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Annapolis Yacht Club announces 2022 Race Officials Symposium

by Annapolis Yacht Club 24 Nov 06:59 PST February 26-27, 2022
Former U.S. Sailing President Cory Sertl served as the keynote speaker for the 2019 AYC Race Officials Symposium. © Annapolis Yacht Club

Annapolis Yacht Club has a well-earned reputation for top-flight race management.

It is a tradition established by such renowned race committee chairmen as Gaither Scott, Ron Ward and Chip Thayer. That legacy is maintained to this day by the likes of Bruce Bingman, Bob Frey, Sandy Grosvenor, Dick Neville, Kevin Reeds and Taran Teague.

Blessed with such a deep roster of recognized race officials, AYC has routinely hosted major championship regattas for just about every one-design class.

Of course, the club also maintains a packed schedule of its own events. The biennial Annapolis-to-Newport Race is one of the most historic offshore tests in sailing. The AYC Wednesday Night Racing Series is among the oldest and largest in the country.

In recent years, AYC has been an innovator in testing new ways to increase race participation - creating regattas such as the Two Bridge Fiasco for singlehanded and doublehanded competitors to spark interest among sailors along with an endurance event in the 24-hour AYC Doublehanded Distance Race.

Annapolis Yacht Club will share the accumulated knowledge of its membership by hosting a broad-based information session that will cover all aspects of race management. The 2022 AYC Race Officials Symposium has been set for the weekend of February 26-27 in Annapolis.

Race officers, judges and umpires throughout the country are invited to attend the event, which will target both the novice and the expert. This is not a standardized course as there are plenty of those around the country. Rather, AYC is inviting speakers to present unique short sessions on a diverse set of race officiating topics.

Potential areas for discussion include umpiring, ORC scoring, junior regattas, managing virtual juries, ideas to increase participation, match and team racing, weather and routing, event organization, safety equipment, on-water safety and emergency protocols and trackers.

AYC is actively seeking speakers for the symposium and asks applicants to submit an abstract outlining their presentation. Abstracts must be submitted by December 15 using the following link: forms.gle/ErYnV7eLhrnbajz87.

AYC will announce the complete list of speakers and topics in January. Kathy Parks, co-chair of the symposium along with Brian Wiersema, said the program will feature a combination of large group lectures and smaller breakout sessions.

Commodore Jonathan Bartlett noted the inaugural AYC Race Officials Symposium held in February 2019 was a rousing success that attracted participants from clubs up and down the Chesapeake Bay along with those elsewhere on the East Coast.

Bartlett said the spacious AYC Sailing Center, which can be divided into rooms of varying sizes, is ideal for an event of this nature.

"I thought the 2019 event was outstanding as a valuable training resource for race officials," Bartlett said. "I felt it was important for the club to continue hosting this symposium on a regular basis. We have a lot of really good race management officials, so it makes sense to get them all together to provide information and tips to folks from other clubs."

Reeds, the current AYC Race Committee Chairman who is annually asked to run regattas all over the country, will be one of the guest speakers. Reeds will also moderate a panel of race committee chairs from various yacht clubs.

"We pride ourselves on our club's race management practices and continuing education for our volunteers. Hosting an event like this to bring race officials from all over the United States to learn from each other is perfectly aligned with that mission," Reeds said.

Reeds is confident Annapolis Yacht Club will bring in highly regarded individuals from the principal race officer, umpire and judge communities to discuss their experiences in those roles and offer advice on best practices.

"Whether you are an experienced race administrator or a beginner, there will be aspects of this event that will be extremely worthwhile," Reeds said.

To register for the event, click here.

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