Great Northern Asymmetric Challenge 'The Inlands'

Lake Bassenthwaite

The Cherub Inland Championships (held amid the Great North Asymmetric Challenge) were hotly contested by a whole two cherub teams at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club last weekend: Jamie Pearson and Martin Denchfield in Poppy, and a thrown together team of Alex Harris and Rosie Williamson in A&E. The long trip north meant an early arrival on the Friday night was in order, along with pizza, drinks, and a battle with the tent in the rain for Alex and Rosie.

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A leisurely start on the Saturday morning left plenty of time to rig and get through an excellent breakfast bun. After the obligatory “Are they meant to be rigged on their side?”, “Why doesn’t it have a halyard?” and “Do all Cherubs foil?” (upon which we had to regretfully tell them that the hacksaw was coming for A&E), the 70-odd boats set sail for the first race. Jamie and Martin must have had too much time to think over how to rig a kite, as they promptly realised that they’d set it up completely wrong and decided to sit out the first race. Rosie, having never stepped in any kind of foiling boat before, took to it like a duck to water in its literal sense, that is, A&E went swimming more than once per lap and so didn’t fare much better. The wind over the trees and hills and across the width of the lake meant for more, short laps, and the shifty and gusty conditions meant that they never got up on the foils upwind. Jamie and Martin came back into race 2 but struggled to break free of the 400s and ended up mid-fleet, still doing much better than Team A&E who had reduced their capsize average, only capsizing twice in 3 laps.

Race 3 saw Jamie and Martin kick into gear with a radical decision to duck the fleet on port at the start, but it paid off as they found themselves in 4th and in much clearer wind behind the VX1s and the 59er. In the final race of the day, Team Poppy took a similar decision but were forced to tack earlier than they wanted. It worked out in the end though as they were lifted straight to the top mark at full power. They very kindly let VX1 be their snow plough through the slow fleet for the downwind leg and then overtook for the gate mark, only to find that a number of general recalls for the second flight meant that they were all stacked up for their final minute on the start line – which the fast flight needed to go through! Considerately, instead of skewering a bunch of 200s and Fevas, Team Poppy dumped it in and called it a day. Throughout all this, Team A&E were steadily improving, but still not getting going upwind. Between that and fact that there were two crews in the boat (leading to a number of overstood laylines), they consistently sat between 30-40th. At the end of day one, it was fair to say that Jamie and Martin had a comfortable lead.

BSC put on a fantastic evening of pies, drink, and music that night, which was much appreciated. In true Cherub style Jamie, Rosie and Martin took to the dancefloor and showed the rest of the competitors how it was done. Rumour has it that Jamie danced the night away until 2am, which couldn’t possibly have been why he was slightly less than enthusiastic for sailing the next day. Sunday dawned a much better day for the Cherubs, with the wind from the ESE and funnelling down the length of the lake, making the course much longer and the wind far more stable. Team A&E got straight up on the foils upwind, which was a new learning curve for Rosie. Between that and the tendency to tack onto every header, they never managed to escape the 400s and plonked for another mid-fleet result. The groggy start from Team Poppy seemed to be deceptive as they steamed ahead for another 4th. In the second race, the training wheels came off; Team A&E sailed cleanly through to a 2nd overall despite the wind dropping in the final lap. Jamie and Martin struggled with the 400s this time, and somewhat overstood the top mark leading to a dubious two-sail reach and tack under scenario. After that they canned it in and went for a nice warm shower and to shelter from the incoming rain. Still riding high, Alex and Rosie managed to bag a 3rd overall in the third race which they were pretty chuffed with. With the wind beginning to drop and Rosie’s energy flagging, they also decided to call off the last race and get a headstart on the journey home. Having pulled a couple of good results (finally!) and having stayed out for a couple more races, Alex and Rosie managed to take the lead (ranking 34th overall) from Jamie and Martin (who came in at 46th).

Conditions were tricky on the Saturday but the great weather on the Sunday showed a foiling A&E at its best – a perfect swan song. The event was really well run, so our many thanks to the club and all who made it possible.



Nationals 2023 Report

Well done to Phil and Carol Alderson for winning the 2023 Cherub Nationals at South Shields Yacht Club. In a home built boat!

Nationals report 2023 - South Shields

A diminished number of Cherubs gathered T’up north due to many family and personal matters occurring across the fleet. Nevertheless we set ourselves the goal of having fun, enjoying our boats and brightening the day of all who we met! South Shields is a lovely club with many lovely people.

Day 1 - Relatively sunny and warm (ish)

A very soft committee boat was not enough to entice the Harris brothers to start conventuly, Race 1 was off with them doing a port end flyer and getting up on to the foils and away from the fleet. Team Poppy took the lead with A&E failing to tack and regain their upwards momentum to the foils dropping them back to 5th, Ronin recovered from a terrible start (but as a scratch pairing, not too bad!) to pick their way through the fleet to finish third! Just behind Eleanor!

