How to become a freestyle windsurfing judge

Freestyle windsurfing: judges learn how to throw out scores | Photo: Carter/PWA

Have you ever thought of judging maneuvers by some favorite freestyle windsurfers? It's not impossible. All you have to do is learn how to throw out scores in a judging clinic.

The International Funboard Class Association (IFCA) and the European Freestyle Pro Tour (EFPT) have teamed up to deliver a windsurf judging course. The goal is to set international standards of race management and freestyle windsurfing.

Many pro windsurfers have already experienced being "on the other side" of competition. It's not straightforward, but it is also rewarding and exciting. Judging windsurfers is very much developing an acute sense of fairness.

"Everybody interested in competitive freestyle windsurfing can join. In the past clinics, we had different participants," underlines Tom Hartmann, race director, and head judge at EFPT.

"Some wanted to become official judges at national and international competitions; others were members or officials of sailing clubs, race committees, or event organizers who wanted to know how to organize a freestyle competition properly. We also had riders joining the clinics to get a better inside view of how the judging is working to improve their competition sailing."

Aspiring freestyle windsurfing judges learn almost everything from race management (race crew, event setup, elimination system) and freestyle judging (rules, contest formats, moves, criteria) to organization and structure of windsurfing sport. A practical part is also included in the judging clinic.

On the last day of the course, participants take an exam. Depending on the result of the exam, they get certified as national or international IFCA/EFPT freestyle judges and, therefore, will be able to set up a professional windsurfing competition anywhere in the world.

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