Scorpions @ Weymouth Regatta

Scorpions at Weymouth Regatta 8th – 9th July 2017

Scorpion helms past and present wrap up the fast handicap fleet at the 2017 Weymouth dinghy regatta.

Castle cove sailing club hosted the 2017 edition of the Weymouth dinghy regatta. An event which had been highlighted by the Scorpion fleet as perfect practise for their 57th nationals which is being held here at the start of August.

Despite the lack of waves and wind the 13 scorpions all rigged up ready to try out new crews, sail combinations and various bits of kit.

Race 1 got underway in light and variable winds around a single lap trapezoid course. Halfway up the beat the fleet experienced 20 degree shifts, but it was the right side that seemed to ultimately pay for Krailing & Forbes 2034 and the race leaders Andy Mckee & Stevie Graham 2042.

A little further down the pack in third; Rhodes & Edge 2023 were looking speedy down the tight reach, until under no pressure… at all…  they collided with the wing mark. Allowing Jeffcoate & Hartley 2037 through to nab third. What makes this worse is that 2023’s pre-start boat chat had included a chat about going to specsavers.

Race 2 and the wind was as unstable as ever, the scorpions flipped a coin to decide which side to go up the beat. Krailing & Forbes 2034 however seemed to be lifted the entire way, hitting the left layline first, catching up the Fireballs and Ospreys at the windward mark. They disappeared into the distance to take a bullet. Jeffcoate & Hartley 2037 were kept on their toes by Mckee & Graham 2042 on the last beat, with 2042 slipping back into third after missing a right hand shift 50 yards from the finish line.

Race 3 began in lighter winds, with the scorpions still attempting damage limitation up the first beat. Krailing and Forbes 2034 were again leading the way until they had the misfortune of running their kite halyard under their boat through a gybe (how does that happen?), allowing Mckee and Graham 2042 to take the win.

Sundowners were enjoyed by all of the competitors on the Castle cove verander. The Scorpion fleet chatting through the sunset to the (almost) full moon rising over the breakwater.

Sunday dawned with some crews enjoying an unusual breakfast of leftover Chinese takeaway. But more worryingly, despite the sunshine, there were no leaves moving on the wind indicator tree in Rob and Sandra Smiths garden.

The race officer sent us out regardless and after the scorpion fleet had topped up their wetsuit tans in the glorious sunshine, race 4 began.

Again Krailing & Forbes 2034 sniffed their way up the first beat, closely followed by Jeffcoate & Hartley 2037. However the wind decided turn 180 degrees meaning that the top of the fleet now had to beat the run.

Buried at the back of the whole fast fleet; Mckee and Graham 2042 used a Jedi like touch to keep their kite filled and sneak around the gybe mark, keeping far left to catch the new breeze which was filling in, allowing them to undertake the entire fleet. They popped out in front of the chaos of the leeward mark to secure another bullet.

Meanwhile in a boat not so far away… Rhodes & Edge 2023 also found themselves on the left hand side, managing to trailer park around the boats now rafting up at the lee mark to take 2nd, with  Malcolm James 2001 announcing himself in 3rd.

Race 5 and Barry & Linda Wolfenden 2024 came through the fleet on the run and played the shifts up the tricky last beat, overtaking everyone to take the win. In the meantime Mursell & Barker 2020 went hard left which enabled them to find the line for second place.

Race 6 Mckee & Graham 2042 managed to keep the lead off the line for the whole race with Mursell & Barker 2020 close behind. Some clever downwind tactics from Krailing & Forbes  2034 meant that they were able to pass 2020 on the run to take a 2nd place from them.

Mckee and Graham finished top of the scorpion fleet with a convincing 4 bullets. They also won the fast fleet overall with Krailing & Forbes in third while John Turner in his Merlin split the scorpions in second place.

The scorpions always enjoy coming to Castle Cove for their hospitality and well organised events. The fleet are looking forward returning in August for their 57th nationals for more fun and games.

Hannah Edge