Silver Scorpion 2015 – The Story So Far (3/7)

The results are in and the competition for the Silver Scorpion, the classes top helm is hotting up.

After 2 Southern and 1 Midlands events we have a slight Southern skew to the results with some new names and some returning champions in the early mix. The first three events of the circuit saw three helms with a single bullet each.

Current Silver Scorpion Holder, Staunton Harold’s Pete Gray, after his dominant display at Sidmouth in tricky conditions, is currently sitting proud on top with a  (3),2,1 (a very handy 3rd in his back pocket which may come into play later in the season). The 2015 series has also seen the return of past Nationals winner Tom Jeffcoate (Notts County) who finds himself very well placed for a serious challenge. A point behind and having beaten Gray at Poole, will have high hopes for this campaign. Ryan Buchanan (Weston) and dogged campaigner Barry Wolfenden (Bough Beech) lie 3rd and 4th respectively. Buchanan taking a well deserved 2nd at Sidmouth, but both showing early season pace on the sea, and inland (@Chew Valley in early May on the Southern Circuit). Top female helm Janet Ritchie (Chipstead) sits in a very respectable 5th showing both strong and light wind ability.

Special mention goes to current 10th placed Jo Mahy (Sutton Bingham) who with Gray is the only competitor who has competed in all three events!

In the Crews Competition, Rich Pepperdine (Staunton Harold) sits in top spot a point in-front of current Top Crew Holder and fellow club mate Simon Forbes (Staunton Harold). Staunton Harold Sailing Club seems to be a hotbed for Scorpion crews this year, Rachel Rhodes currently sitting in 6th making it three of the top six crews calling Staunton Harold their home. However Rhodes has tough competition for Top Female Crew with Catherine Maguire (Poole) currently holding that accolade (sailing mainly with Rhode’s old helm Barry Wolfenden). With Sandra Smith (Castle Cove) in 7th this makes three of the current top seven crews female which is fantastic to see for the class.

The Silver Scorpion will be traveling to the North Welsh seaside venue of Llandudno on the 13th & 14th Of June and then up to Pennine for the Northern Championships a month later 11th & 12th July which should see some of the more Northern based competitors getting into the fray. With the likes of Dovestone’s Andy McKee (serial Silver Scorpion Winner) who is currently sitting on a bullet from Staunton Harold in April, and Steve Walker adding races to their campaigns. On the crews front we will also see last years close runner up Chris Massey and Class Chairman Jerry Hannabuss no doubt gaining momentum.

With four events left it is all still to play for and could be getting very tense come the Inland Championships at Notts County 12th & 13th September and what could be the decider on the see at Castle Cove on the 10th & 11th October.

So far this season we have had a total of 74 Competitors, both crew and helms. That is up on last year by quite a few!!

This years Prize Giving will be part of the Draycote Scorpion Open Meeting 24th & 25th October which will also be the first event of the Silver Scorpion 2016 Series! Tickets will be available through our website later in the season.

 

John Purdie

John is a relative late comer to sailing and even later getting into sailing dinghies. Despite having a lifelong fascination with most things boat, his first sailing experience didn’t come until 1999 at the age of 17 when he spent two weeks aboard the 135′ 340 ton, STA Sir Winston Churchill, as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Scheme. Over the last 12 years John has logged more than 15,000 mainly blue water miles with various tall ships and as a volunteer with the Tall Ships Youth Trust (the modern day Sail Training Association) 72′ Challenger Fleet, crossing the Atlantic both ways and competing in the 2011 Rolex Fastnet. After floating around in other classes for a few years, John found the Scorpion in 2011 and has never looked back, competing (as crew) in the last two Nationals and regularly on the National Circuit. John is based just outside Chester, Cheshire.

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