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UK Cherub fleet at Rutland Sailing Club's Skiff Event

by Jamie Pearson 28 Mar 2022 17:33 BST 19-20 March 2022
The class boat is available to hire at Cherub events © UK Cherub class

Five fearless, flighty and in some cases, furry Cherubs arrived at Rutland from all points of the UK. A variety of colours graced the lawn of the club as we rigged up ready for the briefing.

With a low turnout of skiffs, the race officer took the decision to combine all four of the classes into one mass start! It suddenly dawned on us just how wide a B14 is.

Due to circumstances out of our control, it was decided discretion was the better half of valour, but two Cherubs still launched and sailed. Loco Perro was first into the pool with new owner Raif and stand in crew #1 Nathan. After a wobbly start they were off and the bastardised National 12 Big Issue reached terminal velocity (no T-foil in use here!).

The class boat, Antidote To Panel Games, or 'Aunti' was given a strong and robust shakedown with Oliver and Alberto; everything is now sorted for you non-Cherub lot to come and have a play!

The rest of the class decided to make themselves useful with a trolley moving service for the skiffs that decided they had seen enough from the race course.... especially with one of the 4000s where the crew may have broken some ribs.

Speaking of ribs, we were off to the local Wheatsheaf to devour their delicious menu and annoy the waitress. Needs must. She has now booked the same weekend on holiday next year.

Sunday dawned, cold, bright and not too windy (yet). We fuelled ourselves accordingly for the day ahead. Lots of coffee.

The wind was about 15knots from the North East, a large windward-leeward course was set for us with a generous start line length close to the shore of the 'not-really-an-island'.

A&E (piloted by Jonny and Alex) were up and foiling in the pre-start, Eleanor (Dave and James) were being cool cucumbers mingling in with the other fleets as Poppy (Jamie and Martyn) were trying to look professional sailing the first beat to find a good inhaul setting for the jib.

Loco Perro changed to stand in crew #2, Haden, so spent the pre-start acclimatising themselves to the boat, each other, the wind, and - most unhelpfully - the water.

Aunti was so under the radar, we don't know what she did, despite being painted in uranium orange.

Race 4

Eleanor led the Cherubs off the line but was soon in difficulty with all the dirty air off the other traffic. Poppy decided to tack looking for clear air instead of shifts, and a drag race between A&E, Poppy and Eleanor ensued. By the windward mark Poppy was some way off the next Cherub, so much so they were mid fleet in the B14s.

Sadly Alex on A&E found he was too sick to be sailing as he hadn't recovered from his chest infection a week earlier and called time on proceedings.

The run was strangely uneventful in Cherub terms as someone had put a water tower in the way! Much to Loco's annoyance as they had a hard round up to avoid the mass of concrete on a later lap.

Race 5

Eleanor's crew, James, decided his winter of self-indulgence had taken the better of him, or was it his decision to camp in his car? Loco's exploits in deep water diving were beginning to take their toll, but the good news was there was no 'big issue' on the big issue.

Aunti was struggling to find some height on the course: sounds like you chaps need a jib inhaul. It is a development class after all!

For Poppy they found their lay lines on the downwind were off resulting in a very deep run to the gate or some VERY tight reaches with the kite up. No worries as Jamie had installed an adjustable tack line meaning the depth of the kite could be adjusted to suit.

Race 6

Before the start the wind died making Martyn the crew on Poppy transition to the play pen and scrambling about to find a jib setting that suited as this winter has been rather windy. But not to worry as soon as the gun went off, the wind gods were appeased, and Martyn comically had to do a 3 meter hop, skip and jump to the back of the boat to be twin stringing off the back corner.

This paid dividends as Poppy cruised through the 4000 fleet who had lost all their momentum in the light wind, so were still accelerating out of first gear. Aunti was still proving that Oliver needs a long reach around to get going, only proving that VMG is king in those conditions. Thankfully Alberto seemed up for it.

Only one gybe stood in the way of Poppy and the gate/reach to the line. Until this point everything had been consistent. Sod's law and the powers-that-be upped the adrenaline levels as it almost all went wrong. Much to the joy of the trailing 4000s.

The wind at this point had dropped again to very nearly nothing. All got a bit boring across the fleets until, classically, the finish. Aunti hooked into some wind at the top mark and really closed the gap to Poppy. Steady 15 knot twin stringing ALL the way home. Lovely.

Overall Results:

PosBoatClassSail NoHelmCrewClubRatingR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts

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