Gul Scorpion National Championships Day 5

Top Three separated by 2 points !
With the top two now level going into tomorrow’s final race the rock stars at the front of the 56th Gul Scorpion Nationals have a huge decision to make – do they enjoy the legendary Thursday night fancy dress party and risk a lack of energy tomorrow or opt for a quiet night in and conserve their energy hoping for the result to seal the deal.

Today’s racing was a tense affair – after another on time launch the first start was abandoned with 30 seconds to go – unfortunately with the normally solid looe wind deserting the race track it was 90 minutes of banter among the fleet as the wind built, turned round then turned off and clocked again. Eventually a start was attempted however as predicted with all that waiting everyone was a bit too keen and another start was required to allow the fleet to get away under a black flag.
This time it was Tom and Tim’s turn for the victory (they now have 3). Mackee / Massey were second with Turner and Hayman 3rd.
In the ladies trophy ~Rachel and Hannah were on a flyer and recorded their second best result of the week with a 11th while the Ritchie’s were struggling with gear failure and had to settle for a mid table result.
Only one quiet finisher in the fleet on this one 2031 from Pennine Crowther and Thompson !

The second race of the day (race 9) and again the black flag was required to keep the fleet in order with Turner and Hayman recording their 4th race win of the event. This time Tom and Tim falling to 4th with Pete Gray / Richard Pepperdine having their best result of the week taking 2nd and McKee / Massey 3rd.

So the battle for top spot goes down to the wire tomorrow ! – However this is not just the closest championship for many a year the results are tight all the way down – the battle for 4th is separated by just three points – if only the veteran team of Walker and Hannabus had avoided the dreaded silent finish yesterday they could be a clear 4th rather than 3 points off.

The ladies title is still in the mix with just 3 points separating the top two – if the Ritchie’s can avoid gear failure and capsizes they may be able to claim the pot once more.

The silver fleet looks to be sewn up by Elston / Poullion (just shows what the return of the favoured crew can do ) however in the bronze fleet Holden / Hawkins are proving the ideal combination with the local knowledge of Arch at the front just keeping them in the lead.

The action didn’t finish after two races – some 6 brave helms were persuaded to allow their crews a go on the stick for the annual crews race with a slightly smaller course laid.With the young fit ones showing the way (Pepperdine / Gray) it was noted that many of the helms (now crewing) adopted a new two handed rig support technique, Maguire / Wolfenden valiantly battled through the two triangles and sausage course chasing thoughout but unable to get on terms with the leaders. Following on were the veteran pairing of Hannabus / Walker with Barker / Yates in 5th.
Top result for Arch Hawkins (age 12.)completing the course in 6th with the Boys Willars Team retiring.

For those non sailors (SWAGS / SHABS and others) today’s activity involved a boat trip to nearby Polperro which was so popular that the two boats booked weren’t enough and some had to take the ‘normal’ tourist trip.

Tonight’s fancy dress is (to this reporters knowledge) the first time the scorpions have had a charity beard shave with ZZ Top Looky Likey Max Hayman raising funds for the MS Society and CRY. At time of writing this a lot of encouragement has been made to Max’s dad to also see his chin in fresh air once more. At midnight tonight all will be revealed.

So to round up which previous winner will win the event ? Turner / Hayman with a single pole 10 year old hull, Jeffcoate / Hartley with last years Tom’d up special twin pole tweaked machine or McKee / Massey in the ex PnB 5 year old hull twin pole machine. – 3 styles of fit out, three different sailmakers represented – Scorpions at their different best yet all so close………


Report by Alan Richie

video will be available soon

we have had a bit of delay with the results, images of the overalls can be found on our Facebook page. The special prizes will be sorted after racing tomorrow



Linda Wolfenden

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