Zhik Coast Watersports Scorpion Nationals – Day 5

Day 5 of the Scorpion Nationals dawned this morning with ‘horrid’ weather forecast – it was not pleasant but got better as the day progressed. Sea conditions choppy with a good force 4 gusting 5, 4 races scheduled, an early start and a fleet of Scorpion Sailors keen to put the frustrations of day 4 behind them!

Race 6 got under way under ‘u’ flag with no recalls and was won by Chris Turner and a poorly Alex Hayman (Sc 2004) – their first bullet of the week. 2nd went to Andy McKee and Chris Massey (Sc 2026), 3rd to Pete Mitchell and Simon Forbes (Sc 2034). Most reports concentrate on the top end (deservedly  so!) and neglect to mention the lower fleet members who’s competitiveness is just as fierce as the top end. Special mention goes to Martyn Denchfield who secured a 28th in this race which was his best of the day and who’s birthday it is – Happy Birthday – he and his crew Joe Smith (Sc 1925) where seen upside down on more than one occasion …….. perhaps they where washing the confetti off which has some how found its way in to their kite!!

Race 7 was won by Mckee and Massey, with Mitchell and Forbes in 2nd and Turner and Hayman in 3rd. The rear was brought up by Jon Fox and Helen Miles in Sc 2010.

Race 8 saw the wind start to drop off which made it a bit more enjoyable rather than survival at the rear end – Youth Combo Elysia Dooley and Jake Willars (Sc 1834) secured themselves  51st place after a 49th and 52nd in the previous 2 races of the day. 3rd was won by McKee and Massey, 2nd by Pete Gray and Rich Pepperdine (Sc 2022) and the bullet went to Tom Jeffcoate and Tom Pygall (Sc 2022) – their 2nd of the Championship.

Race 9 started, again under ‘u’ flag – most of the fleet went left only to be headed by a large wind shift which gave a huge advantage to those few who went right – namely Chris Yates and Dave Barker (Sc 1959) and Jo Mahy and Ian Dooley (Sc 2015) and others. The Race Office quite rightly decided to abandon this race, so having made it it the windward mark the fleet surfed the chop back to the start line to begin the sequence again.

Janet Ritchie and Alan Ritichie (Sc 2005) got the bullet to a well deserved chores of cheers, 2nd went to Jack Banks and Penny Jeffcoate (Sc 2017) and 3rd to Oli Wells and Rachel Rhodes (Sc 2036), the rear of the fleet being brought up by Paul Barnes and John Wells (Sc 2011) in 51st. Janet is the first lady helm to win a championship race at the Nationals since Carol Haines in 1972 – well done Janet and Alan!!!!!

Tonight is ‘Up in the Clouds’ fancy dress night ahead of the final day of racing tomorrow – who will be the overall winner?…..As it stands Andy McKee and Chris  Massey are hanging on to the Champion lead with 18 points, Tom Jeffcoate and Tom Pygall are sitting on 21 points and Pete Gray and Rich Pepperdine are hanging on to 24 point – all is to play for tomorrow on the final race………….


Joanne Mahy