Officials duties during an event are many and varied, they have the responsibility to ensure meetings are conducted in the safest environment possible for competitors and spectators alike.
Officials in Focus is our initiative to get some background information on a range of Officials accredited with Motorcycling Victoria. Done in a similar way to the Club Coach in Focus, we ask the questions and they tell us more about themselves.
We turn our focus now to Chris Gray, who is a member of the Bendigo Motorcycle Club.
How long have you been an Official?
For about 12 years.
What level of Official are you currently?
Level 4 in Australia and FIM Clerk of Course/Sporting Steward for World Round events.
What are the main roles you find yourself in when officiating? (e.g. Steward, Clerk of Course etc.)
Steward, Race Director, Clerk of Course are all good and with Enduro it is great as everyone gets in to make the events so good.
What disciplines do you usually officiate in and are you interested in working in other disciplines?
Mostly Enduro/Off-Road. I have done some MX Nationals and they’re good to see.
What do you enjoy about officiating?
It is great to see the same rules applied to events across a Championships, also good to build some genuine relationships with riders and other Officials.
There would be many challenges as an Official, what is one challenge you’ve had to overcome as an Official?
There are always obstacles but I think just working through them and keeping the same decisions and penalties across all events in crucial. As such I have had to DQ World Champions twice now for going backwards on the course. There is always a little room to move but some rules are there for the safety of all riders. I would always rather use the rule book as a guide to teach riders why the rules exist rather than belting riders with it.
What has been one of your best experiences as an Official?
I can’t go past being part of the Australian Team Management who represented us at the World Six Day Enduro in Slovakia in 2015. Australia won all three classes; Senior, Junior and Womens. It was an awesome experience and feeling to come away with something that NO other country in the world has done.
Would you recommend becoming an Official to other people?
For sure, it is such a rewarding feeling to be a part of such a great organisation. No matter what discipline you’re interested in there is always something to do that at the end of the day helps so many. Events can not happen without all the riders, Officials and volunteers at a race meeting and all roles are important.