Olympic honour for sailing umpire Shrubb

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    Toyota Sopot Match Race 08 Poland Rond Robin

Peter Shrubb will not be among those challenging for a medal at this year’s Olympic Games in the UK.

But the highly-respected ISAF international sailing umpire and judge will certainly have a major say in determining who gets to stand on the podium.

The past Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC) commodore has been named on the ten-member international jury and umpire team that will preside over Olympic match racing in the Elliott six-metre class to take place at Weymouth, England this summer.

Shrubb, who was selected from a pool of over 120 sailing umpires and judges worldwide, said he was “humbled” to have been given the opportunity to officiate on the Olympic stage.

“It’s a bit humbling to come from a small country like Bermuda and be a part of such a big event like the Olympics,” he said.

“When any athlete wins an Olympic medal, whether it be gold, silver or bronze, it’s a life-changing experience. And to be a part of the decision making that will finally determine who gets a medal in the Olympics is a pretty awesome responsibility.”

Having already established himself at this level, Shrubb said he had been quietly optimistic he would get the nod to officiate at the Games that will feature match racing sailing for the first time.

“I always thought I had a good shot at it and I worked hard at it,” he added. “Until you actually receive the letter you are never really sure, but I guess it’s fair to say I was quietly optimistic. I think I done my work and proved my value.

“This is the first time they’ve had match racing as a sport in the Olympics, so this is my first opportunity to umpire there.

“We still have some work to do between now and then. We have some procedural stuff we have to deal with and there will be some training involved as well. We have to get the team together and make sure everyone works harmoniously.

“I know a number of the people on the team. I have worked with a lot of them and so I’m sure it’s going to be a very good harmonious team.”

Last year was a busy one for Shrubb who officiated in a handful of ISAF World Match Racing Tour regattas as well as at the ISAF World Championships in Perth, Australia.

It’s world class events such as these which help the ex-RBYC commodore broaden his own sailing horizons.

“You have to go to these high level events because these sailors in the top level are doing things you don’t normally see in the lower level events,” he said. “You really have to be there umpiring the top people in order to stay on top of the game, and luckily enough I have been able to get that exposure.

“I thought the highlight of my career was being selected for the 32nd Americas Cup in 2007 (Valencia, Spain). But since then I have been lucky enough to go to other major events to get good exposure and hopefully be well prepared for the Olympics.”

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Published Jan 11, 2012 at 8:22 am (Updated Jan 11, 2012 at 8:20 am)

Olympic honour for sailing umpire Shrubb

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