Officiating at IKA Events


Event Officials at IKA sanctioned events are required to comply with minimum qualifications similar to the ones for event appointments used by World Sailing.

A list of roles of event officials can be found further below.

IKA is always looking to widen the pool of available officials with experience in kiteboarding events. If you are interested to officiate at IKA events, please contact the office.

To qualify for more senior positions on the event team, the qualification pathway follows the standard World Sailing procedures for International Race Officers, International Judges, International Measurers, and (in the future) International Expression Judges. Please refer to


Technical Director

The Technical Director will play a prominent part in staging the event, and must be knowledgeable in race management. The TD is appointed by World Sailing or the Class Association. The TD is usually a World Sailing International Race Officer and member of the IKA Executive Committee. The TD has special responsibilities which, exercised in consultation with the Event Organising Committee, may be summarized as follows:

1) Before the event:

a) Supervise any event agreement with the local organizer

b) Gain an overview of all aspects of the organisation, including but not limited to event promotion, logistics both on and off the water, results, competitor registration and media.

c) Advise on and approve the specification and technical aspects of the competition venue on and off shore.

d) Consult and assist in the appointment of key professional staff.

e) Approve the format of competition and the schedule for the event where appropriate.

f) Supervise the administration and qualification system for the event.

g) Approve the rules and regulations for the event (including the notice of race, sailing instructions and any other race documents).

h) Approve the race officials according to the World Sailing Regulations and the event agreement

i) Advise and approve the specification of all official boats.

j) Consult and advise on the race management equipment required to deliver the event.

k) Consult and advise on of any event volunteer programme.

l) Advise and oversee the preparation and organization of test events.

m) Approve any sports presentation plans and spectator facilities.

n) Approve the venue branding plan, marketing and “look and feel” plans.

o) Advise and approve the communications plan and any media facilities.

p) Approve any arrangements for World Sailing and VIPs.

q) Approve the opening, closing and medal ceremonies.

2) During the event:

a) Arrive before the event in order to assist and approve final preparations.

b) Ensure that the event team and race officials act as a coordinated team.

c) Ensure good communication with competitors, coaches and team leaders and to facilitate feedback from them on the event.

d) Chairing daily co-ordination and planning meetings of the senior event officials and the chief race officials.

e) Chair the race committee.

f) Liaise with:

i) the Race Director to ensure that World Sailing race management policies and best practice are implemented;

ii) the chief measurer or chief equipment inspector to be aware of any measurement issues and communicate them to parties involved;

iii) the jury chairman to anticipate any difficult rule situations or areas where interpretation of the rules may be required.

g) Consider necessity and consequences of any changes to race documents before approving and publishing,

h) Ensure that results are published in a timely and adequate manner.

i) Supervise that prize-giving and other protocol functions are carried out properly.

j) In general, remain aware of any issues affecting the smooth and fair running of the event and to take action accordingly.

3) After the event:

a) Produce event report for World Sailing.

b) If requested, to provide feedback on the performance of the chief race officials.

c) Give feedback which may be useful to World Sailing, event organisers and other parties involved.


Race Officer

The Race Officer is the person in charge of the on-water race management of the event and his primary responsibility is to ensure that the competition is run according to the standards of World Sailing and classes involved. Usually appointed by World Sailing or the Class Association, he is responsible for the conduct of racing on the water and leading the race committee. Takes decision on course setting, start procedures, postponements and on-water safety decision in consultation with the Technical Director.

The Race Officer at major class events is a World Sailing International Race Officer


Deputy Race Officer

A person, working on the main committee boat with the Race Director, who would be capable of taking over as Race Officer in an emergency.

Under normal operating conditions, with the appointed Race Director present, the Deputy Race Officer would organise the committee boat personnel to ensure that everyone is in position and ready to proceed.


Assistant Race Officer

Normally placed on the Pin End line boat. The ARO works closely with the Race Director, particularly when setting and then later, sighting, the start line.


Flag Officer

The Flag Officer will be responsible for ensuring the visual signals are ready for display at the appropriate time. This officer should have a knowledge of all the visual signals as illustrated in the ‘Race Signals’ section of the RRS, when to use them, what message the signal is sending to the competitors and equally important, when to remove a signal that is displayed. He takes all his timings from the Timekeeper.


