1985 U.K. Cherub Nationals

This year we shared with the Canoes and the Tasars, which turned out to be rather a two-edge weapon: true it meant we could go for a 6 day event, financially impossible for us otherwise, but it also entailed being tied to those classes' apron strings: if it was too windy for them it was too windy for us! Windy it was for the majority of the meeting, but the Cherubs coped with the conditions rather better than the other classes, and there is no doubt that on a couple of days at least we could have been Real Grown Ups and gone Over the Bar and Out to Sea. The race officer thought otherwise, and… [your internet editor has decided, even 15 years on, to censor the rest of the paragraph, the next, and various other sentences for fear of causing offence and libel cases!]

Gales, claimed to be gusting F10/11, and pouring rain. No racing, much disconsolate drinking.

Race 2

Club Racing in the morning looked quite sedate, but by the time of our scheduled race the wind had picked up again to a 4/5. Thus the race officer decided discretion was the better part of valour, and kept us in the harbour. However the tide was well short of high, and so the first 'round the tins' race ensued, which basically meant following channels, using fixed marks, cutting corners if you dared, negotiating moorings etc. Interstingly, and prophetically, only the Cherubs chose to go out, the other fleets watching from the relative safety of the bar. They claimed they were waiting for the tide for proper Olympic Courses: rats! The first beat was from East Head to a mark off the club, presumably for the benefit of spectators, and thence a fetch up the Thorney Channel. Flat Stanley immediately stuck his snout in front [that's odd, we didn't have them back then - net ed.] with a large gaggle chasing second place, or even first if they were optimistic. Bill Deeley was moving steadily through the fleet after a poor start, and ultimately claimed second place, followed by the Coopers, Dave and Wendy in Old Pec, and Kevin's new “Nelly Smuts”…

Race 1 (Postponed from Sunday)

By Monday afternoon the wind was all back with us again, but so was the tide and an Olympic course could be laid… The first beat was notable for its eccentricity: it paid to overstand the windward mark grossly on starboard to get a favourable tidal eddy behind the Wimmer Bank, and then reach off on port with the tide flooding through the entrance. Honestly! Again the leading positions were hotly contested. 'Stanley' was in there again, but had to retore with a stone in the Daggercase )Don't ask me how it got there) and then a broken vang. Thereafter the Patersons lead for most of the race. Bill wiped out in full view of the Club trying spi gybing when contesting second place with Pervert… and other spills were frequent. Rupert Bremer lost a mast pitchpoling in the Winner waves which catapulted him to the top of his (illegally oversized!) mainsail and Simon Robinson's stick also snapped. On the last beat, which we were later told was sailed in a steady force 7, Andy grounded and fell over. He righted quickly, but 'Perversion' was close enough to take advantage, and in a tense last 200yds tacking duel (ashen faced, tight lipped), stole it from 'Pxysyzygy', with the Coopers again third and malcolm Jacques 'rebel' 4th, followed by 'Dragon', 'Nellie' and 'Old Pec'…

Race 3

A mere f5 for this one. Guy with his new Caws sails appeared to be in overdrive, and opulled away throughout. The race was between 'Dragon', the Coopers' 'Montague Egg', the Patersons, 'Perversion' and others. There was a fair amount of carnage at the leeward mark where high-speed dodgers through the capsizers added to the adrenalin, but no damage was done. On the last reach across the inevitable Winner, 'Perversion' did her favourite windward broach and lost contact with the bunch. Bill, going fast upwind went past the Patersons and the Coopers for another second, followed by those, 'Perversion' just clinging on to 5th from 'Nellie' and 'Old Pec'.

Blown Off

Race 5

This was another round the tins race, and a long course it was too. Again Guy established a lead, this time in quite moderate conditions, but blew it when he left one of the twoo leeward marks (!) on the wrong side. He rectified his mistake, but by this time had left several others past… The rest of the race was decided by the number of times the competitors hit the putty. 'Perversion' lost the lead to 'Dragon' on one of the beats when hitting bottom apparently a long way from the shore. 'Nellie' fell over doing the same thing. Despite grounding on the last beat, Bill's 'Dragon' won here first Championship race, followed by 'Perversion', 'Stanley' and 'Nelly', all rather aggrieved for various reasons.

Race 4 (postponed from Wednesday)

Wind freshening again in the afternoon to F4/5. An Olympic course was set, although the wing mark was placed so as to make the first reach too shy for a kite for most of its length in those conditions, with the by Winner sitting across it as well, while the other reach was correspondingly broad. 'Stanley' scored her third win, 'Dragon' her third second, 'Perversion' third, 'Old Pec'4th, Pyxy 5th…

Race 6, Round the cans. The lightest wind of the week: no more than a 2/3. This race finally saw the '84 champion Malcolm Jacques take the lead in 'Rebel', followed by those other Lee light weather afficionados Will and Martyn. 'Rebel' was pegged back on the three sail reach up Thorney Channel, and 'Perv' was sniffing 'Rebel's backside at the leeward mark. 'Rebel' then elected to tack inshore, while 'Perversion' tacked immediately and fetched up theough the moored boats. In fact there was not appreciably any more tide out on the channel, and by the end of the fetch 'Perversion' held a 20 yd lead. At this point we started to wonder if there wss till life in the series, and decided that if we won and Guy and Bill were l;ower than 5th we'd stolen it. It was a long race, a little p[rocessional, though nail-biting at the front. Finally 'Perversion' won here second race, with 'Rebel' third and 'Dragon' and 'Stanley' 4th and 5th respectively, which was just enough to give them second and first overall…

Original report written by Will Perret (Pervert in the text) who was quite obviously less than totally impressed with the Race organisation when he wrote the report - Jim Champ.

Helm Crew Sail No Name Design Total
Guy Lewington Alex Windsor 2705 Flat Stanley Mod. Murray 10.25
Bill Deeley Alan Moore 2627 Last Amber Dragon Deeley 5 10.75
Will Perret Martyn Clark 2626 Perversion Ellway 4 11.5
Andy Paterson Pat Paterson 2623 Pxysysygy Paterson 3 20
Kevin Ellway Jon Green 2630 Nelly Smuts Ellway 4 27
Dave Roe Wendy Barclay 2612 Old Peculier Ellway 3 27
Malcolm Jacques Mike Gregory 2624 Rebel Howlett 28
Steve Cooper Adrian Cooper 2605 Montague Egg Murray 28
Robin Page Martin Worth 2547 Page 3 Forman 8 46
Rupert Bremer 2610 Charlie Don't Surf Murray 49
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