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Cherubs at Rutland Sailing Club's Skiff Event

by Jonny Harris 29 Mar 14:43 GMT 23-24 March 2019
Prizewinners in the Cherub fleet at Rutland's Skiff Event © Tim Olin / www.olinphoto.co.uk

For the first time that I know and ever recollect an even amount of 97 rules and 05 rules Cherubs rigged up at Rutland SC to what looked like a beautiful 8-10 knots breeze on an almost criminally early morning after travelling the sun was shining and spirits high. It was exciting to see some new faces and nice to see some old faces/boats back on the water. We were part of a multi-class skiff event that was admiringly efficiently run by the sailing club, race officer and his team.

Sailing down to the race area realising that the wind was a little lighter than originally thought but still enough to race, Bouy was It close. Every one hit the line almost at the same time maybe not at warp speed but still close racing all the way up to the windward mark, the 97 rules pushing the other three more modern Cherubs round. Usagi taking the lead early on with a non foiling A&E snapping at their heals and Poppy close behind with the new skipper Jamie.

With kites up and Usagi stretching her legs little and Poppy making light work of getting past A&E the fleet set off downwind for the first time. Another lap with Poppy chasing Usagi and Robin at the dangerous end of Flying Kipper hunting down and managing to pass A&E down wind and making the pass stick. Martin in King Tubby observes this and follows suit leaving A&E in their wake.

Race two starts the same, another clear start and a great start from the 97 rules boats and a great fight all the way to the top mark. The wind had picked up ever so slightly Poppy and Usagi were almost twin wiring upwind but A&E unable to foil and being push hard by Flying Kipper and King Tubby. Round the windward mark first was Usagi with a comfortable lead. A&E managing to get some flight time even if it was a such crazy angles letting Poppy and Flying Kipper put them under pressure, until poppy managed to find a massive hole to sail in to and let Flying Kipper and King Tubby past and A&E a little berating room.

While waiting for race 3 the wind was slowly deciding that it had had enough and dropping more and more. Flying Kipper dropping back a little after the line tacked off as every one else smashed the left hand side towards the middle of the lake. Little did we know how much Robin had been paying attention between races to the small breaths of wind filling in from the right, as some of the rest of us played tunes off the rigging. As we all sailed on in to the doldrums and to our ignorance watching Flying Kipper in what felt like ten times more wind than the rest of us and to our dismay a lift too, clearly must have been cheating, they went on to do as what can only described as a horizon job finishing over a leg ahead. Usagi followed closely by King Tubby.

Poppy and A&E were sat struggling to get round the first mark as the Flying Kipper looking to lap, must have had the cheesiest of grins much like the Cheshire Cat. Poppy made it round leaving A&E to what felt was sailing backwards. Fortunately it was only a short race, well it was for Robin and Oliver aboard Flying Kipper. Less so for Poppy and A&E, on the last leg (when finally getting there) was close depending on who got the gusts fist, until a safety boat came and informed A&E that they had missed out the spreader mark and told that the race committee "had all grown beards while watching us race" offers us a last place and a tow back. Which was interesting getting towed on the foils: much harder than originally thought.

That evening was spent measuring sails in the wet bar of the club and then the famous walk to the Wheatsheaf. Unfortunately the regular of ribs and steak was off the menu, but we all managed without.

Day two promised more wind and more great racing. The blast to the race area was off the grassy rigging area, kite up and we were all off. Grins all round showing the other fleets why the Cherubs are such amazing boats. Off the start all six boats were close all on the wire and charging after the B14s. Usagi starting off just like day one with an early lead and Poppy just below showing some great up wind speed. A&E trying to keep up and keep off the closely fought battle for the three 97 rules boats.

It was epic to see Comfortably Numb back on the water showing her speed. As the wind started to fill in slightly A&E was getting more and more flight time as the race went on. it all came down to the last downwind leg and the last gybe. A foiling A&E manage to pull off a foiling gybe then flying to the line until getting a powerboat parked in front of them and the wash from the engine finished in a big splash and a capsize leaving it open to Usagi to retain their lead and win the race.

Last race of the weekend looked promising now cooking on about 12-15knts. A watch-less A&E decided to go for a port flier but with only five other boats to battle pulled it off to a row of cheers as she foiled in front of the fleet on port. With the optimum wind for foiling she was gone passing some of the B14s by the windward mark even with them having a three minute head start. Usagi lead the others. With a capsize from Poppy on the kite drop leaving the gate open for Flying Kipper and King Tubby.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoClubHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st3202Queen MaryPeters AndrewPeters Andrew11‑2125
2nd2659Covenham SCJones RobinGoolden Oliver321‑439
3rd3215Dee SCO'Connor JonnyWright Andrew‑5352111
4th2650Staunton Harold SCDenchfield MartinClarke Martyn443‑5415
5th3216Draycote/PoolePearson JamieRuddiman James2(DNC)43RET16
6th2648WYCLeeuwen ShaneSchacteiz Spencer(RET)RETDNC6RET27

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