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Cherub Nationals at New Quay Yacht Club

by William Lee 19 Jul 2005 08:41 BST 14-17 July 2005

This nationals, the first since the rule change to adopt bigger rigs, saw the best Cherub nationals turnout for many years. The form book looked like it might be thrown out of the window, as Andy Paterson - seemingly invincible in recent years with his daughter Alex in Shiny Beast (2676)- had a new crew, as did other major contender Gavin Sims in Mango Jam (2682). Racing up the rankings were Ben Brown and Daryl Wilkinson in Loco Perro (2685). Phil Alderson with newish crew Carol Low competed in their new boat Primal Scream (2686).

The sun shone all week and much fun was had by all cherub sailors and shore crew.


Race 1 - The late 3pm start allowed for a marathon boat measuring session, masterminded by Patrick Cunningham. The wind looked very light indeed. Not an isobar could be seen for miles around. By the start a gentle zephyr from the west had settled enough for the race officer to set the course and let the Moths away followed by the Cherubs. There was much foredeck crouching and hole-missing among the fleet as we crept to the top mark. First to hoist was Loco Perro followed by a big bunch. The run was about keeping the boats moving without pointing too high.

Loco Perro managed to be ahead at the end of the first lap and again at the end of the race (which is, after all, the important bit), but on the way was crossed by Primal Scream and Sweet Dreams before fighting her way back to win. Sweet Dreams was second with Primal Scream third. Extremely close finishes are evidenced by the first five boats all finishing within a minute.

Race 2 - The breeze had piped up a bit and some singling and twinning was seen at times. The lead changed between Shiny Beast and Mango Jam the whole way round with Shiny keeping it together until the end.

On Thursday night there was a welcome party in the clubhouse. Of special note was the local mackerel pate and the freshly caught Welsh Rarebit. Tasty!


Race 3 - The wind was up and down and shifty with Shiny Beast, Mango Jam and Aquamarina getting away from the pack and steadily increasing the gap throughout the race. Shiny finished ahead followed by Mango Jam and Aqua.

Race 4 - The wind settled but went lighter. A one lap race ended with Shiny ahead of Loco Perro and then Aqua.

Race 5 - Two laps of comfortable sitting-on-the-side stuff ended with Loco ahead of Shiny and then Mango.

Friday night was the AGM, followed by an incredibly late curry to welcome the antipodean contingent (more later).


Race 6 - A bit more wind resulted in occasional trapezing. Shiny Beast beat Loco Perro followed by Primal Scream.

Race 7 - Same. Shiny Beast beat Primal Scream followed by Loco Perro

Race 8 - Slightly more wind. Shiny Beast beat Mango Jam followed by Loco Perro

Saturday evening was dinner in the clubhouse hosted by the club. Terrific salads and an appropriately sized lasagne for 60 hungry sailors hit the spot perfectly.


'Twas the last day of the nationals / And all through the air / Not a molecule was stirring / Not even near the student caravan.

That's right - the sea was like a very big slightly wobbly mirror and we all got an early prize giving.

Keen readers will have noticed by now that Andy 'Bloodaxe' Paterson and Tom 'Fotoboat' Gruitt are this year's National Champions, claiming the coveted 'Simpson Trophy'. Andy is well on the way to becoming the most successful Cherub sailor of all time. Second place was in contention right up to the last race sailed. As runner up, Ben Brown and Daryl Wilkinon in Loco Perro won the 'Sheila Fleming Challenge Cup'. Third went to Gav and Nigel Sims in Mango Jam.

Further down the fleet two epic battles for supremacy were taking place: The first Bistro (numerous and successful design of the early 1990's) was, after a titanic battle, Dave Ching and Lara Gonzalez in Norwegian Blue. The Classic cherubs also enjoyed tight racing: Whaam! piloted by Kita Carpenter and Stuart Hopson with a little help from special guest star Twelve Foot Skiff Interdominions winning crew Brad Yabsley took this trophy in the end, which is a mounted photoblock of Cherub number 1 from 1951.

The first Student helm was Tom Kiddle in Kokopelli, winning a prize donated by Maldon District Council; a picture tastefully depicting an environmentally conscious message.

The 'Mason Trophy', a massive half model of a Bistro, was won convincingly by Ben Brown and Daryl Wilkinson in Loco Perro.

The 'Harwich Trophy', donated by Harwich Town SC, was awarded for the first old-rules boat was won by Will and Lucy Lee in AquaMarina.

The 'Silver Teapot', the original of which are lost in the mists of time, is awarded for thr first placed female. This went to Lucy Lee.

The Newcomers trophy is a mounted photo block of Cherubs racing in about 1955, and this year was won by Dave Ching and Lara Gonzalez.

The 'Silver Salver' is awarded to the most beautiful Cherub: Therapy (owned by Mark Grant) was the winner of this.

The closely related 'Phoenix', awarded for the best restoration, went to Suicide Blonde and Iain Christie.

Also awarded was the 'Davey', a miner's lamp given in recognition of the best nosedive of the week. Loco Perro was observed to fail to keep the mylar above the progrip and added this prize to their haul.

Sweet Dreams clocked up two solid positions in the races on the first day, but then accidentally had to return to work. For this stirling effort at throwing away a potentially good result the 'Didgeridont' (a labelled didgerido) was awarded.

The 'Ashes' (The burnt remains of a well known cherub of years gone by), awarded for the mightiest bit of boat destruction, went to Taking Liberties with Tim Noyce and Andy Lang for kindly helping the safety boat teams take their minds off their sunburn.

In all a great week was had by all 19 Cherubs, their sailors and support crews - Many thanks to the crack team of race and party organisers at New Quay Yacht Club. We'll be back!

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1Andrew Paterson2676611121118
2Ben Brown26851472123315
3Gavin Sims268219324354223
4William Lee26814233445525
5Phil Alderson268637819532432
6Robert Main26515557878845
7David Ching2837789568101053
8Bob Clements2664199610797755
9Iain Christie264411121291266662
10Matthew Grant265681946101911967
11Stuart Hopson25391010118912121070
12Tom Kiddle2622191111111911131187
13Andy Easton2669121319121114141995
14Tristan Kemp266326191919191919103
15Neil Cardno26741919101313131919106
16Andy Lang26431319131414191919111
17Neil Thomas264291919191919919113
18Stu Tinner26491919191915191919129
19Dave Roe26451919191919191919133

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