Joker Challenge?

Cian

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27 Jan 2021
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Hello folks,

Covid caught me out this summer and I was unable to take part in the Baltimore Challenge as hoped. Not to worry though; all going well I'll make 2023!

Planning for these challenges has got me thinking about the boat length requirements. I understand the idea of promoting an event that focuses on self-reliance and good seamanship ahead of ever bigger boats, expensive equipment and faster times; basically excluding all but the very wealthy or sponsored.

At the same time, I wonder if enforcing the 30' limit is, in it's own way, more exclusionary than the spirit of the Jester Challenge initially intended.

My own boat is 32' (well, 31' 1/2!). She's a compromise between having space for a family sailing together while still being manageable on my own. I'd love to participate in the Jester Challenge because I admire the ethos of the event: the idea of taking on a challenge and relying on yourself to achieve it. I think I could engage with the spirit of a Jester event but, obviously, the size of my boat officially precludes me from doing so.

I'm full of admiration for the sailors who make long voyages in small boats and I recognise that in doing so they're achieving something special. In that regard, I think the Jester performs admirably.

But my humble suggestion is that perhaps the event could evolve and include another category that would open an opportunity for those in sightly larger boats, say up to 35', to take part. I believe a poster in a previous thread even suggest a name - the Joker Challenge.

Perhaps I'm completely in the wrong and missing the point entirely. If I am, feel free to tell me. You might convince we one way or the other!
 

Gargleblaster

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The 20 to 30 feet rule is more a guideline than a rule. After all the Jester Challenge has no rules. A number of boats over 30 feet have been entered in various events. This years Jester Azores Challenge was one by Christian Gallot in his Sea Breeze 31 Kalevala (not sure of spelling). In 2018 the only 2 boats to finish in Newport were both 34 feet, Vancouver 34 and Rival 34. Those who enter and finish in boats over 30 feet are in no way excluded but may be subject to snide comments particularly from competitors who don't finish.
 

Poey50

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I've got a 32 footer that I'm preparing partly - maybe - with the Jester in mind. I also agree that rather than dilute the 30 foot limit another category would be better for those just a bit bigger. My suggestion - Just a bit bigger => Jester Bitbigger.

I'll see myself out ...
 

Poey50

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I have grumbled for some years about the 30 foot rule as I am 33 foot in old money. Perhaps the Jester Bitbigger class should set off an hour after the Jester?
I'm not totally familiar with handicapping systems but an hour sounds fair enough to me.
 

Poey50

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It is NOT a race.

A pox on those who wish to make it so....
Uh ... it was a joke. I thought the ridiculous idea that an extra hour might be a fair handicap over multiple days would be the giveaway! :)

It's alway a bit perilous trying dry humour online - my own fault. Anyway, for the avoidance of doubt, I get the non-racing ethos and totally support it.
 
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zoidberg

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I have quite enuff handicaps as it is without you adding any more, youngster!

;)
 

Gargleblaster

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Race or not the first boat over the line gets special recognition from the remaining competitors. Christian Gallot in his Sea Breeze 31 received a special presentation this year as first over the finish line.
 

zoidberg

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I'm reminded of the 'Number One Mark Orr Racing Rules'......

"We start HERE in the club bar, all together.
We go THERE.
The FIRST to arrive goes into the bar and buys himself a pint.
The SECOND to arrive goes into the bar, and buys two pints; one for himself, and one for the FIRST to arrive.
The THIRD to arrive goes into the bar, and buys three pints, one for himself, and one each for the FIRST and the SECOND.
The FOURTH to arrive goes into the bar, and....."
 
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pandos

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It has been said that whenever two or more yachts are going vaguly in the same direction they are racing.....

I agree with the idea of a bit bigger....

Mine is 34 feet and some change...I was accepted by Ewan for the Azores and was assured that there are in fact no snide remarks aimed at bigger boat owners...

Perhaps what is truly not broken needs no repair...
 

Sandy

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It has been said that whenever two or more yachts are going vaguly in the same direction they are racing.....
Not if I'm one of the boats! I have zero interest in racing, although being a Scot and reading @zoidberg 's description of what happens at the bar that might encourage me to consider VMG.

There is some history behind my disinterest in racing:
  • My first club race where the skipper bawled at the crew for three hours. I never sailed on a racing boat since that day.
  • A passage from the Exe to Falmouth with an ex-racing skipper, Fastnet - that sort of thing, who spent every eight nanoseconds tweaking sails. The only time I have considered leaving a boat and getting the train home.
 

zoidberg

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I have a feeling that, with two or more Scottinese in a race under the Number One Mark Orr Offshore Racing Rule, the Aib'rdonian would be 'sandbagging' to get there some time after the pub shuts.

One notices that in the lists of Jester challengers', those with boats OVER 30' have asterisks appended to their names. The inference is that those well-heeled types should 'get them in again' twice....
 

pandos

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For the record, I have no interest in racing either, although I enjoyed crewing on a racing boat for a few years.

My particular source of joy being to keep the main on that little bit too long...as the helm screamed spill..spill.and thereafter he would apologize for shouting.😁😁

That custom in the bar sounds good.

Those with asterics may have spent all of their cash on the boat..😟
 

zoidberg

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Those with asterics may have spent all of their cash on the boat..😟
I've heard that in a couple of Yorkshire clubhouses, too. The answer is 'You poor ould bugr. Let me get you an orange juice.....'
 
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