Hitting the books – and the road
Pat and I have arrived in Houston (well, actually La Porte), in preparation for a race-management seminar offered at the Houston Yacht Club. Once we have completed the seminar and passed the test, we will be well on our way to being certified as club-level race managers – the only thing we will lack is a little bit more experience on the water. We already had done a lot of that before we got into racing ourselves, as we have served committee boat duty for many regattas; the key requirement now is that we serve as Principal Race Officers for a few.
Before the seminar begins Saturday morning, Pat and I have study guides to fill out, answering 186 questions about the rules and quoting chapter and verse from either the Racing Rules of Sailing or the International Sailing Federation rules to support our answers. Pat had already answered most of the questions on his study guide earlier in the week; I spent most of the drive to Houston (about 1000 miles) working on mine. Then, when we got to our lodging for the weekend, we compared answers. They were mostly the same, but there were a few where he and I had different interpretations of the language in the rules. And there were a few rules that Pat knew the answer for, but he couldn’t find the reference in the book, but I did. There was even one question that we managed to peg as relating to a rule that used to exist but has been deleted from the ISAF rules.
So let’s see … we drove 1000 miles in a gas-guzzling truck, and we’re going to spend two days in a classroom going over minutiae and possibly even esoterica. And then we’re going to drive another 1000 miles in the truck to get back home. As time permits, we will seek out barbecue and seafood and spend some time with relatives who live in this part of the world, but time won’t permit much. This probably doesn’t much fit most people’s definition of the word vacation.