Scorpion Ladies @ The Ladies Team Racing Nationals

The Scorpion Class Association Ladies Team Racing team of Catherine Maguire (Sc 2024) & Hannah Edge (Sc 1976), Elinor Pegg (Sc 1952) & Elysia Dooley (Sc 1834) and Penny Jeffcoate (Sc 2017) & Ruth Johnson (various!) arrived at Spinnaker SC to be greeted by a beautiful Force 2-3 and some sunshine to start our team racing debut. We realised after some discussion that some of our team had 1) not team raced this century, 2) never team raced in a firefly and 3) last raced when some of the other teams weren’t even yet born! Fortunately we are all epic racers so we took it in our stride. First race was a mixed bag – all of us over (great work girls!) but managed to sail from 456 to 123 so pretty sweet turn around. Unfortunately the next team were a bit better at boat speed so we couldn’t come back from our shocking start. However, with every race our team racing started coming back and thanks to Catherine’s model boats (thanks coach) we worked out what to do, or more specifically what not to do. Every race we did a bit more team racing and managed to get some good battles underway. All had a moment of epic, with C&H and P&R doing a leeward mark conversion sailing the other team out to convert a 235 to a nice safe 134, E&E doing some great last beat covering to get the team bunched up to convert to a 234, and P&R managing a beautiful (if I do say myself) leeward mark trap to convert 156 to 234! So team racing ability definitely improved. We were maintaining a nice 50% average, but at the time of the Gold/Silver/Bronze split still had some of the poorer teams to sail, though Silver fleet suited us well.

We definitely had the bug when it came to the Sunday, with everyone hyped up for the days racing, helped by some lovely cake for Mother’s Day from Tamsin Pegg and race support from Jo Mahy (Sc 1907) and Ian Dooley (Sc 1834). We were certainly more in our stride and kept up our general 50% average, with a few mistakes and a few shining moments. Most of these can be seen in the Facebook group photos, courtesy of Ian and Jo. It was a little lighter on Sunday, so couldn’t just sail out of situations this time, but at least we’d blown away the cobwebs of our mental rule books so did OK! The best thing about the whole thing was that everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and are looking forward to the next one. There were also mutterings about ‘who are these people and what is a Scorpion’ which we solved by erecting a couple of Pete Gray’s snazzy new banners J A great weekend all round, excellent fun and will definitely be repeated next year, though with maybe a bit more practice beforehand! Well done ladies and bring on next year!

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Penny Jeffcoate
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