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Cherub Inland Championship at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Dave Ching 10 May 06:05 BST 27-28 April 2024
Cherub Inlands at Grafham Water © Nigel Denchfield

Inlands, it doesn't seem that long since the last one! With some of the fleet busy strapping planks to their feet to fall down a mountain and others in sunnier climes seemingly spending a lot of their time swimming away from the nearest bar, some hardy souls arrived at Grafham Water Sailing Club.

Grafham had the honour of seeing A&E for her first outing in her new water-hugging form after the class decided to end the foiling trial of the last 9 years. She showed good speed out of the blocks with no real issues considering her major reconfiguration, just the usual teething issue of a new boat with new rope and fittings, all races completed. The real question is; how fast will she be by the Nationals?

With the forecast looking light for the second day four races were planned. All four races were close in the shifty conditions.

Race 1

Poppy in classic style was late to the line after deciding to sail the first beat to find any snakes or ladders. They just managed to sneak behind the line and accelerate on port by the pin as the rest of the fleet left on starboard with the fleet split, Poppy tacked on to starboard and decided to be nice and take the transoms of A&E and Eleanor, which proved disastrous as she dropped from 2nd to 4th on the next tack. A&E quickly realised a few rig and control system adjustments were needed to keep pace with the top tuned boats. Marmite meanwhile was slowly extending their lead with the new light crew being ideal for the conditions.

Race 2

Eleanor started well but found that her foil system seemed to have stuck on the 'just about on' setting - Anyone that has sailed a modern rules cherub knows how much work the T foil actually does in making a boat go fast! A&E Marmite again executed a perfect race with Poppy just behind playing safe to get a good result. Although there were remarks about how Poppy was able to find their own personal wind to point 5 degrees higher and go just as quickly as Marmite on lap 2 and 3's upwind legs leading to a closer finish than Marmite had hoped for.

Race 3

The usual kind of thing, except for the crew of A&E, Alex decided to become a fish flounder in the water. Maybe he just wanted to look at the lovely new paint job? He swam back aboard much to the amusement of Poppy and Jonny, his helm. Meanwhile Marmite hit the bottom mark resulting in a 360, standards were slipping!

Race 4

A&E nearly succeeded in pushing Marmite over the line at the start. Marmite decided to play safe this time avoiding the bottom mark entirely and doing a 360 before the mark. What did we learn? Marmite showed that Andrew is easily replaced and does little if anything to improve her speed, A&E is not far off being super fast once some small things are ironed out.

After racing we were treated to a chilli by Grafham's wonderful catering team. Next a trip to the pub was agreed upon - I know, I'm as shocked as you.

The challenge of the night was to decide if the George Michael tribute act was hired because he looked like GM or because he sounded like GM, because he didn't really do either of those things.

In other news, Paul Croote came to the pub! He did a social! Something about not having a nagging voice of his crew going on about wanting an early night.

Jamie also demonstrated to all of us, especially the catering staff why he is still single, but not boring.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st3212Paul CrooteSimon JonesCVLSC‑11113
2nd3216Jamie PearsonMartyn DenchfieldGrafham Water Sailing Club‑42226
3rd3215Jonny O'ConnorAlex HarrisDee Sailing Club23‑438
4th3208David ChingOliver MorrellPoole YC3‑43410

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