The Ashes Trophy

The Ashes Trophy is awarded at the National Championships each year for the mightiest piece of boat destruction. But where did it come from? Well, the urn contains the venerable remains of Cherub 2534, designed and built by Cherub grandee Bill Deeley in 1978. Initially known as “Strictly Liquor Love and Laughs” it was the 1978 Nationals winner. She made her way to Scotland in the mid-1980's, and became the first Cherub owned by “Team Scotland” (Neil Cardno and Ken Scott Brown) in late 1990, having been hit by an InterCity 125 train from Aberdeen (yes, really!). The boat was re-named “Bad to the Bone” at this stage, in honour of the George Thorogood and the Destroyers song of that name which features in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film “Terminator 2”. Following a major refit including a complete new '91 rules Caws rig she contested a variety of open meetings and National championships, until finally suffering from terminal hull failure on the final day of the windy 1994 Nationals in Weymouth.

Team Scotland went on to purchase The Flying Trifle 2652 in preparation for an assault on the 95/96 World Championships in Sydney. It was felt that it might be interesting to offer an “Ashes Trophy” for this competition, so preparations were made to cremate Bad to the Bone at the '95 Royal Tay YC Scottish Cherub open meeting. As usual, there was a monumental party and piss-up on the Saturday evening of the regatta, and at about 11pm the assembled Cherub sailors made their way down to the beach for the ceremonial torching. A little accelerant seemed like a good idea to get the funeral pyre going, so a bit of 95RON unleaded was sprinkled around. Somehow it didn't look like quite enough, so the rest of the 5-litre fuel can followed into the buoyancy tanks and under the foredeck.

By this stage, it transpired that nobody was sober enough to get the matches to light, so a period of about five minutes went by while attempts were made to ignite some old rags, while the petrol quietly vapourised inside the tanks….

Finally a flaming chip wrapper was produced and was dutifully hurled into the fine old vessel along with some saluting and a bit of speech making. Suddenly there was an explosion to rival Canary Wharf, with witnesses the next day claiming to have heard it a couple of miles away up the coast! The boat was literally blown to smithereens, the only identifiable parts being the non-flammable glassfibre bowsprit and some old plastic padding car body filler which had somehow found its way into bits of the hull (shame on you!!). The next morning the remaining ashes were scraped into an urn and now form the Ashes Trophy. After a bit of pleading with the club committee, the Team Scotland crew managed to avoid getting thrown out of the Yacht Club following a barrage of complaints from local residents, and still sail there to this day.

  • boats/the_ashes.txt
  • Last modified: 2020/12/09 19:21
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