The first day of the Cherub national championship in a fresh breeze off at Castle Cove SC on Thursday 19 July, 2001

The first day of the Cherub national championship at Castle Cove SC took place on Thursday 19 July, 2001. The first two races were sailed in something vaguely northerly, anything from 12 to 25 knots, loads of shifts and big gusts.

The course was set in Portland Harbour, which was probably a good call in the circumstances. Ace Race Officer Frank Newton ran things smoothly and efficiently. Plenty of speed with small waves, and plenty of swimming too – I think just about everyone went in at one time or another.

Most boats are 97 rules, with three each Slugs and Paterson 7 designs. Most older boats are converted to a greater or lesser extent, with Domino being the only boat with the smaller sail area, though both Pistrix and Halo Jones have less than maximum area with big jibs but the old mainsails. Billy’s Trifle is sporting a much more substantial looking snout. Phil Alderson trekked down from Aberdeen with his boat unfinished and sails arriving at the door just as he left – there’s still a fair bit of work to do, but hopefully he’ll get a chance to sail before the weekend is out. His boat has no flares, just tube wings, and really looks quite unusual.

There are a lot of new boats – some still needing fully sorting, so one would expect a fair number of retirements. Its good to see lots of new people to the class – at a guess over half the fleet have done under three seasons in Cherubs. The turnout is also better than last year’s fuel strike-induced disaster.

In the first race Green Slug took the lead near the first mark from Pasta Frenzy, just ahead of a tight bunch. Slug maintained the lead until they were flattened by a big gust. Pasta went on to win, with Slug second and Shiny Beast third.

Slug was third to windward in the second race, behind Pasta and Beast. Slug took Beast up the second beat, finding better wind and direction on the left. They then overtook Pasta on a downwind leg, while the latter was engaged in a de-spinnaker-twisting gybe or two, which resulted in a swim. Meanwhile Shiny Beast ripped their kite badly, which allowed Fizzy Shark through to take third.

Results (after two races)

Race one

1st equal Green Slug 2673

1st equal The Pasta Frenzy 2660

3rd equal Shiny Beast 2676

3rd equal Fizzy Shark 2662

5th Pistrix 2666

6th Geriatric Gigolo 2650