The Silver Scorpion 2014 Decider @ Notts County

37 Scorpions turned out for the annual trip to Notts County Sailing Club, with an impressive 19 boats turning out for the host club, following an iffy forecast competitors were greeting on Saturday morning to torrential rain and a mill pond, not quite the forecast 30 knots, this had passed through early leaving not a lot behind it. Fortunately the rain cleared, as did the sky just in time for the first race, which was sailed in 5-7 knots, with the occasional gust. With a short beat to the windward mark the start was crucial to getting track position, Tim Parsons & Andy Davis achieved this to lead round with the pack in close contention, but maintained their lead throughout to take the gun. Pete Gray & Rich Pepperdine made a few gains to sail into 2nd with Jack Banks & Penny Jeffcoate rounding out the top three in race one. Jack and Penny showed a clean pair of heels to the fleet in race two, leading from start to finish, Tim & Andy coming through the fleet to take 2nd and Steve Walker & Jerry Hannibus showing some promising speed to take third. Race Three was sailed at dusk after a quick tea break, the breeze just about handing on, unlike the sun! This time it was Pete Gray & Rich ‘Pepsi’ Pepperdine who got the start right managing to round the windward mark in pursuit of John Clementson & Chris Swinchat and managing to sail into a comfortable lead later in the race, Jack & Penny were showing their consistency to take second, and the overnight lead, with John & Chris holding onto third.

After a superb night in the club, with fantastic food laid on in Paulines famous kitchen the fleet were suitably bleary eyed for the 10 am start, with some deciding that the glassy effect on the lake was not to their liking, they packed up and headed off home early! The rest of the fleet made their way out in 3-5 knots of shifting breeze, race 4 got underway after a recall, and again we saw a different leader in the shape of Andy Mckee & Chris Massey, they showed some good speed to take a comfortable win, Mr & Mrs consistency, Jack & Penny taking second and Pete & Rich taking third to keep themselves in with a shout of the overall win. With the breeze dying race 5 was started in little over 3 knots, Pete & Rich managed to steer clear of the holes and the weed and went on to take the bullet, followed in second by Steve & Jerry with Jack & Penny taking third, it was now close at the top when the final race was started in a zephyr, Pete & Rich seemed to be liking these conditions and took the win, along with the overall lead after passing Alex Hayman & Simon Forbes who then hung on to take 2nd, with Jack & Penny closing out the top three to finish second overall, with Tim Parsons & Andy Davis taking third overall. Thanks to all the team at Notts County for a great weekend, the scorpion roadshow now moves on to the end of season event at Poole YC on the 15th & 16th November, with the Silver Scorpion prize giving at the dinner, book now to avoid disappointment!!




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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