riva-same

Texx judging Rivas at Lake Tahoe.

Yesterdays topic sparked a huge bitch fest behind the scenes regarding all sorts of ACBS judging standards. So we thought, lets bring them out in the light. What the hell, we hav’nt had a good fight in a while. First the entire Judging thing is in itsself a contentious thing. It’s engineered into it. You are being judged, and no one likes being judged. The other thing is that it’s needed. Big time, we need to have standards to preserve history. You can ignore them, but they need to be preserved like your boat if you want to do that. If you want to chop up your boat and throw a new engine in it, don’t have it judged.

syvia-being-judged

Being-judged

Now…. and this is the area of debate. The ACBS created new judging so more folks would be recognized and there would be more winners at shows. Note the long list at the Big international. Platinum, on and on. Now. it’s a bit confusing, because Platinum in our book is usually better than gold? No? And is this like powder puff sports were everyone gets a trophy so no one is dispointed? Really? At the International, and even worse at Lake Tahoe! Lake Tahoe is the brutal show, where the judges check the carbon residue in your tail pipe to see if it contains leaded gas the way it was back in the day.

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Mike Mayor Judge! . Or is a Judge that is a Mayor, is he also the fire chief and Justice of the peace.

It’s a HUGE honor to be a Tahoe Judge. That is why I would drive 3 days to have my boat judged there. Not to bring home a trophy because I made the drive. Give me a “I drove there trophy”, but not a 5th third place. OK OK, I know this is pissing some folks off that I don’t like pissing off. So i will now take the opposing view.

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Its the little details!

So many of our boats these days are literally 1 point different than others. And in this passion, there is a ton of subjectivity in it. With not the factory regiment that is in the car industry. Things can be interpreted differently. basic stuff like Engine color and so on are easy. Race boat or Racer? or flaws from the factory? By the way we are not talking 1st place here, where a wrong screw can be the difference of whats a winner. Which is usually the case. Which is why multiple awards are warranted.

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So whats right? Should the local shows be more fun and lax, and have several shows a year that are insane brutal? So they are destination events. For that person that wants the best of the best, and the restorer wants to prove he or she is the best. Shows like Tahoe and Clayton should be those shows. Extreme tough judging, the best of the best. Oh and leave Lake Dora alone, its a party and after all I won Best Chris Craft. And we all know thats the toughest judged event ever, since there is drinking and bribes involved. THATS HOW IT SHOULD ALL BE DONE!

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49 Responses to “If Everyone Wins An Award? Is It An Award? You Be The Judge.”
  1. Jeff Funk

    Judging’s intent is clearly intended to compare one’s boat with how it originally came from the factory. The fewer the deductions, the closer it is to the original article…as far as we know it. Most judges also realize boats of the same make, model and year did not always come with exactly the same hardware, etc. due to production challenges at the time. The factory’s goal was ‘get it out the door so we can get paid.’ They weren’t really concerned if one boat had ‘exactly’ the same hardware as the next one coming down the line.

    As a Head Judge for four International ACBS Events, we want to recognize those boats and owners who commit much time and money to preserving or restoring their watercraft to the original article. It’s good for our hobby to have examples of how the boats really were…and to preserve history. What’s wrong with issuing additional awards to those who strive to do the same but aren’t quite there on originality. They deserve recognition for their effort, and hopefully learn from the judging experience.

    I like both the judged and non-judged shows for different reasons. If more boats/owners take home awards at judged shows…and it encourages those owners to come back and hopefully make improvements on their watercraft, then we and the hobby are better off for it.

    Reply
    • Troy in ANE

      Jeff you make some great points. I have never had a boat judged, or judged a boat, so I have very little opinion on this subject, but have a great deal of admiration and respect for those in this part of the hobby.

      I have also heard two very interesting points that make me think.
      1) Should the same boats be allowed to run the circuit multiple years taking major awards or should those boats be asked to enter as display boats so that others can have the opportunity at the top awards?
      2) If an owner does not intend to improve their boat between judged shows should they be allowed to enter multiple shows and multiple years, taking up judging time and effort when no changes were made since the last time they were judged. This question is of course more for the lower point boats that do not win awards. If they are high pointing boats, it is a different subject.

