Gul Scorpion Nationals Race 8,9 & 10 @ Tenby
Tenby Scorpion Nationals 2018 Race 8, 9 & 10
With the fleet rested and refreshed from yesterdays windy shenanigans, the boat park was buzzing with all the sailors ready to go. The wind was set to build during the day and the first race got away under sunny skies and a strengthening 15 gusting 20 knot breeze. It was the Roses 1995 who popped their kite first at the windward mark, closely followed by Alan & Simon 2034 who bided their time and rolled them on the second run. 2034 held on to take another bullet and with Andy & Stevie 2042 taking a second place from Pete and Andy 2039, the title was almost in the bag for ex lark national champ and Simon ‘Montgomery’ Forbes.
To secure the nationals win Alan & Simon shot off the pin end for the 8th time this week they tacked and cleared the fleet hunting 2042 to match race them up the first beat. Pete & Taxi 2039 rounded in third, rolling Andy & Stevie 2042 to catch up with 2034. With that the two Gosling boats checked out of the fleet for the rest of the race. With some tactical tacks from 2039 to slow the progress of 2034 up the last beat, they still finished half a leg in front of the main fleet with Alan & Simon 2034 winning and taking the 2018 nationals title convincingly.
Meanwhile the lightweight brigade Sam Barker and Cara Jones 1923 of Castle Cove flew off the line, blowing off all the boats around them to hit the left hand side hard and enjoyed a handy wind shift to help them round the mark with the sharp end of the fleet. They held on to take 5th place just behind another Gosling built boat Ambush 2040 who moved into 4th place overnight.
The ‘confectionery’ themed fancy dress party was as successful as ever with a procession of mint imperials, a skittle and jelly baby rainbow. The sailing club bar was filled with milky bar kids, and jelly bean costume balloons were shed all over the dance floor, much to the delight of the scorpion children. Winner of the Peaches of Pennine fancy dress award is Luke Ellis who casually engineered a gum ball machine costume, complete with working parts, dispensing his sweets to all the fleet.
It felt like summer had broken at 10am as a heavy shower of rain freshened up the scorpion sailors from last nights fancy dress. With the top three already decided from the preceding 9 races, it was looking close for 4th and 5th between the local Tenby boat Pete & John Rose 1995 and Kevin Gosling & Andy Service in Ambush 2040.
Suited and booted a depleted fleet of set off to the committee boat under fluffy white clouds and beautiful blue skies. The last start cannon of the 2018 nationals sounded and the fleet were shy of the line as the tide was ripping through again.
Right seemed to pay with Ambush 2040 rounding in first place and extended a considerable gap over the rest of the fleet on the first reaches. The waves were starting to get choppier and a thirty degree wind shift after the run meant that the last top reach became a fight to get down. At the wing mark Ambush slipped up and went for a swim, allowing five boats through, it was Barry and Catherine 2043 who capitalised, surfing down the super fun waves on the bottom reach to claim their well deserved first ever nationals race win with the last cannon of the 2018 Scorpion nationals.
1st Alan Krailing & Siomn Forbes, 2034, Staunton Harold
2nd Pete Gray & Andy Davies, 2039, Staunton Harold
3rd Andy Mckee & Stevie G, 2042, Northampton SC
4th Pete & John Rose, 1995, Tenby SC
5th Kevin Gosling & Andy Service, 2040, Beer SC
This years nationals again showed us that the wooden boats of the fleet are just as competitive as the glass boats, (its all about how you use it) with 1995 Silverlode finishing 4th and 1850 Cream Cracker & 2005 Drama Queen finishing in 8th and 9th. Indeed 8 wooden boats have posted top ten results over the week, most more than once.
Janet & Alan Ritchie 2005 sailed brilliantly and took the lady helm trophy after finishing 9th overall. While Catherine Maguire after finishing 6th overall took the top lady crew maiden plate.
The consistency award went to Steve & Juliet Long 2013, as new comers to the class it shows how quickly they have picked up the boat.
Rachael Rhodes & Hannah Edge 2023 managed to extend their points in the last few races on Steve Mitchell & Polly Newman 2032 to win the silver fleet.
Jon & Nichola Willars have led the bronze fleet all week and are deserved winners, with Simon Holden & James Harcourt 1936 taking second place.
Chloe & Jake Willars completed the entire nationals and by working together they won the top junior helm trophy. Close behind them John Tilbly & George Backus-Griffin in the class association boat 1797 won the tenacity award.
Special mention to Jo Mahy & Emily Green 2015 who won a special prize for best dressed on the water with a strong team kit game that has put the rest of the fleet to shame.
A massive thank you to the Tenby SC race committee who managed to run 12 races for us and treating us to cannon starts & finishes. They were diligent and made sure we had a fantastic week on the water. Also thanks goes to the safety crew who looked after us from launch to recovery every day, the beach masters who kept a hawk eye on the tallies and parking. The galley staff who made us breakfast, lunch and dinner and everything in between. The bar staff who were privileged to see our best dance moves and underestimate our gin and rum consumption. Also the media crew Blake Shaw & Alistair Mackay who produced such beautiful photos for the class.
The next silver scorpion event on the calendar is Pennine on the 1st and 2nd September, then our inlands at Staunton Harold on the 22nd & 23rd. Then to round off with the end of seasons we are off to Nottingham 13th & 14th October. Hope to see you there!
Photo Credit Alistair Mackay