Race 2, Dave decided he wanted to be a fisherman so took up lobster potting at the pin end of the start line as the gun went. Note for Dave (helm of Eleanor) T foils are best used in the water and without a rope around them!) Back to the racing - Poppy and Zero Gravitas crash tacked on to port at the pin/Eleanor and had some work to keep up wit the fleet, Ronin was pushing on fast and ready to catch the fleet with their trousers round their ankles. Poppy, Zero Gravitas and Eleanor were found to have rather substantial suspenders. Ronin finished in fourth.

Race 3 and people were getting cocky. Zero Gravitas and Poppy were shown the individual recall flag so went back for a loop.Elanor snuck off with Ronin until Poppy came to crash the party with some excessive downwind speed.

Evening entertainment was a self cook BBQ with many interesting discussions about how the world is bananas shaped, and a few explanations of how sheep's bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes

Day 2 - Grey, cold, miserable, It is the north sea!

Race 4 A&E launched and forgot to use their bungs so made a crafty detour to the beach - no ice cream - but a slightly lighter boat - Tis but a flesh wound Zero Gravitas struggled to make the pin end of the start because of the tide, after tacking and ducking half the fleet they realised that right hand race track upwind was the way to go. Having lots of practice sailing in dreich(rainy ) conditions ZG won the drag race to the correct side of the course on the first beat to take the win, Poppy was bamboozled with wet tell tails Eleanor, got caught with the rest of the fleet all stiving for the middle of the line. Poppys kite block at the top of the mast decided to depart from duty only 5 Meters off the finish line, oh how they laughed as Martyn, the crews crossed the line on the foredeck with the kite in his arms.

Race 5 Much of the same after everyone realised it was a biassed course with the tide. Made brighter with Ronin who decided they wanted to go for a swim with the kite up allowing A&e to sneak third position, poppy started the race after on their side fixing kite blocks and recovered up to 5th

Race 6: Rossa got out of the start well and had a good first leg but spinnaker problems meant they couldn't capitalise. Zero Gravitas and Poppy were too busy match racing to realise the tide had changed and going left up the beat was the correct way to go, A&e snuck through on the final lap to take a win just ahead of Poppy and ZG.

Day 2 finished with Poppy still leading and Eleanor and zero Gravitas both trailing by two points and much fun in the class AGM - ‘GET ON WITH IT’

Day 3 - A year passed: winter changed into spring, spring changed into summer, summer changed back into winter, and winter gave spring and summer a miss and went straight on into autumn…Something had really happened overnight as the north sea was not happy. Still grey and rainy

Race 7: Blimey, what was that?! Wind, waves, tide all coming from different angles Add to that rain in a new axis. It was a perfect day to be a fish. Getting off the shore through the break was a challenge for all. With a the fleet helping each other off the sand and in/through the waves

For the sailing: it is hard to describe in words how strange the conditions were. Inside the harbour, lovely at the committee boat, incredibly wavy in the second half of the course. The tide was ripping out through the entrance along with most of the rain that fell the night before. At the top it was as pokey as a stick. Pure magic and mayhem in one.

A&E, Zero Gravitas and Poppy slugging it out and Ronin occasionally showing up to keep us all faithful.

Race 8: Much the same as race 7, Zero Gravitas leading the way, A&E Trying to foil in the troughs of the waves and not over the top. Poppy just trying to get round the course with a poorly crew

Race 9: The wind had built more for the last start and with first place still up for grabs the three remaining boats all hit the start together.

The Cherub class would like to thank south shields for an amazing event in spectacular conditions, Phil and Carol alderson for winning the nationals and being great ambassadors for the class spending time with everyone and passing on lots of hard learned knowledge along the way

But not the Harris brothers of A&E as ‘he who comes third, no more, no less Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, shall write the report’

Maybe I shouldn’t watch Monty Python The Holy Grail before writing reports?

Position Sail Number Boat Name Helm Crew Race Results Total Points Net Points
1 3218 Zero Gravitas Phil Alderson Carol Alderson (4), 2, (4), 1, 1, 3, 2, 1, 2 20 12
2 3216 Poppy Jamie Pearson Martyn Denchfield 1, 1, 2, (3), (5), 2, 3, 2, 3, 22 14
3 3215 A&E Jonny O'Connor Alex Harris (5), (5), 5, 5, 3, 1, 1, 3, 1, 29 19
4 3218 Eleanor Dave Ching Oliver Goolden 2, 4, 1, 2, 2, 4, 7 DNF, (8 DNC), (8 DNC) 38 22
5 2698 Ronin Nathan McGrory Tom Hole 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, (7 RET), 5 RET, (8 RET) 42 27
6 3219 Rossa Roland Trim Marco Capra 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 7 DNF, (8 DNC), (8 DNC) 59 43
7 2655 Monkey Magic Nick Woodhouse Miles Lilley (8 DNC), (8 DNC), 8 DNC, 7, 7, 7, 8 DNC, 8 DNC, 8 DNC 69 53

The One That Wasn't Sheppey

2023 Open meeting 3 was supposed to be hosted by the Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club, this event was cancelled but with two teams sorted for a weekend off, a plan was cobbled together for a South coast excursion; well, ish, one of the teams being a set of pond sailors it was decided a venue with land all around it would be preferable to calm their anxieties.

