Yelling at spectators

I just got back from judging at the JCNA Bienniel. The site was
gorgeous (Stratton Mtn. resort) as were the cars. But a couple
of incidents during the day left me mildly troubled.

In one, I saw a family and a small child oggling an E-type after
the judging was over. The child (about 5 years old) was
leaning against the door, trying to get a better look inside
through the window. The owner, who was standing nearby talking
to someone else, turned and said in an annoyed tone “Folks,
please just look at the car, but don’t touch it or lean on it.”
The parents and child looked rather shocked and immediately walked
away. (The child was wearing a T-shirt and shorts – nothing that
would scratch paint.)

In the other, some people approached a member of a judging team
who was working on a car to ask where the other classes were displayed.
(Some of the cars were in a parking lot, others were in the Stratton
resort’s village courtyard). As the judge began to answer, the
head judge for his team yelled, “You’re in the middle of judging
this car, concentrate on that! We don’t have time to answer questions.”
The people were clearly shocked and upset and walked away. I saw
them later and spoke to them and they were still somewhat upset.

What troubles me about this is that when we put on a concours, one
of the functions of the event is to promote our interest to the
community at large. We are, judges and owners, effectively
ambassadors for the local club, JCNA and Jaguar Cars. In the short
time that I was there, I saw six people who may well have been
alienated from one or all of these because a couple of ambassadors
were so intent on their own concerns that they could not take an extra
moment to treat these spectators with respect and care.

It would have taken the owner just a few seconds more to walk over to
the family, greet them (they would have turned away from the car at
that point) and maybe ask the little boy if he would like to have
the door opened so he could get a better look inside.

If the head judge for the team had not jumped into the middle of the
other judge’s reply, it would have taken just seconds for the judge
point the people to the courtyard.

Although the concours season is starting to wind down, I would still plead
with all the participants to try to moderate the intensity of their
focus on the preparation and judging to the exclusion of the feelings
of the spectators. Try to remember that a concours is a car show –
the judges aren’t the only people there to look at the cars, and in
many ways the judges are among the least important of the spectators.
As one judge told me, “When you’re judging, you never really get to
see how beautiful these cars are.” It’s the spectators who look beyond
the minor imperfections and ooh and ahh over the cars – let’s all
do our best to make it a great experience for them.

Chip

Chip: you are SO right in your comments about the concours and treating
spectators with courtesy. Of course, I would be horrified to see
someone with potentially scratching clothes or bags leaning over my car,
but I hope that I would react as you suggest. I think one of the things
that turns even Jag owners “off” concours competition is this element of
total seriousness. There sometimes seems to be no room for fun. My story is
that after a recent repaint I have spent countless hours detailing my
Series III for the Vancouver JCNA concours this Saturday. Yesterday I
had it out on the highway; it looked spectacular as the appreciative looks
of other drivers told me (do NOT drive a Series III if you want to be
inconspicuous. In fact, no Jaguar is good for that), and it ran like a fine
Swiss watch. All of a sudden: CRAAAAAAACK!!! A stone hit the windshield.
There goes my “first in class” award! Tomorrow the windshield will be
replaced, but will they fit the seals properly? Will they fill that rust
prone channel fully with sealant? How long will it take me to clean up
the shop residue? Will there be scratches in my new paint? Could have been
worse, of course. It could have happened on the way TO the concours, or, it
could have been a fender bender.

                            Gregory Andrachuk,
                            82.5 xj6

Chip Weems wrote:

I just got back from judging at the JCNA Bienniel. The site was
gorgeous (Stratton Mtn. resort) as were the cars. But a couple
of incidents during the day left me mildly troubled.

In one, I saw a family and a small child oggling an E-type after
the judging was over. The child (about 5 years old) was
leaning against the door, trying to get a better look inside
through the window. The owner, who was standing nearby talking
to someone else, turned and said in an annoyed tone “Folks,
please just look at the car, but don’t touch it or lean on it.”
The parents and child looked rather shocked and immediately walked
away. (The child was wearing a T-shirt and shorts – nothing that
would scratch paint.)

In the other, some people approached a member of a judging team
who was working on a car to ask where the other classes were displayed.
(Some of the cars were in a parking lot, others were in the Stratton
resort’s village courtyard). As the judge began to answer, the
head judge for his team yelled, “You’re in the middle of judging
this car, concentrate on that! We don’t have time to answer questions.”
The people were clearly shocked and upset and walked away. I saw
them later and spoke to them and they were still somewhat upset.

