CHEERS was piloted in the 1968 OSTAR (Observer's Singlehanded Trans-Atlantic Race) from Plymouth, England to Newport, Rhode Island by skipper Tom Follett in 27 days, 13 minutes. He finished 3rd overall, beaten only by two monohulls, the 56' Sir Thomas Lipton and the 50' ketch Voortrekker. Follett sailed from the Caribbean to England before the race and from Newport back to St. Croix afterwards.
For the full story, read 'Project Cheers' (Adlard Coles, 1969), a book detailing the saga of Newick's giant-killing Atlantic proa.
Race Committee letter, October, 1967: Royal Western Yacht Club of England
"I notice that you are taking steps to enable the crew to right the vessel when it has capsized, but my committee are more interested in any steps you may take to stop the capsizing in the first place. We are still of the opinion that to race along at 25 knots in between periodically capsizing is not a proper way to cross the Atlantic..."
French doctors Vincent and NÚlie Besin now own and have restored CHEERS with the financial help of the French goverment which has declared her a "monument historique", one of less than 100 small craft and the only multihull.
image scanned by Matthieu Rougevin-Baville
VIDEO: Tom Follett sailing! (at 7:19)
Proa Cheers Posters For Sale
from Port Townsend Watercraft