I’d like to add a few thoughts here if you folks would allow. It’s not even 5:30 AM on a Sunday morning as I write this, I’m only just barely awake and am trying to grapple with hearing about this matter for the first time.
I could not complete a stone for this year and as such, don’t have an entry but I take this competition very seriously as do you all. The USFG is a fantastic organization that has many volunteers and puts out a wonderfully produced newsletter every quarter. That is no easy feat to come up with all those stories, designs, how-to’s and so on. The annual competition is entered by people from throughout the world and is world-class in its professionalism and critiques.
They encourage new faceters by not even charging entry fees for the Novice and Pre Master classes and they go to great lengths to ensure fairness in judging, which requires one handler to anonymize all the stones and forward each group to outside judges. There are a lot of moving parts and I would ask that we give the organization a little time to come forward if in fact anything happened.
I understand that you are all justifiably anxious and answers are deserved but if these stones did go missing maybe there are leads they are trying to follow up on to track them down before an announcement is made? I don’t know what is really going on here but please give them some latitude. There is probably a lot happening behind the scenes to figure out exactly what happened.