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Cherubs at the Weymouth Dinghy Regatta

by Nick Pratt & Emma Pearson 11 Jul 2018 14:55 BST 7-8 July 2018
Cherubs at the Weymouth Dinghy Regatta 2018 © Richard White

Three Cherubs arrived early on Friday to a hot, sunny and sandy boat park at Castle Cove Sailing Club. On launching it was a nice 10 knots building to "cherub optimum" 15 knots as the sea breeze strengthened. Ourselves in Ronin; Andy and Jill in Usagi; and Paul and Ed in Marmite chased each other up and down the harbour for a couple of very civilised and highly enjoyable hours.

The evening was spent enjoying some nice wine and a brilliant sunset on the deck of the club whilst waiting for the traffic to die down before heading off to our accommodations.

Saturday dawned with not much wind but was due to build as the sea breeze filled in from the ever-reliable 230 degrees. Six Cherubs made it down to the beach before the hoards of local b sun worshipers arrived to occupy the rigging area (who could blame them)! We were set to start at 13:00 and the race officer got us away on time on a course that somewhat resembled a pin ball machine with lots of marks just about everywhere you could imagine. The Cherubs (Fast Handicap Fleet) did an Outer triangle, inner sausage, inner sausage arrangement which was supposed to limit the potential for mark-rounding pile-ups.

Fast Handicap was the third start in the sequence and along with our 6 cherubs there was also a merlin, a 505 a Musto Skiff and an RS200 as well as a selection of Scorpions.

After the first race you could clearly see who had more experience sailing Cherubs within a handicap fleet. Andy and Jill in particular navigated the funny angles very cleanly and managed to avoid any reach-offs with symmetricals. In places the reach was tight and therefore required T-foil off as well as both helm and crew on tight sheets to get to the wing or leeward mark, hoping for no puffs of air to blow you down onto the harbour wall. After three races, Andy and Jill and Paul and Ed were first and second respectively on the overall results, posting a good show from a non-mainstream boat.

On returning to shore we heard the good news of the football and sat back to await the hog roast provided by the club. The Cherubs tactically positioned themselves on the table closest to the roast and managed to get first in line to the hot hog rolls. The rest of the evening was spent enjoy the nice birthday cake for Jamie and a cheese platter provided by Mrs Wilkinson whilst drinking the majority of the bar dry.

On Sunday, once everyone had managed to get out of their beds, we were again greeted by very little wind but also without the promise of a good breeze later on. The RO postponed for an hour which turned out to be spot-on and enabled him to get three races in before the 15:00 cut-off time. The Shiny Beast decided enough-was enough for them after two late nights, cake, cheese, cider and a phenomenon known only as "The Curious Incident of the Sick in the Night-time" and Jamie and Joe started the long voyage home to the Midlands against the Silverstone traffic.

With the wind being a lot lighter than the day before all Cherubs struggled to get planing and therefore enough distance on the other handicap boats in order to beat them on corrected time. There was still some handicap related fun-and-games within the fleet including a brush with a 505 on the start leading to turns, a luffing match with the Merlin on the top reach leading to tacking with the kite up (Cherub approached from behind) and then a capsize at the bottom mark from Marmite after having the door closed on them by Ronin were there was "No Roooom!"... they ended up eighth on corrected after this.

Race 5: Ronin managed to break a tiller extension while avoiding a deep running Osprey in leaving them going 29er style on starboard tack until it could be Heath Robinson-ed with biscuit wrappers and electrical tape before the final race. It did make for some interesting reaches and manoeuvres while twin trapezing.

The last race of the series, still sunny with light-ish airs got underway without Chili who decided to call it a day after some kite problems. EJ on the other hand had the reverse fortune and seemed to be coming on leaps and bounds – continuing on up the learning curve and finishing not far behind the majority of the other Cherubs.

Andy and Jill managed to just do enough to hold onto their regatta winning streak, scoring 3 seconds on day two. Paul and Ed dropped to third overall due to Sam and Megan Pascoe in the red Merlin sneaking in three bullets. Again - Not a bad show for a non-mainstream class! On extracted Cherub results Emma and Nick ended up third (again).

Or next event is the nationals to be held at (hopefully) and equally sunny Pembrokeshire Yacht Club, South Wales (31st August to 2nd September) which is perfect for a late beach break. It also gives all UK Cherubs enough time to develop and test and new mods as well as any new crews to be fully trained up. If you are keen to get involved either for the nationals, other racing or just to come along to a social/blasting or jolly sailing session get in touch with the class association either on Facebook (UK-Cherub) or via the website:

Cherub Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubRRRRRRPts
13202Andrew PETERSJill PETERSQueen Mary SC111‑2227
33212Paul CROOTEEdward HIGHAMChew Valley Lake SC234‑84316
63217Nick PRATTEmma PEARSONWeston5665‑7628
83214David ChingHayley TrimPoole Yacht club(DNC)5568DNC38
93206Jay WILLIAMSONGuy JEWKESDraycote810‑1199844
102676Jamie PEARSONSuper CREWDraycote Water697(DNC)DNCDNC50

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