Cherub National Championships 1976 – Warsash S.C.

Transcribed by Neil C from the report in Yachts & Yachting

This year brought a much stronger fleet for the Cherub National Championship at Warsash S.C. with turnout over 75% up on last year. Many new faces were in evidence and the general standard of racing was very high – the light weather of the first few days in particular saw very close racing with constant changing of places all through the fleet.

This year saw the emergence of many new home-designed boats, the ubiquitous Forman 4 no longer dominates the class in quite the same way as it used to. Overall, the new designs exhibit many similar features with generally lower rocker – to promote earlier planning, and fine bows and maximum curvature in the mid sections for light air performance. Several boats carried the new Needlespar wing masts, though whether they made the best of them is open to debate.

The first few days were sailed in light and fickle airs involving close tactical sailing and any error, however minor, led immediately to loss of position. As the week went on, the positions became clearer with Tony Hows in his new Spithead Special moving into the lead, pursued closely by last year’s champion Dave Finch and Dave Babcock. Even as the winds freshened towards the end of the week, the constant shifts that plagued the series saw to it that the results were in doubt right up to the last race. The Friday race in particular was sailed in a fresh 4-5 with a lumpy sea accompanied by huge windshifts, and the downwind legs, sailed across the waves, resulted in many capsizes and retirements. By the sixth race Tony Hows has worked himself into a dominant position through consistently high placings and second place was very much a last minute struggle between Dave Finch and Dave Babcock, with Finch the ultimate victor.

Overall, then, a very successful series with varied and never easy conditions and a generally very high standard of competition – indicative of the upsurge of interest in this exciting class. Particularly encouraging was the number of younger people, new faces and home designs.


  • 1st T.Hows, Queen Mary SC
  • 2nd D.Finch, Queen Mary SC
  • 3rd D.Babcock, Bosham SC
  • 4th G.Rook, Warsash SC
  • 5th K.Ellway, Babbacombe Corinthian SC
  • 6th W.Deeley, Cranstone SC
  • history/1976-nats.txt
  • Last modified: 2020/12/09 19:21
  • by