UK-Cherub Class

Get Your Heart Racing

Stokes Bay Open 2012

In stark contrast to the conditions in Pwllheli the forecast for the weekend at Stokes Bay was for light winds and substantially smaller waves! The close proximity to the nationals resulted in a reduced turnout for the event but 2 pairs of 05 and 97 rules boats meant that there was the opportunity for some good class racing in addition to that provided by the local handicap fleet. The first race kicked off just after midday with the plan for 4 laps of the windward leeward course. Tactics were very tide orientated and the boats had to be worked hard as there was a fine line between having the weight too far back and ploughing through waves. By the end of 2 laps Ben and Charlie in Atom Bom had done enough to take the win with Loco making the most of their National 12’esque hull taking 2nd just ahead of Comfortably Numb and Born Slippy. Due to the relaxed nature of the ‘back to back’ racing there was a brief pause in between races which allowed the teams to pop ashore for a drink and to apply some by now necessary sun cream!

In this time the tide had stepped up a notch and the wind had decided to take a time out which led to an interesting second race of the day. All 4 Cherubs arrived at the windward mark amongst the mid fleet pack of the general handicap fleet being pushed upwind by the tide, bearing away and hoisting around the mark with kites filling then turned into a game of tidal snakes and ladders in which all 4 of the boats took a turn of thinking that they were in front and had done enough to gybe and clear the windward mark in order to get inshore to the slower moving tide. More often than not though by the time you had gybed and made it back across to the mark the tide had pushed you back upwind past it and so you had to repeat the process. After what seemed like forever the wind finally filled in enough to make some headway and the boats headed back off downwind in very marginal wiring conditions. Atom once again took the win ahead of Loco whilst the 2 97’s were involved in some very tight tactical racing down by the leeward mark. Numb was behind Slippy going in to the bottom mark but utilising the sneaky double gybe they managed to gain the overlap and sneak through to stay ahead along the reach to the finish line. The teams returned ashore to eat and rehydrate after one of the longest single lap races in memory only for the wind to switch back on for Ben and Charlie to go out for a proper hoon in some fully powered up conditions to enjoy some champagne solent sailing. Fish and chips with a sunset view was enjoyed by some whilst others left to recharge their batteries / go drinking (delete as appropriate).

The happy campers were awoken by the noise of clanking rigging in the boat park due to a solid 20knots blowing out on the water, but within an hour this had dropped to almost half that in time for an early morning start for 3 scheduled races. The handicap fleet had grown overnight with additional moths, musto’s, Lasers and a superstar line up in the Rebel hitting the water with the prospect of some good racing to be had. Charlie had been replaced by Sam aboard Atom Bom and with some more wind in the sails the Cherubs set off in fine form for race 3 tussling with the quicker boats in the fleet planing more readily upwind. The tide was still king so good gains could be made by going the right way up the beat. Atom showed the way round the course having an excellent tussle with a local RS800 and Numb was revelling in being powered up downwind taking on tail end Musto’s and Laser 4000. After one lap all was going well until rounding the leeward mark and the mainsail fell down. Kate on the board and Tim floundering about in the water trying to re-tie the mainsail in the notorious solent chop allowed Slippy and Loco to sneak through to carry on to finish the race Atom, Slippy, Loco with a soggy Numb bringing up the rear. For race 4 Loco had decided that having completed 3 times as many races as at the nationals that they would quit whilst they were ahead and retire to the warm showers as by now the fog had come in and it was sogging (you know that kind of rain which isn’t proper rain but just seems to make you wet and miserable?!) With the wind up a bit the gulf in pace between the powered up t-foiled Atom Bom and the 97 boats meant that bar a major mess up the Open meeting would be sewn up before long but it was still all to play for to be top dog in the 97’s. Atom went on to beat the 800 over the water again and after a few laps Numb brought it home ahead of Born Slippy despite differing techniques upwind. Numb opted for a pinch and point approach in order to keep their lane off the start against the other boats with Born Slippy footing off and sailing with more pace through the chop (both seemed to work equally well with there never being too much distance between the boats at the business end of the legs. By race 5 Atom was really in the groove and they were really starting to cruise around the course in style picking up their best result of the weekend with a very respectable 4th in the handicap fleet. Numb took 2nd place ahead of Slippy despite putting in a very late surge down the final run showing what a 97 rules boat is capable of given a bit of breeze (there may even have been a bit of yee-haaa’ing audible from near by!).

Overall results from within the Cherub Fleet: 1st – Atom Bom – Ben, Charlie and Sam 2nd – Comfortably Numb – Kate and Tim 3rd – Born Slippy 4th – Loco Perro

A massive congratulations to Ben, Charlie and Sam for taking their first Cherub Open meeting win almost a year to the day since they first sailed the boat together, and also for finishing 4th overall in the handicap fleet to take home a couple of bottles of wine. Thanks to Stokes Bay SC for a lovely weekend on and off the water, and we would be very keen to go back their again next year!

news/2012/2012/0902stokes_bay_open.txt · Last modified: 2013/06/25 15:56 (external edit)