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North Sails 2021 Innovation - LEADERBOARD

Cherub revival continues thanks to a generous gesture from across the Tasman

by Allan Roper 20 Dec 2021 15:34 PST 21 December 2021
Risky Business was sent from Australia as a rebuild project and picked up by David Wright © Australian Cherub Assoc

The Cherub Class is climbing back toward the state of strength that it once was. First designed by John Spencer 70yrs ago, the 12ft two-hander is attracting new owners from all parts of the spectrum.

Because the Cherub class has a restricted rule, various design options can be explored, or boats altered in the renovation/redesign process, keeping the class vibrant and up to date.

The class is attracting such high profile professional sailors as America's Cup helmsmen, Round the World sailors, and the like - but also your average Joe, attracted by the merits of the class.

America's Cup winner, Ray Davies, is one of these professional sailors who has made a huge commitment to becoming part of the class by deciding to build a boat with his son Hugo.

Ray and Hugo signed up for a Leech kitset boat early on and began building it in their garage. As Ray explained early on, it was a learning experience for both of them.

Now, the boat has been launched and sails well - built by a father and son - just like the class has been done, so often, from its inception back in the early 1950s.

At the other end of the spectrum is David Wright.

Like most of the sailing population, David is an average guy who is also the Commodore of the Torbay Sailing Club on Auckland's North Shore - and not too far away from where John Spencer had his boat-building shed in nearby Browns Bay.

David was looking to initially build a boat, when a hull shell that arrived in a container load of Cherubs from Australia, was made available.

Nigel Blatchford of Newcastle donated this hull to the Cherub revival in New Zealand. It was originally built by Australian VJ builder, Larry Selby, for the 1989 Worlds in Sydney. The decks and internal structure were removed because they were rotten and the hull sent to NZ.

David is well under way with his rebuild and relaunch of his boat. He is hoping to have a fleet at his club Torbay which was once a strong home of the Cherub class.

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