      Reply
  2. Texx

    I for one am with Matt Smith 100% regarding this controversial subject. This is also a subject that never seems to end or improve for the better.

    And yes, this week there has been an absolute ton of people talking about classic boat judging and the problems behind the scenes – I don’t even know where to start and have to go to work now. More later folks.

    Reply
  3. Gene porter

    Well said Jeff

    I hope that those complaining about ACBS judging will differentiate between the originality standard and other matters

    Reply
  4. Selfie

    I self-judged my own boat this morning:

    It starts, it floats, it goes.

    Perfect. No deductions.

    Reply
  5. Phil Little

    Probably echoing other’s comments, it seems to me that the fit and finish of major award winners in “hobbies”, such as antique/classic boats and automobiles, seem to far exceed the quality that left the factory when new. It appears that at some levels, it’s a question of who has the fattest wallet. The term “Trailer Queen” is often used. I suspect many of these restored boats have never seen a kid’s sand pail and floaties, or a big cooler full of beach picnic fixings.

    Reply
  6. Sean

    I like the idea of Clayton and Tahoe as the pinnacle of originality in judging. Originality is important to maintain for the future, to see how these boats were made. If you can afford the costs of a “platinum” restoration… you can afford to go to Clayton or Tahoe to compete against the best.

    However, not everyone owns a Chris-Craft and there are other manufacturers that are not nearly as well documented. I can tell you that there are not many people that have researched the Greavette Sunflash as much as I have (and I don’t know anywhere near everything). You just don’t know what the factory did, especially as a factory like Greavette would do whatever the customer wanted (and paid) them to do. Of course, there’s no documentation. Considering all the other models made over the years….no judge can be expected to know what is original and what is not for every make/model/year. But, If you’re judging MY boat, you had better know.

    So, originality is important. Do we have to create awards to encourage people to bring an original boat? I think those that are “originality” inclined will bring their original boats anyways. Are these “platinum” restorations fair game at local boat shows? Or, do they scare away the potential registrant? What we do need is NEW people to bring out their old boats! If an award is the carrot we can offer, then there is no better , or prestigious award, than the “Peoples Choice” where everyone that pays to get in the show gets to vote for the coolest boat (or the one they would most like to take home). This solves the judging dilemma AND opens the door for the elite at Tahoe and Clayton.

    Reply
  7. Paul H.

    I am not a judge, never have been and never will be. However, I own a few boats – some high point Concours level boats that have placed well or won in significant judged shows and other boats that are strictly users and are not restored or maintained with judging in mind. These boats are owned, restored and maintained from the start with different purposes in mind. If a person wishes to have a boat judged, either as a learning experience or because he/she wishes to see how it compares to others, he should at least familiarize himself with the standards by which the judging takes place first. If he does not like the judging standards, don’t get it judged – pretty simple.

    I have only ever had legitimate, reasonably prepared boats with original power judged. I do not and never will have a “user” boat judged, simply because the ongoing care and maintenance of that boat likely causes deviations from original and it would not score well and it would waste the time of judges. Plus, I don’t care as it is a user boat and not a Concours specimen. Why should a sub-90 point win an award, but more importantly – why would the owner of such a boat care about judging? If he did, the boat would likely be prepared with judging in mind and at 90 points or less, it is very likely that it was not prepared as such.

    Non- original type engine? Why have that boat judged, when it is obvious the mandatory deduction is fatal to the hope for a high point outcome. New wiring, 12 volt instead of 6 volt, non-original interior, adulterated interior fitments? The deductions add up fast. How about owners learn to leave the judging process to boats prepared or at least maintained with judging in mind, and simply learn to enjoy, use and display with pride their boats, rather than having them judged, and then suffer the inevitable outcome? Pride in your classic boat should have nothing to do with how well it is judged, but rather how much you enjoy the use and ownership of it.

