How a Few Cal 40s Transformed America’s Cup Page 2

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ABOUT THAT UMPIRING

ACRM’s newly-hired Director of Umpiring and Rules Administration, Mike Martin, is an old friend to the Blue Planet Times, and it sounds as if he has quite the adventure ahead. We’ve written about Mike Martin when he was on San Francisco Bay racing 18-foot skiffs with Howie Hamlin—together they were the first Americans to ever win the class world championship, way down in Sydney Harbourland—and again when he won the 505 world championship here as skipper, becoming (very deliberately, after 10 years of trying) the first person ever to win that title both as skipper and as crew.

For the umpires, there will be no more chasing behind the race boats and waving little, colored flags. Umpiring is moving ashore. Read on for a sampler from the ACRM announcement at AmericasCup.com

Martin’s responsibilities include identifying, recruiting and managing all umpires for an event, and the creation of a world-class umpire training program, whose first graduates will be employed at the 34th America’s Cup. In addition, as head of rules administration, Martin will manage the development and oversight of the rules in conjunction with the PRO and Regatta Director.

“We are taking a comprehensive approach to the rules – making them easier to understand for those new to the sport, but still keeping the sailing fan engaged by promoting tight, tactical racing,” said Iain Murray. “We selected Mike for his breadth of experience in high-performance yacht racing, developmental class leadership, and strong technical and managerial skills.” (Outside of sailing, Martin is an accomplished Research and Development Engineer with over 20 years of experience in the consumer electronic and medical fields.)

Martin said, “We’ll have a whole new approach to umpiring that utilizes position tracking technology to enable decisions to be made quicker, more consistently and more accurately. This will enable us to bring the viewing audience into the action on every call. As a life-long sailor, it’s a dream come true to be a part of shaping the sport.”

And the move reunites a family. Mike Martin’s wife, Stephanie, has been work-commuting between home in Southern California and a job in Northern California as Chief Communications Officer for America’s Cup 34. Awww.


TRANSPAC EARL-BIRD DISCOUNTS END ON SUNDAY

Early-bird signups for Transpac 2011 enjoy a discounted entry fee, and 54 skippers have taken advantage so far. On Sunday, February 27, however, that turns into the one that got away.

Signups as late as February 27 qualify for the discount, and then you’re set to be on the line next July for one of the great sailing experiences, anywhere. The 2011 Transpacific Yacht Race, Los Angeles to Honolulu, is a classic dating to 1906. And yes, you can use your credit card to join the fun.

The discounts range from $250 for boats under 41 feet to $2500 for boats over 85 feet. Full details in 2011 Race Documents/Notice of Race at Transpac.

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