What troubles me about this is that when we put on a concours, one
of the functions of the event is to promote our interest to the
community at large. We are, judges and owners, effectively
ambassadors for the local club, JCNA and Jaguar Cars. In the short
time that I was there, I saw six people who may well have been
alienated from one or all of these because a couple of ambassadors
were so intent on their own concerns that they could not take an extra
moment to treat these spectators with respect and care.

It would have taken the owner just a few seconds more to walk over to
the family, greet them (they would have turned away from the car at
that point) and maybe ask the little boy if he would like to have
the door opened so he could get a better look inside.

If the head judge for the team had not jumped into the middle of the
other judge’s reply, it would have taken just seconds for the judge
point the people to the courtyard.

Although the concours season is starting to wind down, I would still plead
with all the participants to try to moderate the intensity of their
focus on the preparation and judging to the exclusion of the feelings
of the spectators. Try to remember that a concours is a car show –
the judges aren’t the only people there to look at the cars, and in
many ways the judges are among the least important of the spectators.
As one judge told me, “When you’re judging, you never really get to
see how beautiful these cars are.” It’s the spectators who look beyond
the minor imperfections and ooh and ahh over the cars – let’s all
do our best to make it a great experience for them.

Chip

Chip,
At the awards dinner later, Tom Brownell ( editor of Hemmings and
Special Interest Cars) said, “everyone should encourage todays Nintendo
playing youth to take a look at our hobby, and better yet take the kids
for a ride”

Regards,

Wray

Chip Weems wrote:

In one, I saw a family and a small child oggling an E-type after
the judging was over. The child (about 5 years old) was
leaning against the door, trying to get a better look inside
through the window.
(The child was wearing a T-shirt and shorts – nothing that
would scratch paint.)

Sorry, Chip. Can’t side with you here as many of these people have
countless dollars more than the average Joe has into his finest China or
Hummel figurines. Besides, my daughter exhibited better sense at three,
and her parents enough sense to keep her at a safe distance prior to
three. The situation probably could have been handled better if the
parents picked the child up for a better view. But then again, most
parents these days… Well, I don’t need to go there.

In the other, some people approached a member of a judging team
who was working on a car to ask where the other classes were displayed.
(Some of the cars were in a parking lot, others were in the Stratton
resort’s village courtyard). As the judge began to answer, the
head judge for his team yelled, "You’re in the middle of judging
this car, concentrate on that!

This guy must have a barrel of fun trying to get VOLUNTEERS to work for
HIM! We should all try and remember that in the greater scope of things,
a concours event is for FUN of everyone (even though volunteering
doesn’t always feel that way).

SK (42 y/o with kid long past the touchy feely stage)
62 OTS (35 y/o under same roof for 7 years)
Previous 63 OTS (bought in '75 and owned for 15 years)

Dear Chip,

Great piece. I entirely agree. I have seen similar things in Australia.

Stephen----------

From: Chip Weems weems@cs.umass.edu
To: concours@jag-lovers.org
Subject: Yelling at spectators
Date: Tuesday, 12 August 1997 2:31

I just got back from judging at the JCNA Bienniel. The site was
gorgeous (Stratton Mtn. resort) as were the cars. But a couple
of incidents during the day left me mildly troubled.

In one, I saw a family and a small child oggling an E-type after
the judging was over. The child (about 5 years old) was
leaning against the door, trying to get a better look inside
through the window. The owner, who was standing nearby talking
to someone else, turned and said in an annoyed tone “Folks,
please just look at the car, but don’t touch it or lean on it.”
The parents and child looked rather shocked and immediately walked
away. (The child was wearing a T-shirt and shorts – nothing that
would scratch paint.)

In the other, some people approached a member of a judging team
who was working on a car to ask where the other classes were displayed.
(Some of the cars were in a parking lot, others were in the Stratton
resort’s village courtyard). As the judge began to answer, the
head judge for his team yelled, “You’re in the middle of judging
this car, concentrate on that! We don’t have time to answer questions.”
The people were clearly shocked and upset and walked away. I saw
them later and spoke to them and they were still somewhat upset.

