Scorpion Open @ Chew Valley ’16

After an interesting diversion due to road works, including through a ford, we arrived at Chew Valley with the lake closely resembling a millpond and the Flying Fifteens having already decided on postponing any on the water activity until Sunday. However, local knowledge from Pete Rose pointed to enough breeze filling in later in the afternoon to get some racing completed. The main beneficiaries to the resulting postponement were Pete and Rach, who hadn’t even arrived by the time the first race was originally scheduled to start.

As a lesson to us all to trust local judgement at 1pm a faint breeze filled in from the East and to the credit of the race committee we did manage to complete a short race. Including Chris and I both sitting on the same side on one occasion. Off the start line Pete Rose/Ruth Kenyon and Barry Wolfenden/Catherine Maguire were looking quick out on the left however the fickle breeze died on them as the fleet crossed on the starboard layline in some pressure. Steve Mitchell & Polly Newman sailed a great run in dying breeze to win ahead of Pete Grey/Rachel Rhodes and Andy McKee/Chris Massey with recent additions to the class Malcom James/Alison James from South Cerney taking 4th. After the finish the wind fizzled out completely and the fleet adjourned to the shore until Sunday.

I’m afraid I can’t pass comment on the evening social as we took the opportunity to visit family nearby. The photographs of lined up jager bombs (standard for any Scorpion social) suggested a good evening was had by all, and the 2016 Silver Scorpion prizes organised by Amy Forbes went down very well.

Sunday began with slightly more breeze and the racing started on time despite a few fuzzy heads. The breeze swung left just before the start making the line quite biased, with a single recall sounded ourselves and Dave Snutch/Sue Barnes returned to re-cross (later to find out we weren’t actually over… doh!). Pete/Rach lead the fleet from start to finish, followed home by Pete/Ruth with Dave/Sue finding some decent pressure on the right on the second lap to take 3rd, which just goes to show that in challenging conditions like these having to restart doesn’t mean the end of your race.

Race 2 followed a similar pattern with Pete/Rach again leading from the off and unchallenged in these conditions with Andy/Chris following them home ahead of Pete/Ruth. The final race however was a much closer affair with Pete/Ruth leading for a significant proportion of the race and enjoying a close battle with Pete/Rach who took the lead on the final run to seal a hat-trick for the day 2nd in that race enough to give Pete/Ruth 2nd overall ahead of Andy/Chris.

The usual thanks were given by Pete Gray at the prize giving, although a well-timed phone call from injured team mate Rich Pepperdine right in the middle of his speech provided the final laugh of the weekend.

Andy McKee
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