The (UK) Cherub is a 12 foot
sailed by two people. It suits a
(a combined weight of 16 to 25 stone is recommended) and is one
of boat that can (almost) never have enough wind. I once attended an
open meeting with a vicious gale force wind
in which almost
the whole fleet was decimated. While passing by a Cherub sailor I heard
someone suggest that this was his wind; "It was a bit light for us, we
couldnt really get planing
," was his response.
The Cherub is also one of the only development classes left in the UK.
This means that the design of the boat is not fixed, just guided by a set of
rules much like Formula One motor racing. This makes it an exciting class
to sail in, full of technical innovation. The Cherub's Portsmouth
Yardstick number has actually fallen 146 points between the 1960s and 2003,
meaning a 1960s boat would sail nine minutes slower over an hour than
a current boat.
The first Cherub was designed in 1951 by a man called John Spencer to be
sailed in the Auckland area of New Zealand. From here it spread to
Australia and the United Kingdom. In 1984 the United Kingdom class
assocation voted for rule changes not accepted by the Australian and New
Zealand class associations causing a split in the class. The two classes
have occasionally raced each other, most notably in the 1995/6 World
Championships where the Australians triumphed, arguably only because of a
string of breakages on the top UK boat.
More recently Cherubs have adopted asymmetric spinnakers and the UK Cherub
has increased the allowed sail area as well as adopting twin trapeze