Regatta Operations: A Jury Secretary

The operation of the Protest Committee (PC) at a large or busy regatta can be significantly enhanced with the aid of a competent jury secretary. A good jury secretary is usually an experienced judge or someone with PC experience. Before coming to the event, the jury chair should review the procedures that are regularly used by a jury secretary and bring original copies of checklists, notification forms and blank reports.

The primary responsibility of the jury secretary is to receive and prepare protest forms prior to the hearing, including copying, logging and posting notices. However, a good jury secretary will assume a number of other duties and will create a list in advance for review with the chair. Prior to protest time on the first day, the jury chair and jury secretary should review each item on the checklist that is pertinent to the event.

The jury secretary will distribute the blank protest forms; receive, consecutively number and log the completed forms; make copies of the protests; post the notice of protest hearings; announce the start of a hearing; post the end of protest time; collect and file the protests from completed hearings; and post the hearing results.

The jury secretary can also inform the scorer of any PC decisions that change the scoring, inform them that all protests for a race are concluded and otherwise assist the jury chair in ensuring good and efficient communication and information sharing between the RC and PC. In addition, the jury secretary normally makes and maintains a packet for each judge containing all the relevant documents for the event, including any amendments to the material. Depending on the workload and the experience of the jury secretary, the chair may assign a judge to assist the secretary in some of the duties assigned.

For more information on Race Management, purchase the US Sailing Judges Manual for 2013 – 2016 through our website.