UK Cherub Championships 1963 (Stokes Bay SC)

The Cherub National Championships were held under the burgee of the Stokes Bay SC from July 31st to August 2nd. Top places were very keenly contested, and the final winner was Martin Jolliffe in “Scoobidou” (No 1), with Robert Gregory in the “Har'ta'tak” (123) second. Five races were sailed and there were thirty two entries from as far afield as Harwich and Luton. The first race held on Wednesday in light airs, and local boy J Mellows won easily, having led most of the way. During the second lap P. Sandy moved “Hycycle” up from sixth to second place just beating G. McCutcheon in “Gee-Whiz”. For the second race the breeze, now a Force 4, saw “Heartthrob” (C Clode) open up a two minute lead by the end of lap 2. However, “Har'ta'tak” carried her wire luffed spinnaker and trapezing crew on the close reach home to win by 3 minutes. The third race on Thursday morning saw “Wanderous”, a brand new boat, designed by her Owner Alfie Hawksworth, work out a good lead on the first beat over the tide. This lead he increased steadily to win comfortably. “Scoobidou” overtook “Har'ta'tak” during the second lap and finished second. The fourth race saw only 21 boats start in the freshening breeze. “Wanderous” once more led the first beat, but was passed by “Scoobidou”, “Har'ta'tak” and “Gee-Wiz” who finished in that order. The fifth race on Friday morning finished the series and in light airs “Scoobidou” took the lead on the first lap, followed closely by “Conradin” (E Spash). The latter sailed past on the close fetch to the finish to take the winning gun. “Hicycle” sailed through more than half the fleet to finish third.

  1. coobidou Martin Joliffe
  2. Har'ta'tak Robert Gregory
  3. Conradin E. Spash
  4. Wanderous Alfie Hawksworth
  5. Gee Wiz G. McCutcheon
  6. Hycycle P. Sandy

Concatenated by Jim Champ from two reports in “Yachts and Yachting” and “the Yachtsman”, obviously from the same original text, author unknown. I'd be grateful for the credit details.

Included in the record fleet were eleven Gregory-built and designed Solent mkIII boats, with their distinctive varnished Sapele finish, and two Casson-designed Mk IV boats, built by McCutcheon. These boats, with their broader transoms, showed how quickly they can come onto a plane and how steady they are downwind. [both speed and stability are highly relative. A modern Cherub sailor, stepping into one of these boats, would be surprised at how slow it was to start planing, and terrified by how hard to control it was once it finally got there! - Net Editor] Various types of spinnaker were used, ranging from the normal cross-cut spherical type to flat-cut reaching ones. “Har'ta'tak” used an unsusual reaching spinnaker with wire luffs, which enabled her to carry it most efficiently on a close reach. Some Cherubs stowed their spinnaker poles snuggly within the boat and others carried them along the boom, but being a foot or so longer, it was a litle hair-raising to see one Cherub hooked by the fitting on the end of the pole to the forestay of an unsuspecting sister. [Cherub spinnaker poles were nine feet long, and the “hook onto someone else's rigging” was an occasional amusement right up to the 90s - Net Ed.]. Central mainsheets were used on many of the newer boats, and these, combined with trapezes, enabled the boats to be driven hard, especially on the second day when the Solent was in a spiteful mood. Self bailers were essential because in that water it was a matter of hit one, slice one, chop one, through one to windward and drying out while the going was good on the run or plane. However “Scoobidou”, a Spencer designed Mk II, with a young light-weight crew, clearly brought home the fact that good helmsmanship and crewing are quite as important as the design. - JW.

Report from Yachting World. Again I'd like to give “JW” full credit.

Many thanks to Martin Jolliffe for photocopies from his archives!

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