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Cherubs at the Weymouth Regatta

by Cherub Class 23 Jul 2016 14:16 BST 9-10 July 2016

With big wind promised over the weekend 8 crews stood at the morning briefing nervously waiting to find out if we were to be out in the swell of Weymouth Bay or in the slightly windier but flat water sailing area of Portland Harbour. Big sigh's all round as it was announced we were to be in the harbour both days.

With the wind already gusting over 30 knots on the breakwater all set off for the start line. First to fall victim was Shiny with an unfortunate encounter with a submerged rock just after launching ending up with a two-piece centreboard. Team Marmite snapped a T terminal on the lowers whilst waiting for the start. Usagi wisely went in for their small sails after their main blew out of the track whilst a jib halyard issue caused Little Chilli to go in for their large set.

Race 1

The race officer set a large course making full use of the harbour with the windward mark tucked up by the National Sailing Centre. The Cherubs started cleanly and the fleet charging off to chase down the slower fleets. Marmite set off somewhat late after an on the water lower replacement with a length of dyneema. Marmite continued to struggle, the force 5 + not being the ideal conditions for a crew's first Cherub sail in over 6kts! The lovely new Green Banana show great speed up the 1st leg but prodder issues forced an early shower, (need some help with what others did here).

Race 2

The wind dropped a bit and despite the super steep learning curve Marmites crew stepped up and they took the win followed by Ronin and Usagi. Left up the beat was the way to go - if you could make it through the tack in the windiest corner.

Race 3

The wind built again and the asymmetric fleet thinned resulting in Cherubs being the majority on the start line! Usagi took the win thanks to others succumbing to the windy corner. Usagi cunningly triple gybed the run to avoid a death or glory layline gybe in the windiest part of the harbour. Some very capable boat handling was demonstrated by Little Chilli and Poppy with their big sails!

Saturday night saw the customary meal at the local Thai restaurant with the usual banter making a memorable evening.

Sunday dawned with some light drizzle but soon cleared up and the last 3 races were in Garda like big winds and sunshine. Again a large course was set this time on the Castle Cove side of the harbour.

Races 4 and 5 was hotly contested between Usagi, Marmite and Ronin. Usagi won both races showing the value of small sails with great upwind pace if a little vulnerable downwind. Ronin once they stopped making tea displayed some great boat handling to share a 2nd and a 3rd apeice with Marmite who had great pace but dropping back due to too many swims, (others please chip in).

Race 6

Marmite went in with a very tired but contented and converted crew leaving 3 hard core teams to battle it out in the final race. Ronin and Usagi paced each other closely around the course with Ronin proving Hobbits are faster than Rabbits - at least when it comes to windy kite drops. Passing Usagi at the 2nd leeward mark they held on to narrowly win, Usagi 2nd and EJ 3rd.

A great weekend of classic skiff sailing at a wonderful venue; it doesn't get much better!

Overall Results:

1st Usagi Yojimbo – Andrew and Jill Peters (Queen Mary SC)
2nd Ronin - Jonny and Alex Harris (Dee SC)
3rd Marmite – Paul Croote and Bennet Lloyd (CVLSC)
4th EJ - Jay Williamson and Sven Van Gough (Draycote SC)
5th Poppy – Roland Trim and Robin Jones (Thornbury YC)
6th Cool Beans – Dave Ching and Haley Trim (Poole YC)
7th Green Bananas – Nick Pratt and Ade White (HISC)

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