Mike Martin has been named the winner of the 2012 US Sailing One-Design Creativity Award. The annual awards highlight role models of creative leadership in one-design sailing.
The Mill Valley resident was honored for his contributions in the development of the new electronic umpiring system used during the 2012 America’s Cup World Series events. Martin is the Director of Rules Administration and Umpiring for America's Cup Race Management, the organization responsible for the race management of the 34th America's Cup events. Martin received his award during a ceremony at Cleveland Yacht Club in Rocky River, OH this past weekend.
The innovative system uses positional data displayed in real-time to enhance the accuracy of race officiating. The system allows umpires to view, freeze, rewind, and fast forward through each yacht’s positional data in 0.1 second increments, giving umpires flexibility and insight in on-the-water situations not possible before. Each incident on which an umpire makes a call is also recorded and posted publicly, so competitors – and fans – can review and learn.
“I am humbled to receive this honor, and am accepting it on behalf of a large team of people who made this system possible, specifically Graeme Winn, Tim Heidmann, Ken Milnes, Mark Sheffield and Stan Honey," said Martin at the awards ceremony. "It has been extremely gratifying to work on a project that has made such an impact on the level and accuracy of officiating during the America's Cup World Series."
The technology has piqued the interest of other sailing event organizers around the world, and Martin hopes that it will have a trickle-down effect throughout the sport.
“As the system components get smaller, there is tremendous potential for application in larger fleets where there are larger burdens on umpires,” said Martin.