New Tour Director

Former ISAF man to run World Match Racing Tour

Thursday February 2nd 2006, Author: Sean McNeill, Location: United Kingdom
Craig Mitchell has been appointed Director of the World Match Racing Tour, announced Tour President Scott MacLeod. Mitchell, 32, joins the World Tour (successor to the Swedish Match Tour) after more than six years working at ISAF, the world governing body for sailing.

Mitchell brings to the professional sailing series a technical understanding of regattas, including the umpiring system and racing rules. He took up umpiring over the past three years and in November 2004 was appointed an International Umpire.

ISAF also made him a Race Officials Manager. In that role he worked closely with the Appointments Working Party to appoint race officials to ISAF events, Grade 1 match racing events, Olympic Class World Championships and the Volvo Ocean Race.

Mitchell spent most of his time at ISAF in the Events Department, where he was responsible for the World Match Race Rankings, sailor classification system and the Match and Team Racing World Championship regattas.

“With my involvement in the appointment of Umpires and administration of the ISAF Match Race Rankings, as well as being Technical Delegate at the Open (since 2003) and Women’s Worlds (since 2002), I’ve seen how the Tour has grown and so the opportunity to join it as Director was something I couldn’t turn down,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell joining the World Tour comes shortly after the tour and ISAF signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which outlines the steps necessary to form a long-term partnership. Mitchell left ISAF yesterday.

“With the Tour becoming the World Tour, things can only get better. I’m looking forward to the new challenge and working with the event organisers to help produce a world class series,” Mitchell said. “I’m also looking forward to meeting the sailors and building the qualifier series so that more people can get involved in the Tour and so that new talent can emerge and have their chance to go up against the best.”

Mitchell assumes many of the duties performed by MacLeod, the past director who became president, and Melissa Duhaime, the former manager. Duhaime left the tour to pursue other endeavors. Mitchell will be the main contact at the World Tour for all regatta operations.

“We’re thrilled to have Craig joining the World Tour,” said MacLeod. “The vast organizational experience he brings from ISAF can only help to strengthen the series. And his technical experience with umpires and the racing rules should help events run more smoothly.”

Mitchell attended Southampton University where he studied Naval Architecture and graduated in 1994. He joined ISAF in April 1999.

The World Match Racing Tour is sanctioned by ISAF. World Tour partners include BMW AG. World Tour Official Sponsors include Musto, Sebago and Travel Places.

About Craig Mitchell
Name: Craig Mitchell
Residence: Southampton, England
Date of Birth: March 10, 1973
Place of Birth: Bradford West Yorkshire, England
Education: Southampton University, Naval Architecture (Apr. 1994)
Career Highlights: ISAF (Apr. 1999-Feb. 2006)
*Events Department (responsible for World Match Race Rankings, sailor classification system and Match and Team Racing World Championships)
*Race Officials Manager (worked with the Appointments Working Party to appoint race officials to ISAF events)
*Appointed International Umpire (Nov. 2004)
Sailing Highlights:
*Began sailing at age 5, introduced by his parents
*Began racing at age 9, competed for six years in Topper, a singlehanded one-design class
*Won singlehanded class at UK Youth Nationals in 1990, placed 2nd in 1001
*Represented UK in singlehanded class at IYRU Youth World Championships in 1990, placed 11th
*Won University Team Racing Championship in 1993, ‘94
*Represented Great Britain at Team Racing Worlds in 1999
*Won 2004 J/24 British National Championship
*Placed 4th at Etchells British National Championship, 2003, ’05

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