What troubles me about this is that when we put on a concours, one
of the functions of the event is to promote our interest to the
community at large. We are, judges and owners, effectively
ambassadors for the local club, JCNA and Jaguar Cars. In the short
time that I was there, I saw six people who may well have been
alienated from one or all of these because a couple of ambassadors
were so intent on their own concerns that they could not take an extra
moment to treat these spectators with respect and care.

It would have taken the owner just a few seconds more to walk over to
the family, greet them (they would have turned away from the car at
that point) and maybe ask the little boy if he would like to have
the door opened so he could get a better look inside.

If the head judge for the team had not jumped into the middle of the
other judge’s reply, it would have taken just seconds for the judge
point the people to the courtyard.

Although the concours season is starting to wind down, I would still
plead
with all the participants to try to moderate the intensity of their
focus on the preparation and judging to the exclusion of the feelings
of the spectators. Try to remember that a concours is a car show –
the judges aren’t the only people there to look at the cars, and in
many ways the judges are among the least important of the spectators.
As one judge told me, “When you’re judging, you never really get to
see how beautiful these cars are.” It’s the spectators who look beyond
the minor imperfections and ooh and ahh over the cars – let’s all
do our best to make it a great experience for them.

Chip

Sounds like there was enough fault to spread around to all involved.
Parents, judges, and owner all could have exhibited better sense.

Chip how was the rest of the show? How many cars and what did you think
of the quality? Any feel for the qualifications of the judges? Were the
judging teams designated before the day of the show?

Dick Cavicke

Chip how was the rest of the show? How many cars and what did you think
of the quality? Any feel for the qualifications of the judges? Were the
judging teams designated before the day of the show?

There were 147 cars preregistered. I believe every class was represented.

I judged interiors on six cars – small sedans, and SI and SII XJs.
In my view, only one of the XJs was very well prepared and authentic.
Four of the others were reasonably clean, and one needed a lot of
work. Authenticity varied from good to “probably should have been in
class 16”.

The cars I didn’t judge looked much better :slight_smile: There was one XK-8
entered that had just been picked up in New Jersey and trailered to
the show. It had 4 miles on the odometer. I gave it a cursory
once-over and noted that the engine compartment was a bit dusty.
There were quite a few XKs and Es, although XJs dominated
the count as one would expect. The site was unusual in that Stratton
Resort has its own little European-style village with a clock
tower, cobblestone courtyard and street. The street runs under the clock
tower into the courtyard. The XKs, MKs, Es and classics were parked
in the courtyard and along the street. The effect was very nice,
in that as you walked along more cars kept coming into view. Each
car had its own little area where you could see it individually. Only in
the parking lot in front of the lodge, where the XJs were all lined
up, did you get the “rows of cars” effect.

The judges seemed well qualified. They came from all over the country
and Gary Hagopian did a very good job of selecting team chief judges
who knew their classes. The rest of the judges all had prior experience
as far as I could tell. Last year, Gary ran a series of tech sessions
for JANE and JASNE on judging, in order to train a new crop of judges
and try them out at the club concours. Gary had all of the teams assigned
well in advance. Through a miscommunication, he hadn’t preassigned me to a
team, but I was substituted for a judge who couldn’t make it. I was
the only such last-minute change. Gary also held a good briefing
for the judges the morning of the concours. Each chief judge was
given a copy of the new concours rules, and a walkie-talkie. Everybody
was given a clipboard and a hat. Gary also split up the judging form
into five separate sheets (exterior, interior, boot, engine, mechanical)
and placed them in envelopes given to each entrant. Runners were
responsible for collecting the completed forms and returning them
to the computer room. One team member of each team was assigned to
keep time and provide five and one minute warnings.

A number of judges had cars in the show, and the teams had been carefully
assigned to avoid conflicts. Judge’s entries were done first to avoid
having to call judges away from their teams in the middle of judging.

Overall, the concours went very smoothly thanks to excellent preparation
by Gary and his helpers. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for the awards
dinner, so somebody else will have to post the results.

Chip

Chip, thanks for the details.

I would certainly agree that Gary had things well planned and organized.
I have asked him for comments in a separate posting and hope he will
respond after he closes out his event paper work.

Interesting that there were so many XJs entered. Here in San Diego,
we’ve not been seeing more than one or two cars per class in 10 thru 13
for the past few years. As a result, last year I recommended to the AGM
that the Series I, II and II XJs be combined into one class. The
recommendation didn’t pass. Obviously, some areas of the country
(including the North East) are getting a larger XJ turn-out.

Dick Cavicke