    No one will ever agree on judging, but at least it is easy enough to familiarize oneself with the process and criteria in advance. It makes no sense to not do so, and then complain about the process post-event. Most owners should be able to anticipate how their boat will score and make a reasoned decision as to whether judging is important and how the boat may perform. If more people did this, there would be fewer boats judged, fewer “winners” and fewer disappointments.

    Judging appeals to a fairly small number of participants in the hobby, but it is still very important for various reasons. I think it gets a disproportionate amount of chatter and ink in relation to the actual number of hobby participants who are motivated by judged competition. I suggest that classic boaters who are not interested in judging just go boating and enjoy their boats – no matter what they look like or how they are equipped and forget about judging. I don’t know a lot about the classic car hobby but there are certainly a majority of rallies, shows and events there that have nothing to do with judging and I suspect that vast majority of car hobbyists don’t ever get their cars judged. I doubt boating is different.

    Reply
    • Greg Lewandowski

      I second the “very well said”, especially the content of the third paragraph. Six or eight classic boats running on plane across a lake is what classic boating is all about to me!

      Reply
    • Jeff

      Judging and judges opinions differ so vastly from show to show it has become impossible to anticipate how your boat will do. There is simply no consistency.

      Reply
  8. John Rothert

    I have never had a boat worthy of judging by the experts…but I have judged many a boat to be worthy of my attention and devotion. You all sort this out…I am gong boating…..in the rain..

    John in Va.

    Reply
  9. Wilson

    Judging depends upon your attitude. If you are going to get bent out of joint if you don’t get First place, don’t do it. If you really want to find out how to improve your boat then it is for you. I did it at Clayton ( with a race boat – which as I say is not a real racer). It got a first place…probably because they wanted to be nice to the then Editor of the Brass Bell or kind to somebody who drug a boat up there all the way from Florida. Also the weather was terrible and the water rough and the only year I recall they judged some boats out of the water. Mine was bouncing around in the water, so I probably got a point or two for that. But to the point, after the Judging, Terry Fiest said, “If you promise not to get mad at me, I’ll go judge your boat.” He did and he found a couple of bolts in the engine in backwards…Something I was glad to learn about.

    Reply
  10. Jim Staib

    Lucky 7 has a stocked cooler, maybe half a tank of fuel and she ran when I parked her. That’s good enough for me.
    Life is short, Go boating!

    Reply
  11. Michael A. Hill

    “As a Head Judge for four International ACBS Events, we want to recognize those boats and owners who commit much time and money to preserving or restoring their watercraft to the original article.”

    Really? I’m being serious here. I’ve never seen a show winning boat that looks anything like they “really” looked when they were new. Most of the production boats left the factory with maybe three or four coats of finish hurriedly sprayed on. Painted finishes sometimes looked like they were applied with a whisk broom.

    What we have now are highly restored, highly detailed modern conceptual representations of what these boats “might” have looked like new, if the manufacturer had gone to extrodinary measures of quality control; fit and finish. They are not original.

    Reply
    • Verne

      This is the original axe that George Washington used to chop down the cherry tree…………….but the handle had to be replaced because the original was broken and rotted and the head had to be remade because the original was too badly rusted.

      Reply
    • Doug P in the PNW

      Honoring the owners who spend time and money. Or in most cases just write a check. I am a great admirer of those who restore their own boats and of those owners who hold the person/company/restorer of their boat credited equally.

