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Cherub Open at Itchenor Sailing Club

by Oliver Goolden 25 Sep 2021 10:24 BST
Cherubs at Itchenor © Andrew Penman

For the first Cherub open meeting held at Itchenor SC, Usagi, Nautilus, King Tubby and Eleanor made the trip to down to join four International 14s for some close racing in Chichester Harbour in the Autumn sun.

Saturday morning began with rigging, which was somewhat higher stakes than usual as any blocks or shackles dropped while on Itchenor's wooden staging risk disappearing through the gaps into the mud below! Despite this, all boats launched on time and a special mention is given to King Tubby and Nautilus which had correctly rigged kites, an improvement on their rigging attempt at the previous Cherub open at Filey.

The four Cherubs and four i14s sailed downwind west out of the moorings from Itchenor to the race area past Thorney Channel, through a busy mix of keelboats and dinghies who were also out in the harbour enjoying the good weather.

Racing began with a shared start line of Cherubs and i14s, which went smoothly until only moments after the start horn sounded when Usagi was squashed into a capsize, forcing the other boats round her to take a detour around the carnage. Nautilus was clear from the chaos so was free to take the lead. Team Eleanor had slight navigational issues during their first lap after mistaking one big blue committee boat for another big blue committee boat, which allowed Nautilus to stay in front until the last mark rounding of the race where Usagi sailed past to take the race win.

Each Cherub lead a race at some point on Saturday, in wind that nicely varied from light and shifty to entertaining and powered up. The back-to-back races were well organised by Itchenor SC, who decided after the fun of first start that having separate fleet starts was preferable. International 14s were interesting boats to race with Cherubs; In the light to medium wind on Saturday the i14s had significantly more boat speed upwind, however were similar speed to the Cherubs downwind.

After racing was finished all the boats began the sail back upwind to Itchenor, which became increasingly entertaining the further up the channel we got, as the tide got faster, the wind dropped off and the density of moorings increased. All sailors were glad to be back at the club after the technical sail in. Beer definitely needed.

Traditional Cherub class dinner of curry was served in the evening, but not before the sailors had endured piano playing from the crew of Nautilus.

After crew changes for Nautilus and Eleanor, all four Cherubs launched again on Sunday. Forecast for day two looked light, and even more of the entertaining short tacking against the tide through moorings was between us and the racecourse. Thankfully Itchenor's RIB towed all the Cherubs to the start line, where the wind magically arrived, and eventually built to more wind than the previous day. The new wind direction meant a longer course could be set, which all four boats enjoyed for another three races. Sunday was another day of close racing, with team Eleanor finding their pace and winning the last race.

After the pleasant downwind sail back to Itchenor, a relaxed prize-giving was held where the crews of all four boats won mugs. Thank you to Itchenor SC for their high-quality race management and welcoming atmosphere, and well done to Andy and Jill in Usagi for winning the event.

The next Cherub open is 23rd-24th October 2021 at Rutland Water, see you there!

Overall Results:

PosBoatSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stUsagi Yojimbo 3202Andrew PetersJill PetersQueen Mary SC‑11111‑24
2ndEleanor3208Dave ChingSimon Jones / James HughesPoole Yacht Club‑4‑222217
3rdNautilus Pompilius2680Chris Haslam / Oliver GooldenOliver Goolden / Will SymondsCovenham SC2‑3‑333311
4thKing Tubby2650Martyn DenchfieldJay WilliamsonStaunton Harold SC3‑4‑444415

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