It is great news that the US will be represented at this year's AWAC. Bubba Vidrine and Julia Wood should be lauded for having shown enormous perseverance to compete at AWAC with or without the sanction of the USAF and IAC in the face of what appears to have been institutional ambivalence about their participation in the event. Bob Freeman should be congratulated for having made it possible for the three pilots to be acknowledged as the US team. I am sure that all of them are relieved to be able to concentrate on preparation for the contest now that this sorry saga is behind us.
But, from what has been posted on the exploder on this issue, the fact that a US Advanced team will compete in Slovenia this summer does not mean that all is well. This one symptom of greater problems within our club has been addressed, but not the disease. After all, it was not the concerted efforts of the USAF or the IAC that led to the reinstatement of a US team but the change in the circumstances of one pilot.
What has been revealed in the debate over the US Advanced team is that there are serious shortcomings in the governance of the IAC. It is not a good sign that 7 of 12 board members cannot compel the holding of a board meeting or that the club's Executive Director should write an openly partisan message to the membership over a dispute within the board.
The question now is "how is the club is being run and for what purpose?" This is a matter of interest for all IAC members, whether participating in contests, whether aiming for a spot on one of the US teams, or not. There is an entirely reasonable debate to be had concerning the direction the club should take, but not under these circumstances.
Having never taken much interest in the election of Board members or indeed the rules of the club in the past, I will be keenly interested in this year's elections and I would hope that others will as well,