The UK 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 UK Cherub combines spectacular performance with the “on the edge” handling characteristics only found in true lightweight skiffs.

The UK 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.

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A tale to last the ages of mighty winds, wild waves and some pretty little Cherubs.

Day 1

Started with a forecast of 12 knots and calm waters. Little did they know what was to meet those plucky Cherubs. Race 1 started with 20 knots and lumpy waves. This would build over the next three days. Oh do I need to mention the rain? That's enough of the weather report, on to race 1.

Race 1 - EJ and Eleanor spent the first lap trading places, while Marmite and Usagi recovered from bad starts. Marmite finally went on to win while the others fought it out for second. Eleanor managed to knot a halyard on the last hoist gifting a close fought second to EJ with Usagi in third.

Race 2 - A & E stopped wobbling long enough to claim her first victory of the week. Eleanor ran out of excuses to gain 2nd. Behind, Usagi held off the rapid Ducks for 3rd.

Day 2

Race 3 - EJ took an early lead but was soon overtaken by the close duelling A & E won out from Marmite and EJ came in a close third.

Race 4 - A & E were locked in such an intense battle with Marmite that Dan's Boat slipped through unnoticed for the win from A & E and Marmite.

Race 5 - A & E stretched out an early lead to be convincing winners. Marmite second and Eleanor held on for third.

Race 6 - Your intrepid reporter decided that starting a fourth race in the fifth hour of sailing wasn't as inviting as ice cream. It was good ice cream. A & E won from Marmite and Ducks Third. If you feel this kind of reporting isn't good enough then I suggest you try and come to the events. Trust me, if you don't, you are missing out on much more than results.

Day 3

The class took advantage of the local tourist spots, as the wind increased and waiting for the slower fleet to finish for an hour. After 40 min races felt less appealing.

Day 4

Lighter winds at last, with a mild 10 to 18 knots and with flatter, almost soothing waves.

Race 10 - A & E bolted off again, while the battle between Marmite, Usagi and Eleanor carried on as before. Usagi came out on top with Marmite leading Eleanor across the line.

Race 11 - It was much the same, but this time Eleanor led the chasing pack after another epic battle with Marmite and Usagi. Yet again only seconds between them.

Race 12 - A & E bored of winning, went in for the famous ice-cream. This left first up for grabs. Dan's boat took advantage of a great start to lead Eleanor around the course, followed by Marmite. So much happened at this event I could write a book. I didn't even mention the “Captain's hat” or the “If not duffers will not drown” incidents. If you want the full Cherub experience you could use the class Cherub at an event, or jump straight in and buy new from £12k (class assisted) to £15k fully professional. Special mention this year goes to Poppy's crew, who after showing great speed all year, caught Covid the night before. Better luck next time.

Overall Results:

Pos Boat name Sail No Helm Crew Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R10 R11 R12 Pts Net Pts
1st A&E 3215 Jonny O'Connor Alex Harris Dee Sailing Club (5) 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 (DNC) 357
2nd Marmite 3212 Paul Croote Andy Whapshott Chew Valley Sailing Club 1 (DNC) 2 3 2 2 3 (4) 3 4216
3rd Eleanor 3208 Dave Ching Oliver Goolden Poole Yacht Club 4 2 (DNC) (DNC) 3 DNC 4 2 2 6143
4th Usagi Yojimbo 3202 Andrew Peters Jill Peters Queen Mary Sailing Club 3 3 4 4 (DNC) (DNC) 2 3 DNC 6345
5th Duck wars 3209 Guy Rivington Joseph White Mount Batten Centre (DNC) 4 (RET) DNC 4 3 6 8 4 7355
6th Dan's Boat 2700 Luke Hartley Oliver Morrell Stokes Bay Sailing Club (DNC) (DNC) 5 1 RET DNC DNC 7 1 8062
7th EJ 3206 James Ruddiman Chris Haslam Stokes Bay Sailing Club 2 (DNC) 3 (DNC) DNC DNC 5 6 DNC 8264
8th Poppy 3216 Jamie Pearson George Bender Grafham Water Sailing Club (DNC) (DNC) 6 DNC DNC DNC 7 5 DNC 9577
9th Rossa 3219 Roland Trim Kevin Robert Jausseran Monaco Yacht Club / Club de voile de Roq (DNC) (DNC) DNF DNC DNC DNC 8 9 5 9981
10th Slippery When Wet 2657 Nick Hankins Sophie Hankins Cardiff Bay Yacht Club (DNC) (DNC) DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC 11092

Riviera Cherub, a simple concept. Collect boats that were great to sail in 2005. Refurbish and fit all with similar sail plans. Sail them against each other somewhere warm. No T-Foils, twin wire, big rigs, bigger grins. Four of the UK fleet travelled out to the first Riviera Cherub blast in the sunny bays of Monaco and Menton. Blasting does not normally have racing and lasts a day. The competition below was devised to ensure a bit of competitive edge was maintained.

