(FISA Olympic Continental Qualification Regatta For Asia
Shanghai Water Sports Complex
April 25-27, 2008)
I think among the many duties that an umpire gets to do, it is Umpiring duties that I am a bit dreadful of. It is such a huge responsibility and definitely, it is during an Umpire's watch that a lot could happen.
A 2,000-meter stretch of water is like forever. It takes about less than eight/seven minutes for a rower to cross the finish line and yet it feels much much longer than that.
Once the race starts, and the boats have crossed the 100-meter mark, then the Umpire is on his/her own. Judgment calls and so on. Concentration is paramount. Focusing is essential. Guylaine (FISA Umpiring Commission Continental Representative) told us, "Always, always, it is in that brief moment when an umpire loses his/her focus that something happens". And that absolutely makes sense.
The first day of races dawned bright but cold...really, really cold. The wind made the biting cold more harsh. Nicholas handed us the sheet containing the information on our assignments for the first day of races. I looked at the sheet and immediately found my name.
I am Umpire boat no. 2. Four umpires on the water since there is just 10 minutes interval between races. Four umpires, and a lot of heats. And I am an Umpire in these races.
Why am I not surprised?