2005 National Championships

New Quay Yacht Club (Cardigan, Wales)

This nationals, the first since the rule change to adopt bigger rigs, saw the best Cherub nationals turnout for many years. The form book looked like it might be thrown out of the window, as Andy Paterson - seemingly invincible in recent years with his daughter Alex in Shiny Beast (2676)- had a new crew, as did other major contender Gavin Sims in Mango Jam (2682). Racing up the rankings were Ben Brown and Daryl Wilkinson in Loco Perro (2685). Phil Alderson with newish crew Carol Low competed in their new boat Primal Scream (2686).

The sun shone all week and much fun was had by all cherub sailors and shore crew.

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The late 3pm start allowed for a marathon boat measuring session, masterminded by Patrick Cunningham. The wind looked very light indeed. Not an isobar could be seen for miles around. By the start a gentle zephyr from the west had settled enough for the race officer to set the course and let the Moths away followed by the Cherubs. There was much foredeck crouching and hole-missing among the fleet as we crept to the top mark. First to hoist was Loco Perro followed by a big bunch. The run was about keeping the boats moving without pointing too high.

Loco Perro managed to be ahead at the end of the first lap and again at the end of the race (which is, after all, the important bit), but on the way was crossed by Primal Scream and Sweet Dreams before fighting her way back to win. Sweet Dreams was second with Primal Scream third. Extremely close finishes are evidenced by the first five boats all finishing within a minute.

The breeze had piped up a bit and some singling and twinning was seen at times in the really lumpy water for which New Quay is rightly famed. The lead changed between Shiny Beast and Mango Jam the whole way round with Shiny keeping it together until the end. The ODM decided being attached to the bottom was far too boring and set off in the general direction of the leeward mark before it was grabbed and replaced by the attentive committee. Loco Perro temporarily fell foul of the Sailing Instruction not to sail through the start/finish line on the downwind leg. A difficult instruction to obey when the ODM is nowhere to be seen! Natural justice was served when their 4th place was restored later.

Check out the very many fotoboat.com photos taken by Elaine Marsh at their website.

On Thursday night there was a welcome party in the clubhouse. Of special note was the local mackerel pate and the freshly caught Welsh Rarebit. Tasty!

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The wind was up again and shifty with Shiny Beast, Mango Jam and Aquamarina getting away from the pack and steadily increasing the gap throughout the race. Shiny finished ahead followed by Mango Jam and Aqua.

The wind settled but went lighter. A one lap drifter ended with Shiny ahead of Loco Perro and then Aqua, with the pack never far behind.

Two laps of comfortable sitting-on-the-side stuff ended with Loco ahead of Shiny and then Mango.

Friday night was the AGM, followed by an incredibly late curry to welcome the antipodean contingent (more later).

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A bit more wind resulted in occasional trapezing. Shiny Beast beat Loco Perro followed by Primal Scream.

Same. Shiny Beast beat Primal Scream followed by Loco Perro

Slightly more wind. Shiny Beast beat Mango Jam followed by Loco Perro

Saturday evening was dinner in the clubhouse hosted by the club. Terrific salads and an appropriately sized lasagne for 60 hungry sailors hit the spot perfectly.

'Twas the last day of the nationals/ And all through the air/ Not a molecule was stirring/ Not even near the student caravan. That's right - the sea was like a very big slightly wobbly mirror and we all got an early prize giving.

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Keen readers will have noticed by now that Andy 'Bloodaxe' Paterson and Tom 'Fotoboat' Gruitt are this year's National Champions, claiming the coveted 'Simpson Trophy'. Andy is well on the way to becoming the most successful Cherub sailor of all time. Second place was in contention right up to the last race sailed. As runner up, Ben Brown and Daryl Wilkinon in Loco Perro won the 'Sheila Fleming Challenge Cup'. Third went to Gav and Nigel Sims in Mango Jam. Further down the fleet two epic battles for supremacy were taking place: The first Bistro (numerous and successful design of the early 1990's) was, after a titanic battle, Dave Ching and Lara Gonzalez in Norwegian Blue. The Classic cherubs also enjoyed tight racing: Whaam! piloted by Kita Carpenter and Stuart Hopson with a little help from special guest star Twelve Foot Skiff Interdominions winning crew Brad Yabsley took this trophy in the end, which is a mounted photoblock of Cherub number 1 from 1951. The first Student helm was Tom Kiddle in Kokopelli, winning a prize donated by Maldon District Council; a picture tastefully depicting an environmentally conscious message.

