GBR umpires selected for Juries at 2024 Olympic, Paralympic and Qualification regattas
Four British World Rowing Umpires have been selected to serve at next summer’s Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, European Qualification Regatta and Final Qualification Regatta
Judith Packer has been selected as a member of the Jury (umpire team) for the Olympic Games Rowing regatta, which will be held at Vaires-sur-Marne near Paris from 27 July to 4 August 2024.
Judith first picked up an oar in 1983 at St Peter’s College, Oxford. Later, she joined Newark RC, and later Weybridge RC and Staines BC. Having discovered that she enjoyed volunteering at rowing competitions at least as much as racing in them, she qualified as an umpire in 2001, gained her multi-lane endorsement in 2004, and became a World Rowing umpire in 2009. Her extensive international umpiring experience includes the combined World Rowing Senior, U23 and Junior Championships in 2016, several World Cup regattas, and GB-France J16 matches of which the 2022 edition was at Vaires-sur-Marne. She was a National Technical Official at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and umpired the Women’s Boat Race in 2021.
Judith said, “It will be such a privilege and honour to represent GBR at the 2024 Paris Olympics as part of the 20-strong international Umpire Jury. Having worked with many others on the Jury at previous international regattas, I know we have an excellent team to facilitate safe and fair racing for the athletes. Excitement and anticipation are paired with gratitude for so many opportunities and people who have supported me over many years and thus enabled me to be in this position.”
Mark Blandford-Baker has been selected as a spare for the Jury for the Paralympic Games Rowing regatta, also at Vaires-sur-Marne near Paris from 30 August to 1 September 2024.
After learning to row at Cambridge ‘99 RC in 1984, Mark qualified as a British Rowing umpire in 1991 and gained his multi-lane endorsement in 1993. In 2001 he gained his World Rowing (then FISA) licence. Most recently he was on the Jury for the 2022 World Championships in Racice, and has umpired at numerous World Rowing regattas including the senior World Championships in 2011, the U23 World Championships in 2003 and 2008, and at World Cup regattas. He was the National Technical Official in charge of Control Commission for the 2012 Olympic Regatta.
Heidi Hackett has been selected as a Jury member for the European Olympic and Paralympic Qualification regatta to be held at Szeged, Hungary from 25-28 April 2024.
She is a member of The Grange School BC (where she coaches) and of Runcorn RC and Grosvenor RC, where she rows. Heidi started umpiring in West Midlands/WAGS region and qualified in 2000. She gained her multi-lane endorsement 2003 and gained World Rowing licence in 2010. She was a National Technical Officer at London 2012 and has umpired at the European Championships, European Junior Champoinships, World Cups and many international regattas in Europe.
Claire McIntosh, a member of Tideway Scullers School, and Chair of British Rowing’s Multi-Lane Umpiring Panel, has been selected as a member of the Jury for the Final Olympic and Paralympic Qualification regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland, which will take place from 19-21 May 2024.
Claire learned to row at George Watson’s College in Edinburgh and represented GB twice at the World Rowing Junior Championships. She subsequently rowed for Glasgow University, Clyde ARC, and Agecroft RC. She qualified as a British Rowing umpire in 2004, gained her multi-lane endorsement in 2008 and her World Rowing qualification in 2014. Claire’s recent international jury experience includes the 2023 World Rowing U19 Championships in Paris 2023, the 2016 European Rowing Championships in 2016 and World Cup regattas.
Chair of the National Umpiring Committee Jo Cotgrove said, “Any international selection is an exciting experience for a World Rowing umpire but an Olympic or Paralympic selection is a very big deal and represents a lot of years of hard work and commitment to officiating at local, national and international competitions, making sure that every athlete has the opportunity of safe and fair racing.”
You can find information about Olympic and Paralympic qualification here.
Interested in umpiring?
“We are always looking for new umpires to join our team and if you think you would like to get involved, or simply find out more, then please get in touch using the button below or come and talk to one of us at any rowing competition.” – Jo Cotgrove, Chair of the National Umpiring Committee
Judith, Mark, Heidi and Claire’s selections show that there’s a third way – beyond rowing or coxing – to take part in the very top regattas in our sport! But qualified umpires are also essential at every level of competition up to that too, including local regattas and head races as well as national championships.
Wondering about the time commitment? Although many umpires seem to be on duty at practically every competition, the minimum requirement is to officiate on three separate days at domestic competitions each year for at least 12 hours, and to attend one umpiring seminar every three years.