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Classes of boat in The Jester Challenge

Is brendan wrong by telling everyone that he is ignoring me

  • yes

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  • no

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CPD

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20 Sep 2006
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Damo, please accept my sincere apologies for the possible apparent hijacking of your post, but I think there is a wider question here which merits a post of its own.

I for one would have no issue at all with larger boats entering (The Jester).

An idea would be to have classes based on LOA and nothing else to keep it really simple. Maybe 20-30ft and 30-34ft. There are hundreds of sailors I am sure with boats in the 30-34ft ballpark which are sailed both singlehandedly but also used as family boats. Surely it is the challenge, the singlehanding, self reliance and red-tape-free aspect which is important, and not the race which would almost certainly be won by larger boats if the current system were not changed. I would also propose possibly a TC (True Corinthian) class for those meeting certain criteria (perhaps engineless, gps less etc etc). I would suggest a final cut off at 34, 35 or 36ft. I know that there are entrants for 2008/2010 with LOA greater than 30ft and that there are I am sure ways already planned to process these applicants, but I would be interested in our opinions.

So there you go, 20-30ft, 30-34ft and TC class. What do you think ?
 

CPD

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20 Sep 2006
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Im not suggesting anything is broken, far from it. I think it is an excellent concept that could be widened a little. I would be happy to help organise it.
 

Saddletramp

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11 Jul 2007
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Nothing to stop anyone turning up on the day and sailing. That's the joy of no rules.

It is all relative, my boat is 26 feet but i do not stand a chance against a lot of smaller boats. If there is a class for beamy boats that go sideways almost as well as they go forwards then that's the one for me.

I with Groucho Marx I don't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Isn't the creation of classes and the division of the fleet into those classes an example of imposing a rule ?

It also concerns me that the creation of classes begins to place a greater emphasis on the issue of 'who wins', and whether their coming in first is fair or not vis-a-vis the rest of the fleet.

Does it really matter who 'wins' ? If the event is truly about self-reliance and seamanship, then the challenge is very much an individual one - regardless of the size of boat a person sails or their placing on arrival.

What you're suggesting could become the thin end of a divisive wedge: should someone who has access to weather faxes be treated equally to a person who relies soley upon a barometer and one eye on the sky (?) - and so on ...

One way around the size issue (which I would suggest be a matter of LWL, not LOA), would be to have a gentleman's agreement to self-impose a suitable handicap, and for this to be realised in the form of a staggered start.

My guess is that the skippers of bigger boats would be only too happy to delay their departure by a few days if it equalises the relative speeds within the fleet. Boat-size and any other performance-enhancing feature would then becomes a matter of conscience and good sportsmanship - but please - no rules ...

Colin
 

Noddy

Member
Joined
22 Jun 2005
Messages
621
Location
Thames Estuary
Stop it with the rules already!

My understanding is that some of the original characters have had a hand in formulating the Jester Challenge. Thats enough for now.

The thing is not without roots and purpose - leave it alone!
 

andlauer

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15 Mar 2007
Messages
310
Location
Paris France
Bonjour

Don't act as Shadocks (French TV 70's 3mn cartoons). My "signature" is one of there reference say. For the (poor) non French speaking I translate it : "Why doing simple while you may do complicated !"

Jester Challenge is simple and effcient. Let it as it is.

Nobody will care if you leave Plymouth at the same date and same time with a bigger boat....

It's a race where the order of arrival has no importance. Take it as it is.
Eric (The first to arrive a Jester Challenge race)
/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 

bumblefish

Active member
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22 Dec 2002
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Brighton
I prefer mine 'La simplicité est la base de toute bonne conception!' or as Ellen says 'a donf'! It is for 'fun' No rules or classes!
 

damo

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22 Feb 2005
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k keeper,Portishead
"One way around the size issue (which I would suggest be a matter of LWL, not LOA)"

Well here I come then - 26' LWL, and an Angus Primrose design... /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

JunkMing

New member
Joined
12 Mar 2007
Messages
39
The idea of creating 'classes' within the Jester Challenge is perfectly rational, makes eminent common sense, and is therefore to be resisted at all costs! Over time, it was the accretion of minor common-sensical changes and 'improvements' to the original OSTAR that led to the absurd, not to say disgraceful, situation where Jester was effectively banned from her own race. I'm sure that if you looked back at each individual stage in that process it would be difficult to fault the logic behind them. However the end result, as is so often the case once we let our habit of tinkering and titivating get the better of us, was an almost complete negation of the original idea behind the OSTAR. Creeping regulation is the enemy of the pure and noble concept!

