Scorpions get high at Pennine

Twelve Scorpions ascended to the highest altitude of this year’s Scorpion calendar for the Pennine Open meeting. With the race course bathed in a light breeze, and kissed with September sunshine, 24 sailors rigged their boats in anticipation of the events ahead, of the nine races scheduled for the weekend, Saturday would see six sprint races.

The first race kicked off with Pete Crowther and Dave Thompson snaking their way upwind, picking the right shifts to arrive well ahead of the rest of the pack at the first bouy. However they were demoted to 3rd place after the 2nd beat when Scorpion sailors Rich Jones and Paul Newman snuck past them into 1st place on a shift of their very own, followed by Andy McKee and Steve Graham into 2nd.

The second race started without delay and was clinched by none other than Notts County’s Matt Potter and Chloe Willars with a well deserved victory, 2nd place went to Andy McKee and Steve Graham following a battle with ex team mate Chris Massey and Charlotte Graham.

The third race of the day started in light and shifty conditions and was won by Pennine’s ever popular pairing of Steve Walker and Jerry Hannabuss, followed by Rich Jones and Paul Newman showing off their impressive light wind speed, leaving Andy McKee and Steve Graham in 3rd. Meanwhile elsewhere in the fleet John and Jake Willars saw their best result of the weekend, piping Terry Flannagan and Dave Greenhalgh to 7th place.

In race four, Andy McKee and Steve Graham showed how it should be done leading from start to finish, with Matt Potter and Chloe Willars in 2nd and Steve Walker and Jerry Hannabuss in 3rd.

Race five set off with Andy McKee and Steve Graham in the lead once more, followed by Pete Crowther and Dave Thompson hot on their heels into 2nd place. Terry Flannagan and Dave Greenhalgh saw their best result of their weekend with a closely contested 5th.

Race six, the final race of the day, saw Andy McKee and Steve Graham following their earlier success with yet another 1st position, Rich Jones and Paul Newman fought it out and narrowly crossed the line in front of Peter Crowther and Dave Thompson for 2nd. Carl and Shellie Jones also enjoyed their best position of the weekend in 6th.

Saturday evening saw a demonstration of the excellent barbecuing skills of Terry Flannagan, Pete Crowther and Dave Thompson, easily qualifying for MasterChef 2018.

Campers awoke on Sunday morning to a heavy mist covering the lake that was easily mistaken for condensation on the inside of campervan windows, all was well following bacon butties and a brew, the breakfast of champions.

Race seven, the first of the longer races, was won by Chris Massey and Charlotte Graham beating Andy McKee and Steve Graham in response of race 2, with Steve Walker and Jerry Hannabuss in 3rd.

Race eight, the penultimate race, was won by Andy McKee and Steve Graham, followed by Steve Walker and Jerry Hannabuss in 2nd and Pete Crowther and Dave Thompson in 3rd. This race also saw another demonstration of the consistency of Malcolm James and Nicola Willars with their 3rd 6th place of the weekend.

The final race, the grande finale, race nine, was yet another stunning win from Andy McKee and Steve Graham, followed by Chris Massey and Charlotte Graham in 2nd and Steve Walker and Jerry Hannabuss in 3rd.

Overall Results:

1st Andy McKee and Steve Graham
2nd Steve Walker and Jerry Hannabuss
3rd Rich Jones and Paul Newman (and the bonus prize of writing the report)

Special thanks goes to Pennine Sailing Club for hosting the event and for the epic box of Yorkshire tea I took home as a prize (a proper brew).

Simon Forbes
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