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The Cherub is a two-person 12 foot racing dinghy with asymmetric spinnaker and twin trapezes. Just twelve feet long, weighing around 70kgs fully rigged for sailing, the Cherub combines spectacular performance with the “on the edge” handling characteristics only found in true lightweight skiffs.
Originally created in New Zealand by John Spencer in 1951, Cherubs are mainly sailed in Australia and Great Britain, with a growing fleet in France. As well as this, boats can be found as far away as Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, the USA and Portugal.
The Cherub rules are simple and allow for maximum flexibility for designers, allowing boats to be created to incorporate sailor's own ideas. Also meaning the class develops over time as techniques, materials and ideas improve. All this makes the Cherub one of the most interesting and innovative of all dinghies: The challenge extends from the sailing skills to setting up the boat to suit the sailor, and maybe even designing and building, too.
Cherub sailing is the real thing: True planing performance upwind, but then turn the corner and you’re in for the ride of your life….
6 Cherubs pitched up at Sheppey on Saturday for some windward leeward fun along with 4 Laser 4000s, 2 ISOs and an Alto. Turnout by all fleets was lower than hoped for due to the weatherman promising some extreme wind, but at midday on Saturday the pre-race conditions were looking good.
By the start of race one, the wind and a few white horses had arrived. Born Slippy was a little late crossing the start line but as the conditions became fruitier (and her crew sobered up) she began to find her groove. Riot Van was showing her customary pace and consistency, with Eleanor and Cool Beans trying to chase her down. Some squally gusts meant everyone had a little swim, but Graham and Eddie took the first race convincingly.
Ronin came out to play for the second race crewed by Alex Cramp and Nick Pratt (great to have Alex back in the fleet after a short leave of absence), and the Badger got her paws wet; and all the while the breeze was picking up. The home team of Dean and Si in Eleanor decided to give the others a head start off the line by taking a little swim. Born Slippy in single string 97 rules mode with no T-foil was getting airborne off the waves and paced Riot Van and Cool Beans up the first beat. Graham and Eddie emerged from a mystery tea bag with a race-ending hole in the main (for which both denied responsibility) while Paul and Peter had a dodgy (and very wet) tack and retired.
Meanwhile Dean and Si showed impressive control and pace and made up for their poor start. Despite capsizing on the last leg the boys recovered quickly and Born Slippy couldn’t overhaul them, so Eleanor took line honours with Born Slippy coming in second. With the forecast for the breeze to intensify, race 3 was cancelled much to the disappointment of Born Slippy and her crew.
Sheppey laid on a superb evening’s entertainment with a challenging 115 question quiz and an unusually competitive interactive raffle. After successfully identifying and eating all the Frosties, the Cherub fleet retired to recuperate ready for another epic day, but the weather had other ideas and Sunday’s racing was cancelled. So the event ended with Eleanor in 1st, Born Slippy 2nd and Riot Van 3rd.
Many thanks to Sheppey for their hospitality and excellent race organization. Looking forward to coming back again soon.
Results are here http://www.iossc.org.uk/go.php?op=events&pg=*asymmetric
There are some pictures on the UK-Cherub facebook page here http://www.facebook.com/pages/UK-Cherub/248933448471702#!/pages/UK-Cherub/248933448471702
Many thanks to Race office Chas Bedford for doubling up as the event photographer. Some of his images are below.