Poole Yacht Club was our un-knowing host as well as Ching Towers in the evening. Saturday provided us with 8-10 knots of breeze and a hazy sky. Tacking and gybing practice was the order of the day for team Poppy once they had shown their approval of Eleanor's new paint job! (Gulf racing colour scheme always seems to be a hit!) Tacks improved until Martyn’s ibuprofen wore off. Lessons learned, we now carry a first aid kit.

Dave and Oliver G in Eleanor followed us to practice tacking under pressure meaning the two cherubs were never more than 10 metres away from each other. Both boats seemed to be going well upwind and downwind with Eleanor having the slight edge over Poppy downwind. (Will the new kite sort this?)

We all retired to Dave, Lara and Elliot's house for the evening with a small walk and a BBQ planned (Dave did detour to a shop to bulk buy all the haloumi).

Food was consumed, and drink imbibed, with much chat and merriment, even a Cherub DJ set. You’ve heard of pass the parcel, well this was pass the Spotify, a more eclectic selection you couldn’t imagine.

Sunday dawned with clear heads, hazy skies and the previous day's video was analysed over breakfast. A couple of knots more breeze and an extra boat in the shape of Ronin with Nathan and Oliver M and off we all went to see if we had remembered anything we had learnt the day before. Ronins appearance was brief but productive with a nice to do list in check to complete before nationals Eleanor and Poppy spent their time doing speed rounds upwind and downwind utilising all of Poole harbour. You shall have to wait for nationals to see the results!

2023 Open Meeting 1 - Rutland Skiff Event

Four Cherubs descended on Rutland for their annual asymmetric open and round one of the cherub travellers’ trophy during the first weekend in March, that’s quite early in the year, it could be quite cold? Greeted by wind touching 10 knots at times boats were rigged and breakfast consumed, and the consensus of capsizing will end your day, would this be a race of pace or attrition?

Rigging up, post breakfast cake (the second breakfast of champions), Jamie got the Race kite out of the bag and found a big rip Martyn put in it at Sheppey, but Jamie had forgotten about and not taped/sewn up. To quote Martyn and Jamie 'looks like we're running the training kite, mate' 'It'll be like bringing a spoon to a knife fight!'

Race one Light winds, single string weather, and 7 knots, began with the quicker boats swamping the cherubs off the line, feeling under hulled until finding a lane was definitely the feeling! Poppy missed the start thinking it was one minute later (When will Jamie learn) but cheeky port/starboard with Ronin left them doing turns on the first beat. Foiling in these conditions was occasionally possible which gave the advantage to the boats with big spinnakers; Marmite made the most sense of the lake conditions and brought home race one with A&E flying just long enough for a second place ahead of Poppy and Ronin.

Second race began with a bit more breeze, twin trap upwind, 10 - 14 knots; Building breeze never disappoints the green machine who took the opportunity to put another win on the board. Poppy managed to find a MASSIVE hole of no wind on the first beat allowing Ronin through, but some downwind gybing wizardry allowed Poppy to sneak in to 2nd again to the delight of all cherub sailors. A&E discovered that dropping the mainsheet when foiling is not the best way to sail. Sneaking in third ahead of Ronin in fourth, the final 2 boats both having capsizes meant they decided shore and warmth was more useful than a third race!

Race three was slightly breezier and twin trapezing upwind; Poppy having a bit of a fight with marmite was just what the doctor ordered! Exciting for these idiots to be hot on the heels of Mr Croote and Mr W! Poppy had a fun moment when they had three 4000's line abreast all pinching to try and cover off from one another. Jamie lit the blue tough paper and hooked on to join Martyn on the wing, a few twists of 'tfoil off' and Poppy put the hammer down and they managed to create a dirty great wind shadow for all three, a textbook gybe to the finish and across the line. Marmite again taking the win from Poppy.

Upon arriving on shore, Team Poppy was collared by a youth sailor wanting to have a go in a 12ft silly skiff and was keen to borrow the class boat - Antidote to panel games, when possible. A quick jaunt around the lake in 12-ish knots was enough to see him smile, but Jamie had to call it quits, something about brass monkeys.

