Scorpion Nationals 2013 @ Sidmouth – Day 2

The Scorpion Nationals fleet awoke to bright sunshine and a breeze of 8-12 knots. A big left hand shift just after the start saw the boats on the left hand side reaching into the windward mark. Steve Hall and Oli Wells took full advantage of this after their black flag yesterday to take the lead which they held untill the finish, followed by Pete “Maverick” Mitchell and Simon Forbes and Pete Gray and Rich Pepperdine. The following pack battling for forth place was tight with Janet and Alan Richie finding their speed (after loosing their car keys on the first day!), Andy Hayman and Kevin Gosling and Jack Banks and Penny Jeffcotte. Jack and penny eventually sailed home to forth after playing the shifty conditions well up the final beat.

Race 2 got away in a freshening breeze. this time a right hand shift up the first beat allowed Pete and Rich to round first ahead of the silver boat of Barry Wolfenden and Rachael Rhodes, and Jack Banks and Penny Jeffcotte. To the surprise of the leaders as they reached the gybe mark the race officer abandoned the race as he felt the wind shift had been an unfair advantage.

On the re-start the wind had steadied and after a close first beat Steve and Oli again popped out in the lead followed closely by the chasing group of Janet and Alan, Jack and Penny, Baz and Rach and flyers of the day Ric and Lucy Searle. Downwind the leading group were looking to make gains by hotting it up on the runs which paid for some and not for others. Steve and Oli held on to take their second win of the day just staying just ahead of Pete Gray and Rich Pepperdine after a storming final beat, and Barry Wolfenden and Rachael Rhodes in third. This result after a bet at dinner the night before called for champagne in the “Cypress house” as all their boats finished in the top 3!

Rsults after Day 2: (four races, 1 discard)

1st Peter Gray and Rich Pepperdine – 4pts
2nd Steve Hall and Oli Wells – 5pts
3rd Pete Mitchell and Simon Forbes – 6pts
4th Jack Banks and Penny Jeffcotte – 15pts
5th Barry Wolfenden and Rachael Rhodes – 15pts
6th Andy McKee and Steve Graham – 15pts

John Purdie

John is a relative late comer to sailing and even later getting into sailing dinghies. Despite having a lifelong fascination with most things boat, his first sailing experience didn’t come until 1999 at the age of 17 when he spent two weeks aboard the 135′ 340 ton, STA Sir Winston Churchill, as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Scheme. Over the last 12 years John has logged more than 15,000 mainly blue water miles with various tall ships and as a volunteer with the Tall Ships Youth Trust (the modern day Sail Training Association) 72′ Challenger Fleet, crossing the Atlantic both ways and competing in the 2011 Rolex Fastnet. After floating around in other classes for a few years, John found the Scorpion in 2011 and has never looked back, competing (as crew) in the last two Nationals and regularly on the National Circuit. John is based just outside Chester, Cheshire.

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