The Book, The Poster, The Website ; Our way of honoring the people, the boat, and the race that had a huge impact on single handed ocean racing and on our lives personally.
Cheers was designer Dick Newick’s first answer to the call of the OSTAR race. This east to west, upwind race that began in 1960 hosted and inspired huge leaps in innovation in offshore sailboat design.
In this race, which was won in 40 days in 1960, won in 18 days in 1980 (by a Newick designed trimaran) and was later sailed in much less time again, Cheers was merely a stepping stone in the evolutionary ladder, but she did much more than just a third place finish in 1968.
Cheers was as different a craft as had ever shown up at a starting line for a major race at that time. Besides being tiny in size and very lightweight, Cheers was a proa. Proa’s are an unusual and ancient sailing concept where the boat sails both directions and always keeps one side to the wind. This type of craft had not before been explored by modern sailors, yet she finished well in a race with many serious competitors, both monohull and multihull, many of them being much longer.
Cheers was an image of minimalism and creativity, but she carried her skipper, Tom Follett, round trip from St Croix, USVI to England, to Newport, RI, and back to St Croix; 9000 miles in 68 days sailing time, virtually trouble-free.
In a forward to the book “Project Cheers”, Blondie (H.G.) Hasler wrote:
“The 1968 Cheers project will stand as a perfect example of the sort of thing that the Single Handed Transatlantic Race was designed to encourage. I don’t know which to admire most: the extreme unorthodoxy of the boat’s conception, or the strength and simplicity of her construction; or perhaps her wild good looks; or the efficiency with which she was tested, modified, re-tested and then proof tested, or Tom Follett’s impeccable seamanship allied to his rudimentary ocean-going inventory...”
The second edition republished to benefit the Newick Family after Dick Newick's passing can be purchased on Amazon. Art posters and books are available from Port Townsend Watercraft directly. The painting is by renown naval illustrator, Bruce Alderson and there are a limited number of quality numbered prints signed by the Artist and Dick Newick himself.
The Book and the Poster
Contact email@example.com for gifting a book and an unsigned poster bundle option for $60.
Read a book review of Project Cheers HERE