      Reply
  12. Verne

    I am VERY familiar with judging classic cars and I would think the same philosophies hold true with boats. If you strive for perfection in your restoration, then the only acknowledgement of that is an award at a judged show with judges who are very familiar with your type of boat. As far as the number of awards given, each boat should be judged against a score sheet – not against the other boats in the same class. Therefore, at a national show where there will certainly be a number of “excellent” boats, the awards should not be limited to a 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Platinum, Gold and Silver awards can be given to any and all boats that achieve the points to deserve the award. Once all the judging sheets are tabulated and the appropriate awards are determined, then the high score in each class can also be given a “Best in Class” award.
    The process becomes diluted when the organizers strive to award everyone for just coming and bringing a boat that show they “tried” to restore it. Some car venues give out Participation Awards. Those awards might as well just be put in the goodie bags that are given out when they arrive because they have nothing to do with the quality of the boat entered.
    In the case of truly UN-Restored boats that are preserved with only typical maintenance items replaced or rebuilt, those boats should never be point judged in a score sheet. This only invites cheating and subtle restoration to earn more points (which destroys original features). These boats should only be “Certified” as original. Typically a guideline is 75% of each area has to be deemed to be original. These boats are actually (or should be) the most prized boats of all because they become a standard (or benchmark) by which other restorations strive to duplicate in the quest for authenticity. Among those boats that meet the 75% criteria in all areas, there can be a “Best of” award as well.

    Reply
    • Paul H.

      I agree with this. Of the 5 boats that I have restored to Concours level, 4 have been “preserved” to the greatest extent possible and one was “restored” due the extent of prior deterioration. Preserved is so much more rare, authentic and unique in my opinion. Anyone can restore anything – even George Washington’s axe, but how many objects can truly be preserved or survivors? I much prefer preserved or survivor cars to restored as well.

      In my case, the boats had original engines, a couple with original wiring, 90%+ original planks, one with original bottom from 1948, one with original seating surfaces and original gas tanks, etc. These types of boats don’t lend themselves particularly well to being users, as modern expectations of reliability, performance and maintenance are a lot different than they were 60+ years ago.

      I agree on the comments here on varnish – I had many coats of hand rubbed varnish applied to my boats, though I was always (and remain) conflicted as to why this was necessary or encouraged when originals looked nothing like that. However, everything else was as close as I could come to as delivered because that’s what I wanted.

      Gluing planks is another concession to modern aesthetic preferences that is very commonly found. Owning and presenting preserved boats at a high level requires a lot of compromise, compromise which conflicts with several modem sensibilities.

      The discussion here about the format of an awards ceremony is removed from the question of whether or not minimum standards should be applied before a boat is even judged, and how many boats should be recognized. If such standards were applied, it may reduce the workload of the volunteer judges, the length of the awards ceremony and of course the number of awards. Just what are the awards intended to recognize, anyway? Sub-90 point boats? It becomes too diluted at that point. Verne, where do typical Concours level car shows draw the line, point wise, at recognizing cars?

      Reply
  13. Scott Dunsmoor

    The problem with multiple level awards might be a matter of the presentation. Name after name after name – even the head judge presenter at the AGM couldn’t keep track of Silver Gold Platinum. Call all the Silver winners up to the front – recognise them all at once – give them their award and our thanks. Then ask the Golds to come up (unless they are top boat in that category) same thing. Then name all the top boats and their score and recognise them individually – these are the real winners.
    Awards are great – but we have to keep our evenings with wives, guests, non-judge participants moving.
    One more small suggestion. During the round table presentation on Thursday it was suggested how important quick visual information was to our next generation of ACBS boaters. How hard is it to assign the responsibility of photographing one picture of every boat and flashing a picture of the boat on the overhead during the awards – at least as a minimum the top awards. There has to be some grandkids around that could do this for us in a heartbeat.

    Reply
    • Verne

      “The problem with multiple level awards might be a matter of the presentation. Name after name after name – even the head judge presenter at the AGM couldn’t keep track of Silver Gold Platinum. Call all the Silver winners up to the front – recognise them all at once – give them their award and our thanks.”

      The glory of an award is all in the presentation. After that, it just sits on a shelf at home and collects dust. Each winner needs to be recognized with his award.
      I agree with the idea of having a screen that shows each boat as the award is announced. People recognize the boats, but usually not the owner’s name.

      Reply
    • Bob Kays

      Scott, we do that at the Lake Hopatcong show. It takes time and effort, but it ads to the show and awards presentation. We haven’t needed the kids help yet!

