The Boat

Cheers is a 40ft Proa designed by Dick Newick specifically as an entrant in the 1968 OSTAR, a single handed transatlantic race. Cheers was given an award by the Ida Lewis Yacht Club, Newport Rhode Island, for being the first U.S. yacht to finish a Transatlantic Single Handed Race and the Amateur Yacht Research Society honored the team with a special award for research.

Where is Cheers today? Here is one video from Victor Laurent.

Cheers profile drawing
Profile drawing of Cheers by Dick Newick

The book, Project Cheers, details the concept, construction,

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testing, and subsequent voyages from 1967 to 1968. There are three story tellers, three parts of the book; Jim Morris, Dick Newick, and Tom Follett, each detailing their specific points of responsibility and experiences during the project.

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Proa Cheers maneuver diagram by Dick Newick
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Cheers early drawings by Dick Newick
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Tom Follett’s shakedown cruise on Cheers.

See more photos from the book.

more to come…

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This photo spent years on Dick Newick’s wall. It was totally washed out to sepia tone. It has been recolored digitally.
Cheersbookcoverpic-sm
This was the original cover photo for the book Project Cheers, published in 1969. It was taken by Dick Newick in St Croix, USVI. You can see Buck Island in the back ground.

The Event

It was called then, the  Observer’s Single-handed Trans Atlantic Race, or OSTAR of 1968; This was the event and year that Cheers was designed and built for and raced in. For sailors and spectators alike, this event, under various names, remains an exciting event. This page contains related links and if you find more, please let me know!

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Official OSTAR website of the Royal Western Yacht Club – The U.K. side of the race

Newport Yacht Club – the U.S. side of the race.

WIKIPEDIA overview of individual OSTAR races

TRANSAT– the latest website of the race, once called the OSTAR

Video links

1968OSTAR-captains
The captains of the 1968 OSTAR. Tom Follett of Cheers is seen standing 4th from left. Photographer unknown.
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Proa Cheers and Tom Follett’s journey from St. Croix to Gosport.
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1968 OSTAR and proa Cheer’s track including back to St. Croix from Newport.

Cheers Poster!

The book

Project Cheers is a story of brilliant organization and endeavour

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by three men dedicated to an idea which many thought crazy. That idea was a fantastically fast twin hulled craft called Cheers, designed specifically by Dick Newick to win the Single Handed Transatlantic Race in 1968. In the hands of Tom Follett, one of the most capable (and modest) small boat sailors in the world, who endured great discomfort and danger, she put up an astounding performance in the race, sometimes reaching quite hair raising speeds, to finish a very close third. The fact that she did not win can only be attributed to bad luck. —quote from the original book jacket of “Project Cheers”, first published in 1969.

Cheersbookcoverpic-sm
This was the original cover photo for the book Project Cheers, published in 1969. It was taken by Dick Newick in St Croix, USVI. You can see Buck Island in the back ground.

Buy a soft cover copy of the new edition of Project Cheers, by Jim Morris, Dick Newick, and Tom Follett. Available NOW. You can also pick up a copy at the NW Maritime Center Chandlery in Port Townsend,  and get one while visiting Small Craft Advisor Magazine, or Port Townsend Watercraft.

A hard cover copy of the new edition of Project Cheers, by Jim Morris, Dick Newick, and Tom Follett is being considered if there is adequate interest. You can contact ptwatercraft @ gmail.com to express interest. (no spaces in email address)