Yacht Racing - Necessity Of Expert Judges And Timers
( Originally Published 1911 )
THE necessity of having for officials in yacht races the best possible men procurable cannot be too strongly impressed upon the racing yacht clubs. There are many cases in which a great deal has depended on one race, and for some reason or other the officials were either in-capable or were making too much of an outing of the race, thus forgetting their first duties, which are to see that the rules under which the race is sailed are lived up to and that no boat is pocketed and beaten unfairly. This sort of thing does not happen among the best clubs, but if the smaller ones intend to give races, and they are allowed to count for a championship series, then the club should get men who are competent to run the race properly, and leave the other sort of fun out until after it is over. The officials should not be "land lubbers" and "piazza yachtsmen," but men who have been through it themselves, being able to give the right direction to starting and finish lines ; get the classes away properly and at right intervals, and generally understand what they are doing. This, I am sorry to say, is sometimes overlooked and causes a great deal of discontent among the competitors, the consequences being that the next year the races given by that club are a great fizzle, as few skippers care to sail under such conditions.
The officials should remember that they are there to run a race and help the boats as much as possible, not to irritate and be dis-agreeable to the skippers and crews.
There are many cases of this sort today that have meant the winning or losing of a championship on account of poor officials.