Warning, we are about to go all Hedda Hopper here. So, while Irma was ripping apart most of Florida, up in Racine, there was a bit of a storm going on in the judging dept of the event. Now, hold on, and this is all third party, but even if not completely accurate, brings up a touchy subject. Judging based on politics not just the boat. No names or boats will be used here.
And this is not a sourer grapes thing either, in fact its just kinda strange. Possibly. And no reflection on the ACBS or the local chapter that put on the event, which has been hailed as a major win and a tough show to follow up in Port Huron next year.
Okay, that’s all out of the way, now for the topic at hand. Personality/politics judging. Well, as we understand, there was a winner of a boat that was announced that was not even in the show, registered, or even at the show. The owner is said to be embarrassed as well. Show organziners upset, Top that off with a Platinum winning boat that was never really judged on paper according to some, and never announced. A slight to the owner? By the way, that just SUCKS, a trophy is fine, but being announced and called out amongst your pears is just as important. It’s your moment.
Now, this is not just at this event, we have seen this personally play out in Skaneateles NY, and on Lake Hopacong. Boats are winning because the owner is due, or the award is more about the person than the boat. There is an on going debate if its OK for a restorer who owns there boats to win? Is that fare? Bitter feelings and people frustrated. If its about the boat, fine, but emotion?
Yes judging is a topic that garners debate and feels petty, but the fact is, it is there for many who want feedback and strive for perfection and like competition. And is good for the culture because it pushes the envelope and can be fun. But if it becomes personal, it becomes cloudy and confusing. Why bother killing it on a boat if the boat looses to a boat not as good, but an owner that’s not won by the boat, but with a relationship with the judges. And by the way there are awards for those people. hell, that’s all I ever win. Not that this little story is going to help my chances… Ugh.. Which brings up another point and was also an issue at Racine. Too many awards, like a little league Soccer team. Way to many awards. Or was it? If there are a bazillion boats that all score 99.5 (how is that possible?) Okay, lets say that was the quality of boats, Okay, then you go back in and judge again. That did not happen at Racine, but does happen on lake Tahoe, which is by many considered the top judging event in the world for classic boats. So why not the ACBS International?
So there ya have it, all gossip, and hair dresser blabber, but in between all the crap is a point. If you are going to have a Judged event for classic boats, judge by the rules and be factual, the owners should only be judged by there horrible outfits! Hedda Hopper, good day!
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