Gul Scorpion National Championships Day 3


On day three of the 56th Scorpion national championships once again the fleet awoke to the sound of heavy raindrops, accompanied by even less welcome fog & mist out to sea. Most sailors arrived in the dinghy park suited and booted ready to go afloat, this proved to be a little premature, as due to the poor visibility the AP was raised indefinitely.

Thankfully the visibility improved after a short while and race team set a course close to shore in case the fog should reappear. Race 4 got underway at the first attempt, in a South Westerly breeze of varying strengths, while most of the fleet started at the less favoured committee boat end with the intention of hitting the right hand corner of the first beat, Tom Jeffcoate & Tim Hartley, 2037, & Tim Parsons & Mike Hannan, 2014, both had good starts off the favoured pin end before tacking to head right as well. The right side paid a little more than left, as there were some soft patches in the lee of Looe island and Tom & Tim held a commanding lead at the windward mark, Chris Turner & Alex Hayman came from the right just rounding in front of Tim & Mike who had current event leaders Andy McKee & Chris Massey, 2026, hot on their heels.
The wind softened substantially at the gybe mark, with the second reach a little broader, on the second beat most of the fleet worked the right hand side, with Andy & Chris moving up to third, and Pete Mitchell & Simon Forbes, 2034, having a strong beat to take 4th at the windward mark.
Down the run Chris & Alex got inside Tom & Tim to take the lead which they would not surrender on the final round with Tom & Tim taking second and Andy & Chris rounding out the podium. John Mursell & Oli Wells, 2020, posted their best finish so far with a 6th with Dave Elston & Gavin Pouillion, 1981, also with a great result in 8th.

Race 5 got underway with less rain than we had now got used to. A shift before the start turned the line on its end leading to a congested beat. Mckee and Massey zoomed out to the right hand side and didn’t look back. they were chased all the way around by Jeffcoate and Hartley and Turner and Hayman. Steve Walker and Jerry Hannabuss posted their new best coming home in 4th, but behind them was much place changing on the sausage and second triangle. Pete Gray and Rich Pepperdine made the top 5 followed home by Basil Wolfenden and Catherine Maguire finishing a strong 6th. Chris Yates and Dave Barker in their sausage driven machine posted up a strong 11th which their smallest so far too.

Tomorrow looks to be rain free, so the sailors should enjoy shedding some warm kit for some summer sailing. Maybe.

Today’s Special Mentions……….

Chris Yates & Dave Barker (1959, Princess Tiger Lily and the Lardy Boys, Eastbourne Sovereign) have finally got there Nationals off to a start, posting their best two results so far with an 11th and a 14th from today’s races. This despite a new rig at the start of the week with minimal time to set up and the boat being with Nigel Potter for the last six months for a comprehensive rebuild and Dave the crew, falling on the mainsheet swival and seperating it from the hull.

Rachael Rhodes & Hannah Edge and Janet Richie & Alan Richie are having a battle royal for the Lady Helm, with Janet desperately trying to hang on to her crown Rachael is proving a worthy challenger helming in her first National event. At the half way point Rachael is currently in front by a single point. Janet will be hoping for some heavy weather to come where she can make the most of husband Alan’s hiking skills

Report Submitted by Tim Parsons (thanks Tim)

Video courtesy of John Crabb and can be found here

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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