Sailor of the Week: May 19-25
In the fall of 2007, the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA) decided that they wanted to raise the level of officiating at their top level events. They turned to Peter Johns (Osterville, Mass.) to make it happen.
As the NEISA Protest Committee Coordinator, Peter was tasked with finding protest committee members and umpires for the numerous weekly events held between Connecticut and Maine during the fall and spring, including the NEISA Conference Championships and Intersectionals. One of Peter’s first steps was to seek out seniors graduating from NEISA schools and ask them to participate in US SAILING certification programs for race management, umpiring and judging. Over a three year period, Peter has significantly grown this group of certified judges and umpires.
“We have successfully added several sailors after their college careers to the ranks of US SAILING certified judges and umpires,” said Peter. “I will continue asking our former college sailors to learn more about their sport by participating in these programs, it simply makes them a better sailor.”
Peter also believes that the level of competition has improved in the NEISA by raising the level of quality officiating. During his tenure he not only introduced many sailors to a new side of the sport, but he has led the charge in getting umpire seminars and examinations conducted for a large group of sailors under the age of 30.
Peter's last event in this role was the NEISA Team Racing Championship two weeks ago. He started the weekend with another US SAILING Umpire Seminar and then assembled a team of 16 umpires, more than half of whom were recent college graduates.
Peter has umpired the ICSA Team Racing Nationals in 2008 and 2010. His son Peter, Jr. is presently on the Georgetown University Sailing Team. Peter also serves on the Board of Directors for the Friends of Georgetown Sailing. This summer Peter will be an umpire for adult team racing events at New York Yacht Club in Newport, R.I. as well as on the protest committee for US SAILING’s U.S. Youth Championships, also in Newport. He has been a US SAILING Certified Judge since 1999 and a Certified Regional Race Officer since 2010.
“Every day I am on the water, I learn something new.” Peter stated. “In a way, this position at NEISA has been an education for me, not only have I learned about the Racing Rules of Sailing, but I have had the privilege of working with some great sailors and coaches. I have made some friends and hopefully I have left an impression on some college sailors who will in turn give back to our sport.”