Timekeeper / Sound Signals

This is, after the Race Director, the most important position on the Race Committee. More starts have been spoiled by the Timekeeper being distracted by unnecessary chit chat than any other single cause. It is a position which requires single-minded concentration and a good clear voice. The dead-line for the day is the START of the race. Calling the count down in minutes and seconds to each signal should be made clearly, so that all Committee Boat staff are aware of the time remaining to the start. The same procedure should be used throughout the countdown.

The Timekeeper / Sounder also needs to know which signal is to be made at which time, and which sound signal accompanies visual flag signals, i.e. Abandonment, General Recall, Postponement.


Mark Layers

The Mark Layers need to be able to set an accurate course following the Race Directors directions regarding wind strength and direction. Knowledge of boat speed in different wind strengths is essential in being able to set a course of the correct length to achieve the target time.

Course changes, too, can be easily calculated with this information. With the much shorter race duration, some classes do not want course changes made. Where classes request that this is to take place, then the Mark Layers has to anticipate the needs of the Race Director and have all the relevant information to hand (magnetic bearing and distances) so that marks can be moved and re-laid as soon as possible.

Ideally he should have enough information, nautical skills and the necessary equipment (course illustrations, compass, anemometer, sea charts, GPS) to operate on his own and to advise the Race Director accordingly. His judgment can have a decisive influence on the success of the race.


On-Water Safety Staff

The crew of a safety boat should consist of 2 persons. Preferably each patrol crew member should:

• be 16 years or older;

• be a good swimmer;

• have knowledge of safety and rescue operations especially for recovering kites, crew and equipment

• be experienced in the operation of safety boats / jetskis and able to operate them safely in difficult conditions;

The positions of Mark Layers / boats and on water safety staff are often combined and then need to satisfy both requirements.



The team on the finish line race committee vessel is mist probably the most important position on the race course. They need to be able to identify competitors even in challenging conditions. They must be familiar with race management procedures, positioning of the finishing line vessel in relation to the course, race documents, flags, and special procedures i.e. Addendum Q / Addendum FS-R



The scoring office needs to have sound knowledge of Sailwave and/or special scoring software i.e. for Slalom/Boardercross. Needs to be familiar with the racing format, general race management and jury procedures. Also publishes results online during racing and assists the TD in the validation of the final event results.


Technical Committee

For major class events (Continental and World Championships), an Equipment Inspector (event measurer) or a measurement committee (Technical committee in the RRS from January 2017) will be appointed to inspect kiteboards and check compliance to the measurement rules before the start of the competition, and carry out checks during the competition. The Chief Equipment Inspector needs to meet the qualifications of World Sailing International Measurer.

They need to have thorough knowledge and understanding of the ERS –and are tested on that as part of their appointment procedure- and they are trained by WS in both measurement and inspection techniques which are not class-specific. While they are regarded as class experts, they are also capable of working outside their class when needed.

IMs should have a good understanding of racing and how competitors use and modify their equipment, they should have a solid technical knowledge of the equipment and how they are built as well as how to read and understand technical documents and drawings. They must have the practical skills to build accurate templates and tools to measure hulls, kites and appendages. It is important that they have a “judicial” temperament as they will be working long hours in difficult conditions in a boat park and will be expected to be patient and understanding with a wide variety of individuals including competitors, other race officials, parents and coaches in a pressure filled environment. They will also be managing a group of assistants who may not have much experience.

WS International Measurers are expected to lead event technical committees & inspection/measurement teams, in most cases singlehandedly without assistance from other Int. Measurers. Therefore, they must be highly skilled persons, with abilities ranging from tool handling to team management, broad knowledge on rules and experience in all aspects of racing. More specifically, an International Measurer should possess at least:


International Jury

An International Jury is a protest committee that meets the requirements of Appendix N of the rules. It is completely independent from the Race Committee. An International Jury is composed of experienced judges with excellent knowledge of the racing rules and the class specific rules and procedures (i.e. kiteboard short track / slalom) and have extensive protest committee experience. Its membership is made up of people of different nationalities, the majority of whom shall be WS International Judges. Provided that it conducts itself in accordance with the procedures described in Appendix N, as stated in Rule 70.5 its decisions shall not be subject to appeal.

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