      Reply
      • Natashia Kadimik

        I was the one who first put photos into the awards show presentation for Lake Hopatcong, starting when I was around 27. Not quite a kid, but certainly one of the youngest ones around. I got great feedback from many people at the awards dinner saying how much it added to the presentation.

        Reply
  14. Garry

    I find the comments from Jeff, Troy and Wilson excellent. But I also find that there are many others not in these guys class doing the judging.
    In the 90s when some judges were presented with documentation from the manufacturer they couldn’t and wouldn’t change their position. The backgrounds of the judges is highly diverse and makes for some interesting subjective positions. As a result I woud rather it be a get together and simply have fun boating.

    Reply
  15. Briant

    I gave up on the judging bit after the first boat show with our boat….there is no award for a boat that did not emerge from a factory yet was made by two young guys in a warehouse. There is no award for your boat having been launched onto a lake in 1930 and used only on that lake until 1998. There is no award for a person and boat that folks told the owner to burn, yet the owner did not cave into the pressure and loved and cared for the old boat. Yet, our boat is pretty well preserved and was cared for and loved. It also touched and was a part of many people’s lives within the local community. Preserving a boat and ensuring that wood boats continue to have a loved following, does not depend upon three guys telling you that you used a wrong type of screw, but rather, having people of all ages touch, smell, and ride in your boat will have some effect upon their lives. It may just revive a memory or it may spark a fire in a younger person that will want a wood boat, to enrich their family and lives with. While I can appreciate the amount of time and money it takes to win an award, frankly my efforts are spent presenting a piece of history, perhaps a bit rough around the edges, but which when I give rides at the local show, I can see the absolute thrill and joy on the faces of my passengers. The more people I share the experience with translates to more people keeping the history of not just our boat, but of wood boating in general, alive and well for the years ahead. Some stupid trophy sitting next to the others on a mantle is going to do squat to ensure that the sights and smells of a wood boat continue to infect people in the decades ahead.

    Reply
    • Paul H.

      There is no award, but there is a “reward” that you, the owner gets. That’s what’s important to the owner of such a craft. It cannot be qualified, scored or objectively measured. That’s why, presumably, you and others with venerable, usable and much-loved boats coddle and use them the best way you can. That’s why I love and use Kabot’s Habit (the most famous Sea Skiff in the world thanks to WB!) the way I do, without regard for points or awards. There is more than enough room in our hobby for boats that fall into the categories you describe, as there is room for those who wish to present boats as they originally were and have them judged accordingly.

      Why the antipathy? I don’t see owners of Concours boats reacting with antipathy to the legions of folks who just use their boats and don’t care about judging. You appear to ascribe to your own perspective a primacy that subjugates/denigrates the preferences of those who think differently about their personal hobby experiences than you do. Why do you even comment on judging, when it is obviously something that is of no importance to you?

      Reply
    • Tyson

      Briant, this is brilliant!!!! You couldn’t have said it better!

      “I can see the absolute thrill and joy on the faces of my passengers” Nail + head = SMASHED IT

      Reply
  16. Rick

    I was at one show where the club made up categories for their members to get awards, they also had a semi-professional restorer competing in the armature division. He won everything he was entered in while at the same time a newbie who did everything himself was not even recognized. I sent him a Coffee Varnish mug. Another of my complaints at that show which I will not name was when multiple deductions were taken for my boat which after the show I was told by the judge that his mistake they were correct. Even I knew it was correct because it is a well know make and model, and I know very little. After all this I go to the shows just to enjoy myself and don’t get judged anymore.

