1998 U.K. Cherub Nationals

28 - 31 August 1998

This years event was hosted by Hunstanton SC, Norfolk over four days that included the August Bank Holiday. As with the previous two years there was little breeze in evidence and conditions prevented a full programme from being sailed.

The first day was spent on the beach waiting for wind that finally showed up in the late evening too late for sailing. Neil Cardno was the only one who went afloat for an inconclusive test run of his new Slug, the second example of this design by Simon Roberts.

Day 2

On Saturday a very early (9:30) start was deemed necessary to take advantage of the expected availability of wind in the morning. This inevitable saw a somewhat thin presence on the line at the start with much of the fleet straggling across a few minutes late. Three races were held back to back over windward/leeward courses in light fickle conditions. Defending champion Paterson opened strongly with two wins and a second from Roe with a first second and third. Russell in his new Slug was also consistent with a second and two thirds.

The breeze largely disappeared in the middle part of the day but filled in enough in the late afternoon for two further races around trapezoidal courses. In slightly steadier conditions Roe hit back with two wins whilst Paterson and Russell shared the second and third places. Kinchin and Dean were the most consistent of the rest and took most of the fourth and fifth places between them.

The fleet spent a fruitless hour and a half on the third morning waiting for the wind to settle enough to race. Racing was adjourned for lunch and the AGM until it was noted that the flags were moving again. Three races were run in the late afternoon in a light but reasonably steady breeze which saw the front runners performing more erratically and some new faces at the front. Roe extended his lead with a further win and a second but Paterson slipped back with third, fourth and sixth. Russell stayed in contention with a second, fourth and fifth. Kinchin improved markedly with a first, second and third and Dean stayed in the top five as well. Chalmers also had a win in one of the unmodified boats with small working sails, but with an enlarged spinnaker.

The final day saw the best wind which was generally 2/3 but was offshore which meant it was very shifty and full of holes and the occasional stronger gust. Three windward/ leeward courses saw very close racing with much place changing in the difficult conditions. Roe was the most consistent finisher, although often forced to work hard for his results, and took a comfortable overall win with two seconds and a first. Paterson had a consistent pair of thirds and a fourth to stay narrowly ahead of Russell who took another win but also clocked a ninth. Kinchin again went well with first, second and third but was too far adrift on points to catch Russell. Dean stayed in the first five during the day to secure fifth overall.

The event was characterised by very close racing with few runaway wins and frequent place changing. The fleet tended to stay compact and the conditions allowed a number of older boats to appear at the front from time to time. A number of crews found their knowledge of the rules and boat handling to be in need of development as the class normally experiences more space on the water.

The new Slug design appears to be quick even with very limited development so far. About half of the fleet was fully converted to the new rules whilst some of the unconverted boats were sporting large spinnakers. With much recent experimentation in rigs and some crews running larger kites from higher up the mast the results could be interesting when the class next meets tough conditions. Another area of experimentation has been in weight reduction in foils by a process of trial and failure. It would currently appear that a daggerboard of around a kilo is too light to have long term prospects but slightly heavier examples continue to perform. The performance of the new rules boats in bigger breezes has yet to be established but the advantage at displacement speeds is relatively small at present.

Report Courtesy of Graham Dickenson, for which much thanks.

No Design Helm Crew 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Points
2660 Pasta Frenzy mod Dave Roe Claire Spens 2 1 3 1 1 2 1 4 2 1 2 13
2650 Paterson 6a Andy Paterson Alex Paterson 1 2 1 3 2 3 4 6 4 3 3 22
2673 Slug Robin Russell Wendy Fox 3 3 2 2 3 4 5 2 1 9 4 24
2645 Dog Andy Kinchin Simon Roberts 14 5 5 8 14 1 2 3 3 2 1 30
2662 Pasta Frenzy Tim Dean Una Colclough 14 6 4 4 4 5 3 5 5 4 5 39
2637 Bistro Mike Chalmers Matt Stobbart 14 4 14 6 14 6 6 1 7 5 6 55
2659 Dog Richard Butler Graham Dickenson 4 8 6 7 5 7 13 12 6 6 9 58
2628 Robinson 4 Nick Hankins Paddy Cunningham 14 7 7 5 7 9 8 11 9 7 8 67
2547 Forman 8 Mike Rolf Rachel Franks 14 9 8 14 14 10 7 7 8 8 7 78
2643 Bistro Alex Matthews Seb Blake 14 14 14 9 6 8 9 10 11 13 14 94
2674 Slug Neil Cardno Ken Scott-Brown 14 10 14 10 8 11 11 9 14 11 10 94
2623 Paterson 4 Dan Cowin Jonathan Garfitt 14 13 9 13 14 12 10 8 10 10 11 96

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