Scorpion Nationals 2013 @ Sidmouth – Day 1
Sunday dawned with warm sunshine and 5 to 15 knots of breeze from every direction possible for races one and two of the Noble Marine Scorpion Nationals.
The first race got under way after three attempts under the black flag. There were two victims of the black flag, Steve Hall & Oli Wells and John Clemenoson & Mel Titmus. John and James Mursell led around the windward mark, only unfortunately to be rolled by three boats on the reach. Rich Jones and John Perdie rounded in fifth and defended their position honourably until the wing mark which caused the fleet to pile up and allow the first four boats to pull clear. Pete Mitchell and Si Forbes led away from the fleet with Jack Banks and Penny Jeffcoate pushing them hard until the final set of reaches when the wind dropped and began to shift. Pete & Rich in 3rd decided to gybe on the first reach to sail through Jack & Penny. By the time the boats re-convened at the wing mark, Pete Gray squeezed round ahead of Pete Mitchell and held on to the finish, making it a North Sails 1,2.
After a long wait for the wind to settle down, race 2 got away cleanly at the first attempt with no need for the black flag! At the first mark newcomers, Noths Sails Pete Mitchel and Simon Forbes (Pete Gray’s spare crew & boat), were up amongst it again. Also into the mix this time was the P&B boat of Steve Hall and Oli Wells. They managed to stay the right side of the line this time! Pete and Simon held on until the leeward mark where Pete and Rich managed to get the better of the shifts to the new windward mark to sneak past them. After another beat with with a mark shift and two brilliant reaches all credit to the mark laying team for this having moved the course over 90 degrees. Pete Gray took the win with Pete Mitchell taking 2nd once again and Stevie Hall 3rd.
The flyer of the day went to the Rose boys in 1993, but sadly had to give the champagne to there dad for letting them borrow the boat!
The Pecker prize for gross under achievement was awarded to the Mursell family boat for having the inability to sail without a rudder and managing to capsize whilst not racing rather close to the rocks. As all good helms and also fathers do John blamed his crew and said “hurry up and get on that board!”.
A change to the sailing instructions had now scheduled – two races for Monday due to the lack of wind forecast later in the week.