    Reply
  17. Bill Anderson

    Last week at Lake Geneva I wrote on my card,please don’t waste your vote, regardless of the boat,Im not going to the banquet and you must be present to win,so I have never won any thing there and that is fine but it seems they judge the owners character and not the boat,also I like to show on land to see the whole trailer and engine package,where as some just restore the top,,every body has an opinion ,if you can restore your boat,make your own trophy,,thanks Bill

    Reply
  18. Briant

    No Paul, the comments were and have been made that having a judged boat that wins an award, will somehow preserve the hobby of wood boating. I disagree with that. Having a visceral experience with a wood boat will have a better chance of having that person want to find, buy, restore, enjoy and cherish a wood boat. Having worked on both Barnwood and Kabot’s Habit, I am only saying that Kabot’s Habit has touched many more lives and has done far more to ensure that the hobby of wood boating grows and prospers well into the future. Barnwood is stunningly beautiful but it was the patina of KH that I experienced….you could hear and feel the history of the people and boat damn near come alive just by being in her presence. I got none of that from Barnwood.

    Reply
  19. Sean

    ACBS needs new members to survive into the future. If a big part of what the ACBS does is have boat shows… (and give awards at those shows); I find it absurd, and a little insulting, that a concept for division between “originality purists” who would receive judged awards for their fat wallet restorations and the rest of us “unwashed” who should be grateful that we don’t submit ourselves to the rigors of being judged should exist. (let alone spoken aloud). It’s about inclusivity not exclusivity.

    We all love our boats and are proud of them. Exclusive judging simply re-enforces an elitist attitude that original=better and that’s simply not true. To exclude the non-elite, non-original, just says “You’re not good enough” and that doesn’t win friends on the playground. We need to change what we judge.

    I’m sure this is the wrong crowd for this but….. The ACBS Mission statement says “Promote, further and encourage a love and enjoyment of all aspects of historic, antique and classic boating”. While originality is an important aspect, who says that it’s the yardstick for all classic boating? Why do I have to subscribe to making my classic boat more original than useable? Higher quality? No way! The greater sentiment is to promote, and enjoy classic boating in ALL its aspects. The trailer queens are a small % of those that show their boats and even smaller % of those that use their classic boats.
    Maybe there should be only one class for originality (based on the 100 point criteria) and other awards that reward aspects more inclusive of all members (with different criteria).

    Exclusivity at local clubs serves to scare away those that would show their old boats and become involved ACBS members. If local awards are offered, they must represent all aspects of classic boats & boating. Inclusivity is the key to attracting new members. Clayton & Tahoe can become the ACBS equivalent of the Pebble Beach Concourse.

    Reply
  20. Don Palmer

    Hey Mike Mayer, based on the photo, I recommend that you chill like the guy behind you! Get a grip man! : > )

    Reply
  21. Peter Mueller

    Sean,

    “Maybe there should be only one class for originality (based on the 100 point criteria)”

    In 2011 I won most original at the International show with a Willits sailing canoe. To this day I wonder if it fair to have only one class for originality. Having an original canoe was infinitely less complicated than having an original, just as an example, Ditchburn or Gar Wood. I think that the original category is a very important class of boats since originality only happens once in a boats life. The ACBS should do everything it can to encourage originality, and if that means multiple classes, that should be the case.

    JMHO

    Peter

    Reply
  22. tommyholm

    Hey, I love judges and judging – just check out the next Miss Universe pageant.
    Make note: not all judges at boat shows are perfect nor all knowledgeable. Perhaps we should have the “Best Judge” or “Most Original Judge” award added. Judging is an art with some voodoo science to support their conclusions.
    I also take exception to the misnomer that boats from the factory were not as “nice” as the boats are today at our boat shows. The manufacturers made “show boats” for the annual winter boat shows, e.g. the New York Boat Show. These issues were usually done by the most experienced true craftsman of the day – often those in R&D Departments. They looked much like those Tahoe winners.

    Reply
  23. Verne

    “Verne, where do typical Concours level car shows draw the line, point wise, at recognizing cars?”

    Paul, to answer your question, at most national shows the scoring is based on a 1000 point system. Every car starts with 1000 and then receives deducts where applicable. Whether the awards are Platinum, Gold, Silver or Gold, Silver, Bronze, the high level is usually 975-1000pts, mid level is 950-974pts and the 3rd rung is 925-949pts.
    Many venues also have standard deducts, such as 300pts for an incorrect engine. That’s a biggie.

