Thursday, 23 February 2012

RYA Code of Conduct for Race Officials

Something went wrong with the feed yesterday. Somehow my post about the Seven boats at the Leeward mark got abbreviated and was not visible. My apologies to all feed- and mail subscribers.
Please visit
if you want to have a look. The discussion in the comments is really heating up, and I could use some help :-)

As I'm preparing two presentations, I do not have much time today to write a post.
I looked to my 'draft' folder and came across an old post which somehow never got posted.
Published by the RYA in 2007:
RYA race officials (race officers, judges and umpires) are among the most exposed officials of the sport. It is therefore essential that they behave with the highest degree of competence, propriety and integrity. At no time can or should a race official do anything to bring the sport into disrepute.
Specifically, RYA race officials are expected to:
  • Maintain a good level of understanding and application of the racing rules, cases, procedures and RYA policies.
  • Ensure that decisions are based upon the rules and principles of fairness and objectivity and are made with care without prejudice.
  • Uphold the confidentiality of jury deliberations during and after the regatta.
  • Be polite, open-minded and patient, and deal with dissent in a fair and courteous manner.
  • Declare any conflict of interest before accepting a race official invitation or when one becomes apparent at an event (a conflict of interest exists when an RYA race official has, or reasonably appears to have, a personal or financial interest which could affect the official’s ability to be impartial).
  • Plan to arrive at an event on time and remain until relevant issues are resolved.
  • Incur only expenses that are necessary and when expenses are reimbursed claim only legitimate and essential out-of-pocket costs.
  • Be on time and wear appropriate clothing on the water and ashore.
  • Abstain from consuming alcohol until duties are over for the day. Race officials must never become inappropriately inebriated during an event.
I was wondering if your MNA has ever written anything similar? Do you have a guideline?
If so please send me a copy (rrs-study at home dot nl), so that we can compare.


  1. Swiss Sailing has some guidelines for race officials. They look very similar to the one from RYA. One point which they added is a non-smoking rule which prohibits smoking on official boats as well as official rooms! That was
    Here is the link for the version in German:

    1. Thanks Ivo.
      I'll have a look and compare it to the RYA's code.
      Non Smoking seems to be more and more included....

  2. Words are important. "Race officials must never become INAPPROPRIATELY ineriated during an event."

    Which does mean that it is OK to become appropriately inebriated...


    1. I still have a Jameson bottle somewhere. Your place or mine?

  3. appropriate inebriation only!

  4. The smoking ban is one effect of the pervasiveness of visual media - both unofficial and official. Anything you do at an event can be on youtube within minutes.

    The days of starting races with cigar and brandy glass in hand are long gone!


    1. If I'm discreet, can I have a joint instead?


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