2018 Scorpion Inland Championships @ Notts County

The 2018 Scorpion Inland Championships started with a bang, well a couple, as two masts went on the first and only race on Saturday. It was warm, nearly 22’C and windy 35 knots (force 8) and it wasn’t long before the gusts of 35 – 40+ knots started appearing. Few were foolhardy or confident enough to venture out, meaning the Notts safety crew was kept busy (hence lack of photos!). 

Chloe & John 2002 were first to leave the shore, 11 other crews gave each other a nod, took their super brave pills and followed. Unfortunately 2002’s rig didn’t make it to the start line, breaking clean in two, they were towed back to shore to assess the damage. 

As the fleet got to grips with some capsize practise, William Jeffcoate the race officer had sensibly set a simple windward leward course. As the gun went off Martyn and his little crew Raife took a dip on the line and sensibly called it a day. Mckee & Graham 2042 rounded the windward mark first and were preparing to settle into a two sail race, however Jeffcoate & Hartley 2023 called their bluff, whipping out their starboard pole around the mark to pop the kite in a gust … the video of some spectacular synchronised capsizing captured by Tim Cripps speaks for itself. 

A little further down the pack Potter & Piggot 2000 lost their rudder, causing Massey & Edge 2026 to do some close avoiding action, coming around the windward mark with Orrell & Poore 1978. A safe gybe and a blasting reach in a monster gust allowed the one lap wonders to take the bullet. However in the same gust a Big Bang was heard from the mast of 1978, who’s race was over.

Meanwhile the crews of 2023 & 2042 were in an intense capsize recovery battle, with the two crews monitoring each others progress. 2023 came in 2nd and 2042 followed in 3rd. Crowther  & Thompson 2031 recovered from their crashing capsize to take 4th, while Potter & Piggot clipped 2000 back together and claimed 5th spot.  

After a rush on buying class association burgees, Nadina organised a rules quiz for the afternoons entertainment, which left some of our sailors a little wiser. Pauline then provided a lovely roast dinner for the sailors. 

A chilly Sunday came with a shifty breeze from the north west and plenty of wet stuff. Armed to the teeth with waterproofs and thermals the fleet left the shore confident of a great days racing. Luckily, Chloe and John had been lent 1902 for the day.

Race 2

With a starboard bias, the fleet were jostling for the committee boat end, a right hand wind shift on the first beat bunched the fleet together on the starboard lay line. Mckee & Graham 2042 rounded the mark first, but were soon over taken by Potter & Hibbert in the immaculate ‘Barbarians for Breakfast’. Walker & Hannabus who had sustained a wobbly mast injury in their capsize yesterday came in 3rd place, pipping 2023 by cats whisker. 

Race 3

The race team set a figure of 8 course, which began with a left hand wind shift on the first beat, making the top reach rather tight. Again the windward mark was busy with Mckee & Graham nipping around to lead the race to the end. The top 6 boats managed to extend away from the rest of the fleet. Big gusts on the downwind legs meant that places were exchanged between all the sailors throughout the race. 2023 held on to second while 1958 came over the line in 3rd place. 

Race 3

With 30 seconds to the gun the wind shifted left, causing the whole fleet to accelerate down the line to the port end. Eventually the whole fleet were on the port tack steaming to the lay line. The long run and shifty conditions allowed for some tactical gybes, seeing some crews who had lost out on the frantic start line to move through the fleet quickly. 

Mckee & Graham 2042 posted another bullet to win the Scorpion Inlands, while Jeffcoate & Hartley came home to take second overall. Potter & Hibbert were close behind and took third overall. Still elated from their over achievement in race 1 Massey & Edge took 4th overall.

This years Inlands was sponsored by the generous Charwood Brewery (who also do tours, great beer and very nice pint glasses).

A big thank you to Gul Wetsuits who provided £500 worth of vouchers for our 5 junior sailors. Well deserved prizes after they displayed some very brave sailing on Saturday and top skills on Sunday. An endeavour prize also went to Martyn for confidently taking two junior crews sailing. 

Thank you to all of the race and galley team at Notts County Sailing club, and especially Nichola Willars the Notts Scorpion fleet captain for organising the event & sponsors. 

The next event is the End of Seasons at Cardiff Bay with the Merlin Rockets on the 27th – 28th October. Ciao

Hannah Edge
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