Sometime around the late 80’s/early 90’s I complained to the organising committee about the course that had been set for our small keelboat class (We sailed a Sonata at the time) - there was a beat that was almost a fetch and the start line had about 25 degrees of port bias.  So the inevitable happened when you complain about something in a club - they made me the Race Officer for the following year!  

That was the start of a journey that has taken me all over Ireland and some great trips across the water.  I really started to learn the trade when I attended an RYA “Open Meeting Race Officer” course taken by Tony Lockett and I realised that there was a lot more to this game than met the eye.  This Course is now called the RYA Regional Race Officer Seminar and I now present that course in Northern Ireland.  I get a lot of pleasure from running a good event - everything from getting the SIs to be bulletproof to setting great courses.  I have had a lot of fun, I have met a lot of new people, I have been to a lot of interesting places and have made a lot of friends doing this Race Officer thing.  

During 2009 I was asked to take on the job of RYA Regional Race Management Co-Ordinator - fancy title - pity there is no fancy salary to go with it!  Essentially the RRMC is responsible for coordinating Race Management Training in his/her region. This involves running the two day Regional Race Officer Seminar and going out to the Clubs to run Club Race Officer and Marklaying Courses.  We would also involve ourselves in arranging other talks and courses on Handicapping and Fleet Safety or whatever.  This has been a lot of fun visiting the various Clubs in the region and many new friendships have been formed.

In 2015 I finally attended the International Race Officer seminar, held that year in Gdansk, Poland.  This is an intensive three day Seminar with an exam at the end with a high pass mark to be achieved.  Only about a quarter of the twenty four attendees passed but a few more friends were gained.  I applied to the governing body, ISAF, now World Sailing, and was appointed IRO in November 2015.

Yotter - the History so far . . . . .

Now partially retired (and as I have now more or less finished the motor caravan conversion) I have a bit more time for race management and playing in my workshop.