Scorpions on European Tour – Sun, Sea, Wind and Wine!!!!
A long long time ago, in a pub far far away were some scorpion sailors sheltering from the typical British weather. In typical fashion, after a couple of light beverages, they were dreaming of being somewhere a lot warmer and drier, and it was here that the idea of Carnac 2014 was born.
Upon arrival, it became clear, that the dream had become a reality and not only had we bought the best boats, but also the most with a fleet of 25 boats.
Saturdays fun handicap race was held in a stiff breeze, on an Olympic course with a sizeable sausage which was ideal for sending it large downwind for the Scorpions. After 2 laps the race was over, but the whole fleet were having so much fun we decided to do another lap just for the fun of it! ( not because we had failed to notice we had finished!!!) Peter Gray and Rich Pepperdine (2022) finished as first Scorpion, followed by Baz Wolfenden and Rach Rhodes (2024). Ryan and Hannah Buchanan (2028) came in 3rd. That evening the fleet went off to watch the cup final, enjoyed several rum cocktails and Tarquin managed to earn himself a loyalty discount ice cream.
Sunday dawned ready for the first day of serious racing. The weather was light but very sunny. Race 1 got underway in a light breeze, the Scorpions were second fleet to start, and were almost sent the wrong way around the course following the Merlin’s, but as we have a better sense of direction we corrected ourselves and completed the course correctly. Making most of the first beat and first round the windward mark was Jack Banks and Penny Jeffcoate (2017). They managed to hold onto this lead for the whole race, just fending off Pete Mitchell and Simon Forbes (2013) from their charge carving up the fleet after rounding the first windward mark in 7th. Son and father combo Alex and Andy Hayman (2021) finished 3rd, with Peter Gray and Rich Pepperdine (2022) just pipping Colin and Jenny Bradley finishing 4th and 5th respectively.
In the second race, Gray/Pepperdine pulled out a great lead, only to be found to be ocs. This gave the lead and impressive race win to Oli Wells (2033) despite having the handicap of Mr Wade crewing. 2nd went to Banks/Jeffcoate and 3rd Mitchell/Forbes. The fleet then retired to the respective steering committees and crews unions.
Day 3 started with many teams wearing dark glasses and discussing how they got various injuries and their methods of getting back to the campsites. The days racing was dominated by Gray/Pepperdine getting 2 bullets. Wolfenden/Rhodes and Mitchell/Forbes had a good battle to take the other podium spots in race 3. Buchanan/Buchanan found their form in race 4 taking second, with Mitchell/Forbes finishing the day with another 3rd.
The final day of racing started with a light but building breeze. Again Gray/Pepperdine get 2 bullets sealing up the event. John Clementson and Mel Titmus (2019) had their best day of the regatta getting 2nd with Wolfenden/Rhodes 3rd. The fleet were a bit more relaxed during race 5 as Alex Hayman managed to distract the jury boat by breaking his rudder pintel and getting a lift to shore.
The final race of the series ended up with Mitchell/Forbes leading the fleet from start to finish, only to find out at the finish they were ocs. This handed the race win to Gray/Pepperdine, with Wolfenden/Rhodes having a great battle with Wells/Wade finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.
This ended the regatta with Gray/Pepperdine taking the win, with Wolfenden/Rhodes taking second and Mitchell/Forbes 3rd.
A big thank you has got to be made to Tom Jeffcoate and his team of helpers for organising such a fantastic event and to Carnac Yacht Club for being great hosts. I hope I speak for the fleet in saying that we would love to come again to this fantastic event with fingers crossed even more boats!
Now to Datchet for the Inlands on June 7/8th before the Scorpion / Lark show down at Netly on the 14/15th…let’s all get there to show those Larks that we have more fun and better turnouts!!!
Photos © John Murrell / www.fotoboat.com