Cherub Nationals 1996

The weather followed the pattern of the season - not much wind. Unfortunately the location (a long way for the Southerners who make up much of the fleet) and date (just within school term time) cut down the entry list. However the major culprits were all there, although Dave Roe wasn't sailing having cut up his hand badly the week before with an electric plane. The venue, New Quay Sailing Club, West Wales is relaxed, compact and friendly, and comes complete with dolphins in the bay. The racing followed the new pattern of having lots of short races, 14 races over 4 days best 12 to count, using windward/leeward courses with a gate.

A somewhat fickle force 2-3 wind, but just about trapezable uphill and down for the first two races. 3 races were held back to back, with Andy Kinchin & Simon Roberts taking the early lead with 1,1,4 . Other early leaders were Graham Dickenson & Sarah Tindal 2,8,2 , Mike Chalmers & Matt Stobbart 4,3,1 & Andy & Alex Paterson 3,2,6

The wind was even lighter, rarely exceeding Force 2. Cue Rebel! Steve & Tom Edward's Howlett design is never far from the front in sub planing conditions, appeared in the results sheet with 1,PMS,1,5 Unfortunately they'd had to miss the first day giving them virtually no chance of catching the early leaders. Mike Chalmers & Matt Stobbart took the lead with 4,1,2,1, ahead of Andy Kinchin & Simon Roberts 3,3,5,2 & Graham Dickenson & Sarah Tindal 2,2,3,3

The weather was much the same as the day before, and there were some who felt that sitting on the beach was a better way of spending the day! The tide was more significant in these races and tended to bunch the fleet together again, and there were some nailbiting downwind finishes! At the end of the day Graham's 4,2,1,2 put him fractionally ahead of Mike Chalmers & Matt Stobbart with 3,6,2,3 . Steve & Tom Edwards was the star of the day again though with 1,3,4,1, and Martin Harrison & Linda Newnham also demonstrated good light airs speed with a first and a second in “Death by Chocolate”

Three more races, back to back, and three boats in with a chance of a win. Conditions for the first race were not over welcoming with a very fickle breeze against the tide and a choppy swell. Quite a number of crews felt they had better things to do! Light weather flyers Steve & Tom Edwards and Martin Harrison & Linda Newnham battled it out for first place, Steve & Tom Edwards getting the gun, whilst behind them in the battle for overall places Mike Chalmers & Matt Stobbart was 3rd ahead of Andy & Alex Paterson and Graham Dickenson & Sarah Tindal. The second race was greeted with a more reasonable (by the standards of the event) force 3, and there was actually a chance to do some trapezing and surfing! Andy Kinchin & Simon Roberts & Graham Dickenson & Sarah Tindal got away at the start and battled through to the end, with actually crossing the line first but losing first place through touching the distance mark gybing inside Andy Kinchin & Simon Roberts who had right of way. Mike Chalmers & Matt Stobbart took 3rd leaving him half a point behind Graham Dickenson & Sarah Tindal overall with one race left. Andy Kinchin & Simon Roberts, who hadn't started the first race of the day couldn't now catch the leading two, and had done just enough to hold off Andy & Alex Paterson for third. A starting line battle saw Mike Chalmers & Matt Stobbart force Graham Dickenson & Sarah Tindal over the line at the start, but in doing so he managed to foul the distance mark. (This is beginning to sound like a Laser race - Ed) Graham Dickenson & Sarah Tindal managed to get up to second with a port tack flyer down the run, whilst Mike Chalmers & Matt Stobbart had more trouble getting through the fleet. Andy Kinchin & Simon Roberts somehow managed to break a rudder fitting and retired, so Graham inherited the lead and secured the Championship. Steve & Tom Edwards held off a fast approaching Mike Chalmers & Matt Stobbart to take 3rd place.

Graham's overall consistency secured him his first champion ship after “quite a few” years of trying, proving that its never to late to go for it. All that mountain biking and circuit training has paid off - perhaps I should start doing some! One of my correspondants did suggest that Mike & Matt's consistent high performance partying might have had an effect on their on-the-water performance. The fleet showed its usual eclecticism with 8 designs in the top 10 places. A particularly strong performance came from Steve & Tom Edwards in the Howlett, who not only made the most of the conditions that suited them but also gained good results in the Force 3 where the Howlett is usually outclassed. Another good performance came from Martin Harrison & Linda Newnham who took home the “Most Improved Helm” trophy. The strong light airs performance - at times they seemed faster than the Howlett - is very interesting from a boat that looks much more of an all rounder. Design wise there was not much else of especial interest. Bistros taking first and second demonstrates that the design is still as fast as anything around. Martin also attempted to gain notoriety by attempting what I am pretty sure was the first Cherub v Cherub protest in the UK since the 1980 worlds. However it got thrown out because his protest flag fell off!

Jim Champ (with thanks to Graham Dickenson for providing me with a report to butcher)

2647 Graham Dickenson Sarah Tindal Bistro 2 8 2 2 2 3 3 4 2 1 2 5 2
2637 Mike Chalmers Matt Stobbart Bistro 4 3 1 4 1 2 1 3 6 2 3 3 3
2645 Andy Kinchin Simon Roberts Dog 1 1 4 3 3 5 2 6 4 6 6 dns 1
2650 Andy Paterson Alex Paterson Paterson 6 3 2 6 6 4 4 4 5 5 3 4 4 4
2624 Steve Edwards Tom Edwards Howlett dns dns dns 1 pms 1 5 1 3 4 1 1 6
2663 Martin Harrison Linda Newnham Death by Chocolate 9 4 3 5 5 dns dns 2 1 9 5 2 9
2654 Richard Edwards Heidi Walker Trifle 6 7 7 9 6 7 6 7 7 7 8 dns 8
2660 Will Lee Claire Spens Pasta Frenzy 10 6 10 7 8 8 7 dns 9 8 7 dns 5
2669 Simon Clifton Maddy Hardon 11 11 5 8 7 6 9 8 8 5 9 dns 7
2662 Tim Dean Una-Mary Colclough Pasta Frenzy 8 5 9 10 9 9 8 9 11 11 10 dns dns
2649 Ian Praine Pam Heritage Bistro? 7 9 8 11 12 dns dns 10 10 10 pms dns dns
2705 Nick Spens Paul Liddington Murray mod. Snow 13 10 dnf dns 10 10 dns dns dns dns dns dns dns
2643 Matt Searle Alex Matthews Bistro 12 dnf dnf 13 11 11 dnf dns dns dns dns dns dns

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