Kris Fay and Morgan Frew from NSW dominated the 2011-12 Cherub Nationals sailed at Yeppoon Queensland. The pair from Belmont 16ft Sailing Club, in their first year together as a crew, were sailing Wally, the boat that Kris Fay’s father, Trevor, had sailed to victory in two previous National Championships. Fay and Frew outsailed experienced opposition in fresh and lumpy conditions on Keppel Bay.
The series started with two days of racing in moderate breezes with Fay and Frew establishing a narrow lead over Queensland class veteran Mark Matthews, who was returning to Cherubs after a seven year absence, sailing Tradesman’s Entrance with Richard Billett. Close behind this pair was the defending woman’s champion Claire Lunsmann from NSW in Alchemy. Racing at the front of the fleet was so close that Race Three went to Fay and Frew by a mere one second from Matthews and Billett.
Class veteran Mark Matthews sailing with Richard Billett were runners-up and Veteran Trophy winners - Cherub Australian Nationals - Dallas Blatchford Click Here to view large photo
Mid regatta the breeze picked up and fresh 20kt south easterlies on day four tested all the crews. The big chop had the lightweight Cherubs getting plenty of air on the reaches. Fay and Frew relished these stronger winds building a solid series lead with four straight wins. Behind them Matthews and Billett pushed them all the way, along with their fellow Queenslanders Tim Robba and Jimmy Chilman in Big Bang. It was the smooth and faultless crew work from Fay and Frew that saw them establish their advantage.
The final day of racing took place in more moderate 10 to 15kt breezes that increased the size of the leading group in each race. Race 11 was won by Lawrence Wakefield and Oliver Hartas from in The Black Pearl, providing a first ever National Championship race win to Drummoyne Sailing Club, while victory in the final race went to Brett and Ryan Lancaster from Belmont in Causin’ Haavik.
The Woman’s Championship went to defending champion Claire Lunsmann, who placed fifth overall, with the veteran’s Trophy going to Matthews and Billett.
Junior Champions were the Lancaster brothers with Fay and Frew ineligible having won the Open Championship. Cadet Champions were Alex Sanderson and James Ellis from Drummoyne.
Next year’s Cherub Nationals will be the 50th Anniversary series and will be sailed at Belmont 16ft Sailing Club on Lake Macquarie. There is already great interest in the landmark series.
Jen Pagett and Andrew Stevenson launch their Cherub Everything Zen off a Keppel Bay wave - Cherub Australian Nationals - Dallas Blatchford Click Here to view large photo