It's good to be sharing with the Moths again, the UK's two most innovative development Classes have a lot in common, the only fly in the ointment being that those who have both a Moth and a Cherub have a decision to make!
There were 19 Cherubs entered - the third successive year to have an increase in numbers and the best turnout since the early 90s. As ever there were a considerable variety of boats entered, but the top seeds were three former champions, Dave Roe, Andy Paterson and Robin Russell, plus young
pretender Gavin Sims in his new boat which he designed, built, made the spars and even cut the fore and aft sails.
Gavin has been burning up the handicap events this year, and much was expected.
Day 1 can best be described as glorious - 20 to 25 knot winds, bright sunshine and thus exciting sailing. It was also Robin Russel and Will Lee’s day as they scored 2,1 in their preferred conditions.
Dave Roe and Clare Warren scored 1,4, tying with Gavin Sims and Simon Goodwin with 3,2, and Andy Paterson and Ross Clark just behind with 4,5. Also in the hunt were Tim Dean and Una-Mary Colclough with 5,7, Mark Chamberlain and ? Willey with 6,6, and Phil Alderson and Michael Garrington with 7,3.
Day two started a little lighter, and dropped through the day, with under 10 knots throughout the last race. Sims was on red hot form for these conditions, scoring 2,1,1,1 to take the lead in the series.
Russell kept well in touch with 1,3,3,4, Roe dropped back with 3,2,6,7, and Paterson catching fast as the wind eased with 4,4,2,2. Dean’s, 9,6,8,6 dropped then back a bit, while Alderson scored 5,5,4,11, and Chamberlain 8,10,7,3. Also coming into contention for the top of the table were Patrick Cunningham and David Hannaford, who had miseed the first day, but scored 6,7,5 then a first on the water by a large margin, which they then lost in the protest room over a start line incident.
Day three was rather more forgettable. A minimal gradient wind fought with an insipid sea breeze over the course and eventually lost, but between them there was rarely much over 5knots. This suited Paterson nicely, as he scored 1,1,1 to move into contention for the lead. Sims scored 2,2,2 to remain in front, while Roe and Russell faded in the light airs, a 7th and an 11th respectively being their best results. Cunningham, strong in the lighter airs, scored 4,4,3, and Chamberlain 5,5,4, but a bug saw Alderson unable to sail for the day.
The last day started with Sims well in the lead, but two firsts (and nothing else!) would do it for Paterson.
A long postponement looked ominous for Paterson, but eventually race started in a breeze that barely made the minimum windspeed requirements. A sudden hole in the wind on the start line saw two boats caught with no rights, but also no steerage way right on the line, and in the resultant tangle left Sims at the back of the fleet. Paterson on the other hand got away clear to win a very short race.
The last race also saw a very vicious and complicated - not to mention vocal - starting sequence, and Paterson’s experience showed as he wriggled clear of the jams, whilst again Sims was buried. With light airs again for the race there was no way for Sims to recover , and Paterson took the championship from Sims. Chamberlain finished strongly (and started controversially!) with 2,4 to take third overall, with Aldersons 4,2 taking them to 4th. Russell, who’s challenge had faded with the wind, was 5th.
Two and a half days of light airs made for a slightly disappointing Championship, and certainly assisted Paterson and Clark’s win. The Paterson 7 designs, very narrow with vertical topsides, are extremely strong in lighter winds, with all three Paterson 7s at the Championships scoring top 3 places in the lighter winds, but only Alderson managing a top 3 place in the three strong breeze races. In contrast Russell’s Roberts designed Slug, superb in a blow, struggled in lighter airs, although to be fair Russell and Lee are also one of the heaviest crews in the fleet. Gavin Sims and Simon Goodwin have obviously produced the best all round boat in the fleet at the moment, home designed, and built - they not only built hull and spars, but even cut their distinctive clear mylar film for and aft sails.
They must be bitterly disappointed at missing out at the last gasp, but in the end Paterson’s experience paid, and the much younger Sims and Goodwin will have many more chances at the championship.
|1st||Shiny Beast||Andy Paterson||Ross Clark||13|
|2nd||Mango Jam||Gavin Sims||Simon Goodwin||13|
|3rd||Dangerous Strawberry||Mark Chamberlain||Scott Willey||35|
|4th||Aqua Marina||Phil Alderson||Michael Garrington||41|
|5th||Green Slug||Robin Russell||Will Lee||45|
|6th||Fizzy Shark||Tim Dean||Una-Mary Colclough||49|
|7th||The Pasta Frenzy||Dave Roe||Clare Warren||50|
|8th||Little Red Number||Patrick Cunningham||David Hannaford||51|
|9th||Fuzzy Logic||Martin Hurst||Jon Garfitt||54|
|10th||Pistrix||Joe Snawdon||Natalie Butcher||65|
|11th||Geriatric Gigolo||Murray Tosh||Bruce Lenton||66|
|12th||Cheese before Bedtime||Nick Hankins||Nigel Sims||76|
|13th||Squid||Graham Dickenson||Sarah Tindall||89|
|14th||Eat My Wake||Christopher Holman||Thomas Hamilton||98|
|15th||Little Fluffy Clouds||Ben Brown||Daryl Wilkinson||102|
|16th||Halo Jones||Alex Adams||Jim Champ||108|
|17th||Strangely Brown||Gary Butland||Simon Turnbull||123|
|18th||Simon Roberts||Lucy Lee||155|
|19th||Team Scotland||Neil Cardno||Ken Scott-Brown||160|