I'm just back from the US Laser Masters in Annapolis. Won't report on the regatta except to say that SSA did a great job organizing and conducting the event, even though the wind failed to show!! The PRO did an amazing job sailing 4 races Saturday in almost no wind. I would like to get some discussion going on Judges at Masters events. There were 8 judges at various times on the water with us -- about 80 competitors. The question is: Do we really need them, or can we police ourselves? Local regattas are sailed without judges, so why not regional and national? Several of the calls they made were really questionable according to competitors who were flagged, as well as competitors in the neighborhood of the poor sap who was whistled. (Full disclosure -- I was flagged for "rocking" downwind). I got a sense from discussions around the keg and while waiting for wind on Sunday, that there are many who see little or no value in having judges on the course. There is also belief that judges need to have experience actually sailing our little boats, if we're going to have them on the course. I'm not sure what the implications are for event sanctioning by USSA and/or ISAF, but it seems that the class should have some say in how it wants an event conducted. No judges would also eliminate one "to do" for regatta organizers! Maybe when JDE gets back from Brazil, he can put a survey on the Masters website to see how members feel about the issue of judges. What say ye?