The 'Mason Trophy', a massive half model of a Bistro, was won convincingly by Ben Brown and Daryl Wilkinson in Loco Perro, as the best improvers (see how they got on last year). The 'Harwich Trophy', donated by Harwich Town SC, was awarded for the first old-rules boat was won by Will and Lucy Lee in AquaMarina. These two have been practicing loads in recent months, and even won an open meeting earlier in the year despite having smaller 'old-rules' sails. The 'Silver Teapot', the origin of which is lost in the mists of time, is awarded for thr first placed female. This went to Lucy Lee of Aquamarina. The Newcomers trophy is a mounted photo block of Cherubs racing in about 1955, and this year was won by Dave Ching and Lara Gonzalez. What a pair. The 'Silver Salver' is awarded to the most beautiful Cherub: Therapy (owned by Mark Grant) was the winner of this. The closely related 'Phoenix', awarded for the best restoration, went to Suicide Blonde and Iain Christie. Also awarded was the 'Davey', a miner's lamp given in recognition of the best nosedive of the week. Loco Perro was observed to fail to keep the mylar above the progrip and added this prize to their haul. Sweet Dreams clocked up two solid positions in the races on the first day, but then accidentally had to return to work. For this stirling effort at throwing away a potentially good result the 'Didgeridont' (a labelled didgerido) was awarded. The 'Ashes' (The burnt remains of a well known cherub of years gone by), awarded for the mightiest bit of boat destruction, went to Taking Liberties with Tim Noyce and Andy Lang for kindly helping the safety boat teams take their minds off their sunburn.

In all a great week was had by all - Many thanks to the crack team of race and party organisers at New Quay Yacht Club. We'll be back!

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Final Position Helm Crew Boat Sail Number Design Sails R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 Points After Discard
1 Andrew Paterson Tom Gruitt Shiny Beast 2676 P7 Redeye 6 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 8
2 Ben Brown Daryl Wilkinson Loco Perro 2685 Big Issue Redeye 1 4 7 2 1 2 3 3 16
3 Gavin Sims Nigel Sims Mango Jam 2682 Butt Plug Ratseys 19 3 2 4 3 5 4 2 23
4 William Lee Lucy Lee AquaMarina 2681 P7b RMW 4 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 25
5 Phil Alderson Carol Low Primal Scream 2686 Easy Wan RMW 3 7 8 19 5 3 2 4 32
6 Robert Main Simon 'Little T' Turnbull Strangley Brown 2651 Dog Hays 5 5 5 7 8 7 8 8 45
7 David Ching Lara Gonzalez-Ruiz Norwegian Blue 2637 Bistro Batt 7 8 9 5 6 8 10 10 53
8 Bob Clements Alan Atterbury Baby Factory 2664 Pasta ? 19 9 6 10 7 9 7 7 55
9 Iain Christie Paula Symons Suicide Blonde 2644 Bistro Redeye 11 12 12 9 12 6 6 6 62
10 Matthew Grant Mark Grant Therapy 2656 Platypus Batt 8 19 4 6 10 19 11 9 67
11 Stuart Hopson / Kita Carpenter Kita Carpenter / Brad Yabsley Whaam! 2539 Hotdog ? 10 10 11 8 9 12 12 10 70
12 Tom Kiddle Kath Jackson Kokopelli 2622 Forman8 Batt 19 11 11 11 19 11 13 11 87
13 Andy Easton Haden Mills Catananche 2669 Hard On ? 12 13 19 12 11 14 14 19 95
14 Jeff Knapman Tristan Kemp Sweet Dreams 2663 Death by Chocolate Batt 2 6 19 19 19 19 19 19 103
15 Neil Thomas Rachel Thomas Little Fluffy Clouds 2642 Bistro Batt 9 19 19 19 19 10 9 19 104
16 Neil Cardno Mark Lidell Born Slippy 2674 Slug Batt 19 19 10 13 13 13 19 19 106
17 Andy Lang Tim Noyce Taking Liberties 2643 Bistro Batt 13 19 13 14 14 19 19 19 111
18 Stu Tinner Jo Moore Dangerous Strawberry 2649 Bistro Batt 19 19 19 19 15 19 19 19 129
19 Dave Roe Mark Hamilton Cheese Before Bedtime 2645 Dog Ratseys 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 133
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