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Cherub class win Spitfire Premium Ale Concours dElegance

by Mark Jardine 6 Mar 2011 15:14 GMT 5 March 2011
David Townshend awards the Spitfire Premium Ale Concours d’Elegance trophy to Cherub sailor Simon Jones at the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show © Tom Gruitt / Yachts and Yachting

The 2011 Spitfire Premium Ale Concours d’Elegance award, sponsored by Shepherd Neame has been won the Cherub class. ‘Eleanor’ owned by Dean Relph and Simon Jones was the stand-out boat on display and impressed the judges most.

Eleanor’s crew Simon Jones said: “We were completely astounded when we were presented with the trophy on our stand. With so many great looking boats on show we were gob-smacked when ours was chosen as the Concours d’Elegance winner. We’re very pleased for the Cherub class – it really helps raise the profile and is great when we’re celebrating our 60th year.”

The Cherub ‘Eleanor’ was launched in August 2010, just before the national championships and achieved ninth place overall on her first outing. The winter months gave time to re-position and optimise fittings and Dean and Simon are looking forward to the 2011 season, starting with a training event at Queen Mary next weekend. The boat’s finish is a metallic pepper grey which they had sprayed at a local car body shop.

David Townshend of Shepherd Neame was highly impressed with overall standard: “It’s now our third year of sponsoring the Spitfire Premium Ale Concours d’Elegance award and I think the boats on show were the best I’ve seen. The varnish finish on the wooden boats was exceptional and some of the modern carbon boats are works of art. It was also great to see all the exhibitors enjoying a well-earned drink at the show party afterwards.”

Paul Bayliss, Show Manager at the RYA said, “It was great to see a modern boat win, joining the traditional winners of previous years and the icing on the cake for the class on their 60th anniversary.”

The judging panel was made up of David Townshend (Shepherd Neame), Paul Bayliss (RYA) and Mark Jardine ( The panel were highly impressed with the overall standard of boats and in the end had a short-list of five boats (Cherub, Fireball, International 14, International Moth & Solo) with which to choose a winner from.