Waitemata Harbour, Auckland NZ

This report was compiled by Jim Champ principly from one published in Modern Boating magazine, March 1972, with interpolations from other sources, notably various Press cuttings from New Zealand sent by Steve Marten and the UK Cherub Newsletter of the time.

Steve Marten, a 23-year-old Aucklander, won the world Cherub class title in Auckland. Sailing St. Paul, which he designed and built, Marten had bad placings in the national series the preceding week when the boat's owner crewed with him. But the owner stepped down for the world series so Marten could have his regular crew, Trevor Burgess, and this proved the winning combination. Steve almost didn't enter the Championships. “I wasn't really interested in sailing”, he said with a grin, “I made the wining boat, St Paul, for someone else. I'd recently got married and I'd bought a house and - really - yacht making was just something to do in my spare time”. However the buyer of St Paul convinced Marten he should use the boat himself for the National and World titles and hand it over to the intended owner after the series. Some serious rig changes - they added a mast post after the Nationals to radically stiffen the bottom of the mast, saw them come on song after the first two races of the Worlds.

St. Paul, a modified Angel Gabriel, was launched only days before the national series and was still being tuned during the world contest. Both the New Zealand contest and the world series were held on the Waitemata Harbour, Auckland, in an area surrounded by hills. Boat speeds, despite radical differences in sail and hull designs, seemed very much the same. The New Zealanders, especially, had greatly advanced since the previous world series in hull design and cockpit layout and favoured flatter hulls and the use of highly efficient mainsheet traveller systems - both ideas from Jennifer Julian (the previous world champion). See also the Technical report from Sea Spray Magazine, NZ

Large skirts along the feet of the New Zealanders' spinnakers gave them a great deal more sail than the Aussies, but these seemed of little advantage as the reaches of the Olympic course were set at 60º and not 45º, and so were extremely tight (often too tight). The Aussies made up for their lost speed on square runs by successfully tacking downwind.

With seven heats and five to count it was consistency throughout which won Marten his title and gave the top boats their high placings. All racing except the invitation race and the abandoned heat 1 was run in breezes which blew off the land, ranging from 10 to 25 knots with gusts to 35 to test boat handling. However, the wind travelling over the hills would bounce off the water, leaving lines of heavy breeze lifting and knocking sometimes 20º. The shifts were frustrating, as one needed to be lucky or an extremist to be at the front. There's a suggestion in various reports that local knowledge got sailors in trouble as often as it helped.

Heat one was abandoned after protest because the race committee moved the wing mark 100 yards to leeward as the leading boats approached it. The following two heats saw the NZ boat Boss-O-Nova (R. Sellers) gain two runaway wins with NZ champion Omega (S Mitchell) second in heat two and St Paul second in heat three.

For the heat one resail the breeze freshened to 15-20 knots and Zulu II (Australia) chose the leeward end start, sailed a long knock, tacked and was first to the windward mark on a 15º lift. By the finish Zulu had a mighty lead with Ikara (WA) second followed by Boss-0-Nova and St Paul.

After finishing third to St Paul and Ikara in heat four (sailed in 15-20 knots) it seemed certain that Rex Sellers in Boss-O-Nova would be the winner. But Steve Marten finally got St Paul sailing well and he followed up his second fourth and first with wins in heats five and six to become unbeatable in the final heat, in which he was fourth.

Ikara seemed the winner of heat five but due to the shifts and his loose-covering of St Paul he lost a 200 yard lead near the finish to miss by 30 seconds.

World Junior champion Greg Phillips (Ikara, WA) closely pushed Boss-O-Nova for second overall but lost all chance when, in the final heat, his rudder snapped off while running third. Zulu II also won this heat which earnt him fourth place overall and runner-up in the junior section.

Young Australian girl skipper Karen Simmer had a very difficult series, leading in the abandoned first race and losing at least one other good result under protest. She was generally quicker than her 16th place would suggest, but still took the Cadet Champion prize.

Reproduced with the kind permission of Modern Boating magazine Australia


Place Boat Design Helm Crew Nationality Points
1 St Paul 1990 Angel Gabriel (Marten) mod Steve Marten Trevor Burgess NZ 8007
2 Boss O Nova Jennifer Julian (Bowler) mod Rex Sellers R. Preston NZ 7002
3 Junior Champion Ikara Phillips/Gardner Greg Phillips John Gardner Aus 6384
4 Zulu II Frazer Tony Leahy M. Walker Aus 6354
5 Queenie SJB 1982 Farr Mark Paterson Brett Baker NZ 5451
6 Marc VI Maurach C. Woods A. Woods Aus 5354
7 Benjamin Andy Ball NZ 5004
8 Omega S. Mitchell NZ 4722
9 Canned heat G. Bird R. Bishop NZ 4655
10 Clarence William the Third R. Martin L. Kepple NZ 4627
14 First woman skipper Emu Beashel Jeanine Wilmot Aus
16 Cadet Champion Boogie Woogie Peden Karen Simmer Aus
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