Umpiring the Olympic Regatta

Never an easy job but you know it’s been a great race when you are unaware of the umpire following behind and keeping an eye on proceedings.

Three times during this regatta there were potential conflict-inducing incidents and each time an umpire had to make a decision.

Read what happened below  and let us know what you think.

  1. New Zealand Womens Quad break a scull.  They’d just got into qualifying position for the final and caught a crab causing a scull to break.  Race goes on without them and they paddle over the line last with only three people rowing.
  2. Great Britain Mens Pair steer out of their lane.  during the final few strokes the pair drift towards bow side [pulled round by stroke in final sprint?].  The adjacent crew is New Zealand who are lengths in front and unaffected plus their hull mercifully stays just the right side of the buoys until they are over the finish line.
  3. Great Britain Lightweight Mens Double Scull have equipment failure just after the start.  They stop and bow man Zac Purchase appeals and the umpire stops the race, bringing all the crews back to a re-start.

Were Umpiring Decisions Correct?

Social media has provided us with some insight from the crowd.  What do you think?

A twitter opinion of the LM2x restart decision
David Biddulph explains his dilemma on Facebook
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One thought on “Umpiring the Olympic Regatta

  1. Colin Barratt says:

    All three decisions were correct.
    1) NZ W4x catch a crab and break a scull. Since it was outside the first 100m of the race, the crew has to live with any mechanical breakages. They caught the crab and therefore the damage was self inflicted, there were no external forces or collision so there is no recourse to stop the race and order a re-row. Heart breaking for the crew, but that’s the rules of racing.
    2) GB M2- move towards an opponent’s lane and their bow side blade is in that lane. The crew in that lane, NZ, were well clear, so as long as no contact was made between the GB blade and that crew, no action needs to be taken. If they had been in front and washing the crew in that lane, then the umpire needed to warn them, but this was not the case. If they had caught NZ and touched them, then the umpire would have disqualified GB. If the umpire had warned them in that position and they had gone on to win, it could be construed that the umpire had assisted them by steering them over the course!
    3) GB LM2x broke a seat within the first 100m, stopped and the race was re-started. My understanding was that a wheel came loose on the spindle and the seat was jamming on the slide. Zac Purchase had to prove that there was damage to the seat to the FISA umpire responsible. In this case he was an international umpire and not a British one, so there should have been no compassion on his behalf. He was satisfied that there was mechanical damage and that it happened within the first 100m, so he ordered a re-start which included GB. To the man on twitter, if this had been a domestic regatta in GB, there would not have been a re-start since there is no 100m rule in the British Rules of Racing!

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