Day 1 - Permission for Fly-by First launch was in 10 knots, flat water. The aim was to collect as many flybys of the parked yachts sunbathing in the bay. Oliver partnered with local Kevin Jausseran and tagged two unsuspecting tenders before even understanding the rules. Other Oliver and Martyn got distracted by a good gust and found no boats after twinning into the distance. Jamie - single handing Pocket Rocket - racked up the highest score. His ability to get fully over a boat single handed, whilst looking vertically downwards, sadly not captured on film. Hot and thirsty the party moved to Rascasse for a gentle evening of socialising. After missing the team leaving, Oliver M proved to all that it is possible to sleep a night on the streets of Monaco and avoid the Police cells.

Riviera Cherub blast in Monaco - photo © Roland Trim

Day 2 - Raid to Monaco The advantage of no host rescue team or race committee wanting to go home for tea became clear on day 2. There was no wind before 1600, but that gave the visitors a chance to re-hydrate, sleep and sunbathe. When the gentle thermal filled in at 1700, 4 boats launched. The course was simple. Pass the headland and into Monaco Harbour. The wind built to a steady 12 knots over flat water. Born Slippy was concerned about the wind dropping and headed for home. Pocket Rocket missed them behind a yacht, but did see Magic Monkey turning and twinning home. With the assumption that the Magic crew's blood alcohol levels had fallen to critical, Pocket took the outer lane and went on to Monaco Harbour. On arrival in Monaco Harbour, Pocket was a bit lonely, but not for long. Even with the dropping wind Pocket clocked a 14.5kt average speed 8km leg back to the beach. Thanks to Coralie Trim for a zero notice Anti-Pasta Aperitif, conjured from nothing, with no warning at 2000 whilst everyone had a shower before dinner in Menton.

Riviera Cherub blast in Monaco - photo © Roland Trim

Day 3 - Raid Repeat The weather pattern established, a full day of sightseeing was enjoyed by all, including the Grand Prix at the YCM bar and the all important tour of Cap D'Ail beach (confirming that launching Cherubs there would be good, but sadly still is not possible). At 1700 the evening thermal arrived, but none of the locals. The latter sensibly believing the no wind forecast and having work the next day. Jamie and Oliver M made the critical tactical mistake of enjoying a Magic Monkey kite run to the stronger outer wind. Only to find the wind line was an illusion and that Martyn and Oliver G had cut inside the headland in Born Slippy. They kept and extended the lead to about 2 miles, before turning and hoisting to ensure all arrived at the harbour together. Landing after the YCM bar was closed was the only error. A whip around found enough to buy the most expensive bottle of Duval from the Wine Palace (split 4 ways, still €5 a head). After helping a classic schooner moor up, the boats were carried back into the water and had hoisted before the harbour mouth. A champagne downwind leg took everyone home - Magic Monkey proving that twinning these rigs really does result in deeper and faster.

Riviera Cherub blast in Monaco - photo © Roland Trim

Day 4 - Home time Coming into the last day the series points were close and the wind forecast light. The competition was to be decided using a local 70ft motor yacht, kindly anchored with its charter sunbathers by Gary P. Points were awarded by the Bikini clad guests on-board. They chose based on style, approach and retrieval of beer cans from the stern. Here Jamie pulled out all the stops, earning a bonus point for returning to collect Martyn's can and the impressive distance of the subsequent launch. Martyn gained a point for the following catch, managing to not fall overboard and then saving a somewhat surprised Ollie from what was, by then, an almost inevitable capsize. Sadly, the Perching had to depart during the approach for the final round, missing “Cherub salutes”. They radioed in their scores over a crackly radio. Descriptions included “the hairy one”, “the small one who is pretty”, “the small one who is big and handsome”, “the one with the metal”, “the one with the long hair” and “the one who looks like Harry Potter”. Queue arguments over who was who, except Oliver,. The latter even had a wand in his hand. There followed a moment of suspense adding up the scores. After working out who was who, we discovered we had arrived at 4 way split of the prize.


Riviera Cherub blast in Monaco - photo © Roland Trim

Overall Results:

HelmSurprise SurpriseMonaco RaidMonaco Re-Run UpwindMonaco Re-Run DownwindPerching ControlPts
Martyn Denchfield1441212
Oliver Goolden2441112
Oliver Morrell2412312
Jamie Pearson4112412


The boats are great to sail and solid. The Rigs are demanding, but not beyond a novice. Next year will see 6 boats, the roll out of more of the Zaoli Sails and hopefully the same Maffioli colours for all control lines. The format will be 6 race series, with crews swapping boats between each race. Massive thanks to Yacht Club Monaco, Centre de Voile de Roquebrune (especially Herve Nicot, Gwenael Eliot and not forgetting Ludo) and for rescue cover and infinite logistics support Jermain Jervis

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