge December 2021 F Chris Luppens
Stuart Van Winkle Club Race Officer December 2021 C Sharon Hadsell
Joseph Fava Club Race Officer December 2021 A Susan Schneider
Ray Wulff Club Race Officer December 2021 C Sharon Hadsell
Michael Balay Club Judge December 2021 A Mary Pierce
Dwight Belden Regional Race Officer December 2021 J Steve Kuritz
Warren Collier Regional Race Officer December 2021 D Edith Collins
Jamie Jones National Race Officer December 2021 E Jamie Jones
Geoff Pedrick National Umpire December 2021 K John Porter
Craig Daniels National Umpire December 2021 L Craig Daniels
Patrick Burks Regional Umpire December 2021 B Bruce Cook
Stephen Meyer Regional Umpire December 2021 J Steve Kuritz

What Do Race Officials Do?

Race Officials support you, the racing sailor, in their roles as Race Officers, Judges, Umpires, Classifiers and Measurers & Equipment Inspectors. They run races, make umpire calls on the water, hear protests and redress requests in the jury room, and classify sailors to compete in disabled sailing events.

Personal Attributes of Race Officials

Because race officials play an important role in ensuring the fairness and quality of competition, racing sailors and US Sailing expect a high level of personal integrity and judicial temperament of certified race officials. To learn more about standards of personal conduct for race officials and how they are evaluated, please click on the button below.


Athlete Safety, SafeSport and Background Checks

US Sailing is committed to the safety of all participants in sailing and has taken steps to protect them against misconduct and abuse. Certified race officials have been required to maintain annual SafeSport athlete protection training since 2018, as mandated by federal law. In November 2019, US Sailing adopted the background check policy for race officials required by the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee for all Olympic sport National Governing Bodies.


Insurance for Race Officials

Certified Instructor (CI) Insurance Coverage. US Sailing’s commercial insurance covers US Sailing Certified Instructors (CI) only in specific situations at US Sailing Championships and US Sailing Event/Courses.

Learn More.

Certified Race Officer (CRO) Insurance Coverage. US Sailing’s commercial insurance covers US Sailing’s Certified Race Officials (CROs) only in specific situations at US Sailing Championships and US Sailing Event/Courses.

Learn More.

Race Officers

Use your knowledge and abilities to lead others on the race course 

By becoming a race officer you’ll be able to ensure the safety of competitors and the race committee and choose courses to give competitors the best possible races. The three levels of certification will allow you to help standardize race management practices and improve racing events.


Learn More

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Use your experience in racing and race management, service on protest committees and a high standard of personal integrity to become a judge

As a judge you will be responsible for conducting protest and redress hearings when there may have been a breach of the rules. The various certification programs are tailored to meet the needs of each person who seeks certification.


Learn More

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Make decisions on the water

As an umpire you’ll  function as a race official by applying the rules of the sport (match racing or team racing) to racing situations, primarily on the water, as situations occur to resolve rules issues. 


Learn More

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Use your experience as a medical professional to ensure equitable competition at all levels for sailors of varied levels of ability.

A classifier can help to grow and improve adaptive sailing by “leveling the playing field” for disabled sailors by ranking persons with disabilities on their function and performance of sailing tasks.

learn more

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Measurers & Equipment Inspectors

Check sailing equipment against the relevant rules

As a measurer & equipment inspector you'll use your excellent knowledge of the relevant class rules, certification measurement and high level inspection methods & techniques to lend to the process of sailing equipment control.


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Secure area for Race Official instructor resources

Use these resources to aide and assist you as you educate others.


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Racing Rules and Appeals

Keeping sailors safe & competitions fair

The Racing Rules of Sailing allow for fair competition by keeping sailors and boats safe. Appeals allow for a party to correct possible protest committee (PC) errors in interpreting the rules.

learn more

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