    Reply
  24. Verne

    ” I find it absurd, and a little insulting, that a concept for division between “originality purists” who would receive judged awards for their fat wallet restorations and the rest of us “unwashed” who should be grateful that we don’t submit ourselves to the rigors of being judged should exist. (let alone spoken aloud). It’s about inclusivity not exclusivity.”

    Sean,
    That is exactly why most shows should have a Display Only (non-judged) class, so it is up to the owner if he wants his boat to be judged for an award or just be a part of the hobby gathering and have fun along with everyone else.
    The show promoters themselves have to decide if they want an elite show or if they want to adhere to the organization’s motto.

    Reply
  25. Tommyholm

    1000 point system would work in judging boats. Allows fine tuning for those in-between issues. I think it. And free calculators for judges named: Mike

    Reply
  26. Don Vogt

    I think it is desirable to have fully restored boats as a part of the hobby. Often, viewing them draws people into the hobby. The reality is that many top quality restorations cost more than the market value for the particular boat once completed. One way to induce people to do this is to give them recognition thru awards. Seems simple enough to me.

    Reply
  27. Tommyholm

    What Don said.
    And you don’t hear many regrets from the award winners. However, it is infamously reported that some do not agree with their point score. It is those that give a bad name to judging and awards. So if you ask to be judged , suck it up big boy.

    Reply
  28. Texx

    Last weekend I participated in a great event called The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. Part of a world wide gathering of over 50,000 riders with their classic and vintage styled motorcycles. Around 125 local riders participated in our city. I rode my vintage (cafe racer) styled 2016 Triumph Thruxton R 1200.

    The local riders showed up with a wide range of classic motorcycles, old British made bikes (like BSA, Norton, Triumph, Vincent), old European made bikes (like BMW, Ducati, CZ), Japanese classics from the early 60’s & 70’s (Honda, Kawasaki, etc) and many American made classics.

    The quality of the bikes ranged from original unrestored, to perfectly restored, to daily users – as well as newer modern vintage styled motorcycles like my Thruxton.

    The participants (and huge crowds of spectators) ranged from young hipsters, to old farts like me, originality purists, historians, and guys who just like to ride old bikes – all with a common interest of vintage motorcycles.

    It was a 100% inclusive group, everyone appreciated ALL the motorcycles that were there regardless of year, quality or brand. The purists didn’t look down their nose at the guy with the leaky old 1966 Triumph Bonneville, the Cafe Racer guys joined in to visit and appreciate the newer vintage styled bikes. If an old Ducati didn’t have the original exhaust pipe – nobody cared or criticized the owner behind his back. It was great!

    Throughout the day, all 125 motorcycles rode together as a group (in an organized, respectful manner) to different gathering points around the city where flocks of spectators joined in with the participants. We all dressed in “dapper” retro styled clothing and riding gear which was also great fun.

    And the best part, The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride raised 3.5 Million worldwide (26,000 USD in our city) for Prostate Cancer Research.

    The event was full of energy throughout the day, and just the fact that you were taking the time to participate and share that energy with your fellow participants for a good cause made you feel welcome. You didn’t have to show up on a 1000 point, $160,000.00 motorcycle to be recognized or be a valued part of the group. It was a fantastic experience for me, and certainly a breath of fresh air.

    Prior to attending the event (which I learned about on social media by the way), if I would have thought for a minute that it was going to be made up of a bunch of purists that were only interested perfectly “preserved” motorcycles that only came out of the garage twice a year for a show (for a tin cup), I would not have bothered attending. This was far from that.

    The classic boat hobby (and particularly ACBS HQ) should be paying attention to this example (or at least form an ad hoc committee to discuss this for the next 5 years).

    Texx

    Reply
  29. Derk Brill

    Classic boats, classic cars, classic bikes…I’m a retro guy. Great cause for a get together, and great post Texx!

    Reply

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