The great strength of the Jester Challenge is the absence of rules or structures. It therefore doesn't really exist! It is little more than a figment of our imaginations. It is indefinable. Each individual can therefore make of it what he or she wants. If I could be allowed a short commercial break, I make this point at more length in an article posted on my new and very basic website

www.thesimplesailor.com

This piece (to be found on the Articles page) was written at sea during last year's Jester Challenge.

As we know, the maximum 30 feet LOA 'rule' has very little purchase. If someone wants to come along in an Open 40 and gain pleasure and dubious kudos from beating the bejaysus out of us, well, good luck to him or her. The minimum 20 foot rule - no doubt put there to ensure for all time that Mingming is the smallest and slowest in the fleet and therefore has no chance of ever being more than last - has yet to be properly tested. Having done many thousands of ocean miles in a 19 footer I personally wouldn't be too worried about a properly presented under-20 footer.However, as always, that would be up to the majority of skippers to pronounce on.

It's very helpful and interesting to be having this sort of debate so early on in the life of the Jester Challenge. No doubt it will reappear regularly in different guises. My own view is that it is absolutely essential to retain the Jester Challenge in as pure, untramelled and indefinable a form as possible. Only that way will it survive as a fabulous and enigmatic non-event.

Roger
 

Fascadale

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15 Jan 2007
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One end of the A1
For what its worth and coming from a potential jester

I like the JC because as Noddy says it has roots
I like it because as Eric says it is simple
I like it because it has (almost) no rules

I also like it because it is not a real race. If I do take up the JC10 challenge then I really won't care if somebody in a boat a few feet longer than mine manages a c3000 mile crossing a bit quicker than me.

Again as Eric says " It's a race where the order of arrival has no importance".

So, if Damo wants to turn up in a nice old boat at the same time and place as I turn up in my nice old boat and then take up the same challenge to take an ocean alone then hopefully to arrive at the same destination as me then good on him.

Hopefully the lack of competion and the lack of prizes will preserve the character of the event. Whilst I don't mind a slightly bigger boat turning up I would not want to see any high tec, sponsor bedecked, "competitors".

Good sailing

Paul
 

Fascadale

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15 Jan 2007
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Hi Roger

I posted the above without having seen what you had written.

I completely agree with you.

I particularly liked "it is absolutely essential to retain the Jester Challenge in as pure, untramelled and indefinable a form as possible. Only that way will it survive as a fabulous and enigmatic non-event."

Cheers

Paul
 

Twisterowner

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23 Jul 2005
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6,876
The thing is, if it isn't a race what is the point of it?

If you just want to sail across the Atlantic singlehanded, just get in your boat and do it! No fuss, no publicity, no organisation, no qualifying, no Jester Forum. No one need even know you've gone if you don't wish them to. That's real freedom.
 

Fascadale

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Interesting point

I suppose the same thing could be said to all those thousands of participants in major marathons. Of the thousands of runners only ten or so have a chance of winning. People seem to enjoy participating with others in a common purpose. I did. Something to do with cameraderie, I suppose too that having an event as a goal gives a focus.

Or it might just be the herd instinct

It would be interesting to hear what others think
 

PacketRat

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20 May 2007
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Merseyside
Jester can't have an organiser or rules. Everything has to be the responsibility of the individual skipper.

As soon as you have a rule, then someone is open to being held liable in the event of an accident.
 

Twisterowner

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23 Jul 2005
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Yes but in a marathon you will see other participants and the cheering crowds, also you might achieve that greatest of modern triumphs - appearing on telly.

How many people would take part in, say, the London Marathon if no-one came to watch, there was no publicity , they had no chance of being placed and wouldn't see another runner from start to finish?
 

bumblefish

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22 Dec 2002
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Brighton
On the rare occasions I play golf there is no crowd, no television and I seldom see my playing partners between leaving the tee and reaching the green, I still go and play. /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 

Twisterowner

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OK, OK. Fairy nuff.

I should have thought of golf, especially as SWMBO is a golfer. It's an activity even more illogical than sailing alone across the Atlantic!
 

Noddy

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22 Jun 2005
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Thames Estuary
I like the camaraderie explanation: I guess most of us have wanted to do something like this for some years. But I have never really met anyone else who could see the point.

For me the Jester Challenge has made me realise that I am not alone in my desire to be alone! (I enjoyed that).

Also the Rules thing is doing the Marmite thing again. The opening thread on this forum turned into a boring but passionate squabble over health and safety legislation.

Strong feelings about this - Poor old CentaurPipedream brought it all to the surface again. Never mind chum! Don't feel bad - these people are nutters - ask anybody. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 
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