Evening fun – The food was excellent, new caterers and bar combo is ace. They stayed open until we went to bed (this meant we broke their previous 1 day takings!) After extending an olive branch to the two 4000 sailors and two B14 sailors, we all told tales about our days sailing then teamed up with the 800s after their training debrief for a spot of beer pong! The semi finals were interesting when one of the balls suddenly became a pickled egg! Needless to say the final was an all cherub affair! It turns out that cherub sailors are also quite adept in a beer pong tournament!! (Thank you to the 800 class for organising!)

With a second day of sailing feeling very similar to the first the fleets race four and Poppy found they didn't have a watch so had to freestyle the starts! Wind was particularly tricky with it being light and wind bend from the shores on either side of the beat. Marmite found themselves locked out at the committee boat at the start. Poppy and marmite headed out front with A&E and Ronin fighting out in, what looked to be a close battle!

Race 5 and Marmite went up the wrong side of the beat on lap 1, meaning Poppy was somehow out in front, the wind was building and lap 2 she knew it would be a tight affair to the finish. On the final downwind after keeping an eye on the green kite (Marmite) Jamie had to inform Martyn of 'Bogey, single, blue, approaching fast from behind!' A&E was up and flying for their last dash to the line. To create some options Poppy gybed off leaving Marmite on the other side. A&E and Marmite gybed later on. With Poppy coming in to the gate on starboard, and Marmite on port forced to gybe before the gate. Poppy gybed back to round the gate and sprint to the line, Somehow Marmite managed to sail through the dirty air of Poppy and claim second with A&E having sailed round the outside of them all.

Race 6, well it happened, but with second wrapped up and getting cold, Poppy decided the showers were a much nicer place to be than possibly anywhere in the world at that moment.

Congratulations go to Paul and Andy on Marmite for wrapping up the opening event of the year and props go to Nathan and Jimmy in Ronin for braving an early March weekend as a dusting off of cobwebs with a new pairing on board, thanks also go to Rutland for hosting us as well as keeping us warm and fed!!

Overall Results:

Pos Boat Name Sail No Club Helm Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total Net
1 Marmite 3212 Hawley Lake Sailing Club Paul Croote Andrew Whapshot 1 1 1 1 (2) 1 7 5
2 Poppy 3216 Grafham Water Sailing Club Jamie Pearson Martyn Denchfield 3 2 2 2 3 (DNC) 17 12
3 A & E 3215 Dee Sailing Club Jonny O'Connor Alex Harris 2 3 (DNC) 3 1 DNC 19 14
4 Ronin 2698 Poole Yacht Club Jimmy Ruddiman Nathan McGrory 4 4 3 4 (DNC) DNC 25 20


Travellers 2023

The first event of this years travellers series is Rutland March 3rd/4th

Who will show and who will win?

Nobody knows.

Runner and riders for this years travellers.


This foiling machine can win any event but they will need a windy season put their hands on the prize. Who knows what can happen with this talented pair.


Will these two win again. A Rita Skeeter style reporter might say that with the events secretary and the president on one boat, the races are rigged. However, those in the know, will tell you nothing is further from the truth. With Rich Bowers designing their sails and some innovative foil design, the pair are pushing the class forward nicely.

Green Bananas

After winning the last event of 2022. Will GB take the Cherub world by storm this year? They certainly have the speed but do they have the time. With a helm who excels in many sports and a soon to be busy family life, time management looks to be the key.


This cool pair have cruised to victory on countless occasions. The battle with Yusagi continues and we can’t wait for the next round of this epic contest. Everyone in this fleet loves Marmite.

Usagi Yojimbo

This pair have one more travellers events and Nationals than most of us can count. They will be looking to resume their battle with Marmite.


Will these west country boys be able to conquer their fears and keep their ears long enough to utilise the undoubted speed of this rapid duck. Don’t be surprised if the duck takes the odd bullet this year.


The blend of youth and experience could prove to be a winning formula. This pair could be quick this year, though injury worries are a factor for the older half of this team.


The Pink monster is on a continual improvement plan and with the promise of a new set of sails on the way EJ will be a real threat this year. Lets hope this super light flyer can get some more wins this year.

Dan’s Boat

The extremely talented pair in Dan’s Boat will need to put in more practice this year to unlock the full potential of this boat.


This crew became the newest addition to the fleet last year. How quickly can they unlock strength of the Ronin to start challenging for honours. With the support of this supportive fleet anything is possible.

The Badgers Nadgers

The Badger Has been hiding for many years. This family are planning on joining the fleet for the first time this year. The Cherubs are looking forward to seeing this new team in action.


This iconic boat will be available to those interested in finding about the thrills a light weight high performance skiff can deliver. This boat isn’t just a try a boat Cherub it’s a boat with speed to win races in the right hands. Put your name forward and it could be you.


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