UK-Cherub Class

Get Your Heart Racing

The Ashes

The Ashes Trophy is awarded at each year’s UK Cherub National Championships for the mightiest piece of boat destruction. But where did this trophy come from?

The Ashes Urn contains the venerable remains of the 1978 UK National Championships winning boat. Cherub 2534 was designed, built and helmed by Bill Deeley, a Cherub grandee with no fewer than 6 designs to his name. Known as Bad to the Bone in her later years, she was a regular feature on the UK Open Meeting Circuit. Sadly she suffered a fatal shroud base to daggerboard case split during a windy 1994 National Championships, due to carrying a much bigger rig with vastly higher rig tension than was originally intended. After an unsuccessful repair attempt, she was prepared for the funeral pyre at the 1995 Scottish Cherub Open meeting.

The 1995 Scottish Open was particularly well attended, including Class President of the time Simon Roberts. After the Saturday’s racing, the partying went on well into the night, featuring a smart Royal Tay YC dinner, a Splendid performance by the President and a Ceilidh Band who kept the assembled throng on their feet. In the wee small hours the Cherub sailors made their way down to the beach for the ceremonial torching. After a short but emotional speech from her helmsman and much saluting, a gallon and a half of petrol (unleaded) was deposited in the buoyancy tanks and under the foredeck. Unfortunately, by this stage nobody had the co-ordination left to actually light the matches. About 5 minutes went by, during which time the petrol silently vapourised in the tanks. Finally the Team Scotland crew managed to light a chip wrapper and throw it in. The blast which followed knocked a few sailors off their feet and led to a rash of complaints by the local residents! The following morning the ashes were scraped into the ceremonial urn and after a great deal of pleading with the Yacht Club committee, the helmsman managed to retain his membership.

The original intention was to bring the Ashes Urn to the World Championships of 1995/6 to be awarded to the highest placed UK or Australian boat in true Ashes fashion. Unfortunately the issue got confused by the winners being a pair of Australians sailing a boat built to the UK design rules. In the end the trophy was awarded to Dave Roe for wrecking every spar on his boat over the course of the regatta and thus missing out on a near certain victory for the UK Fleet. Since then the Trophy has been awarded for maximal boat destruction at the UK Nationals every year. The original IKEA Urn remains, but the trophy could do with a nice new carbon fibre base if anybody fancies a little winter project…?

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UK Cherub Trophies

history/the_ashes.txt · Last modified: 2020/12/09 19:21 (external edit)