So far at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, Women’s match racing (Elliott 6M) has been exciting and intense in Weymouth and Portland and Bermudian sailing umpire/judge Peter Shrubb has had the luxury of observing all of the drama as it unfolded on the race course up close and personal.
Olympic Umpire Peter Shrubb (L) discusses the finer points of Match Race sailing between matches in the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda. Shrubb, a past commodore of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, was Deputy Chief Umpire at the 2012 Olympic Games in the UK.
'I umpired the matches between USA and Finland and the matches between Great Britain and Russia and the racing was very close and exciting with lots of penalties and lead changes,' he said. 'The quality of the sailing was second to none.'
'Luckily the umpire team is very strong and working well together led by our Danish chief umpire Jan Stage, who has been to Bermuda many times as chief umpire for the Argo Group Gold Cup.'
The past Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC) commodore had been appointed as deputy chief umpire of the women match racing umpiring team for the Games.
He was given the honour after being selected for the top post from a pool of over 120 sailing umpires and judges worldwide earlier this year.
This is the first time the veteran sailor has officiated at the Olympic level and so far he’s enjoyed each and every minute of the experience.
'It’s a pretty prestigious position to be in and I am pretty pleased to be appointed to that post,' Shrubb said.
Match racing can be unpredictable and is one of the most intense and thrilling racing formats in sailing. And these Games have been no exception with a number of upsets having already been recorded on the race course.
'Four top teams got eliminated out of the race for a medal and surprisingly Great Britain, France, USA and the Netherlands were unsuccessful in getting through to the semi-finals,' Shrubb said. 'Certainly, during the last 12 months of umpiring these teams I would have thought they would definitely be in medal contention.'
This is the first time that women match racing has been featured at the Olympics and so far it has proven to be popular among race fans.
Some of the umpires at the ongoing Olympic regatta will travel to Bermuda in October to officiate in the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup to be held in Hamilton Harbour, according to Shrubb.
'In this year’s Argo Group Gold Cup we will have five members of the Olympic umpire team umpiring in Bermuda in October, including Jan Stage (Denmark), Sally Burnett (Great Britain), Miguel Allen (Portugal), Alfredo Ricci (Italy) and myself,' he said.
As a certified ISAF international sailing umpire/judge, Shrubb has officiated at some of the most prestigious regattas and ocean races in the world.
In 2007 he officiated in the Americas Cup in Valencia, Spain, served on the jury of the Volvo Ocean Race and has also been involved in several World Match Racing Tour events around the globe.
Earlier this year Shrubb warmed up for the Olympics by serving as chief umpire at the Sail for Gold Regatta here in Weymouth and also at the Women World Match Racing Championships in Sweden.
It is believed that Shrubb is the first Bermudian to officiate in an Olympic regatta.
He said: 'I’m not sure if a Bermudian has ever been involved in officiating at the Olympics, but I’m pretty pleased to be here.'
The Royal Gazette website