Scorpion Sprint Championships at Stewartby Water

In a departure from the normal open meeting format the Scorpion class ran its first Sprint Championship at Stewartby on April 18th.

Twelve races were held over a windward/leeward course in testing conditions with winds of between 15 and 25 knots and large shifts. Average race length was around 12 minutes for two laps, which kept the racing tight and race officer Nigel Denchfield turned the fleet around quickly with little hanging about between races.

After six back to back races the fleet went ashore for a pasta lunch sitting outside in the glorious sunshine, then back afloat for six more in the afternoon.

There were thrills and spills as several of the competitors capsized in the blustery conditions and others had near misses as the boats planing downwind picked their gaps between others on the beat.

Pete Gray and Richard Pepperdine put on a convincing show to win the event with seven race wins. Ollie Wells and Rachel Rhodes were second on countback (with two wins and four seconds) from Peter and Andrew Rose (two wins and three seconds). Janet and Alan Ritchie took the other race win.

The event was great fun and on reflection it was a cracking way to get starting and first beat practice – quite like an intensive training session but with prizes. I for one felt much sharper the following day back at Chew Valley – where we will host the next Scorpion Open of the season.

Pete Gray
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