Meet Your Committee and Contact Us

John Mursell
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John’s father introduced the Scorpion to Castle Cove in 1967, having acquired 506 ‘Lady Jane’, the first Westerly Scorpion built without a stern tank. Before long there were nearly 30 Scorpions at the Cove, and club members, including John’s parents (with kids in tow), were enthusiastic travellers on the Open circuit and to the Nationals.  John took part in his first Nationals in 1974, crewing for his Dad in ‘Lady Jane’.  “160 boats straight off the beach at Saundersfoot.  I was hooked.”  John took Lady Jane to North Berwick in 1976 for his first Nationals as a helm, teaming up with his school chum, Adam Bowers.  “I think we performed better off the water than on it.  Just wasn’t used to those Scottish Malt chasers.  Nothing changes.”

John bought his first Scorpion in 1977, a rare Peter Johns boat, 924 ‘Shere Khant’. Since then has owned 1765 ‘Philanderer’, built by Adam Bowers while at South East Boatbuilders; 1835 ‘and out came Willie!’ (don’t ask), from High Performance Sailboats (Adam also responsible); 1850 ‘Cream Cracker’, the first Scorpion Kevin Gosling built for himself whilst at Jon Turner’s; then for 20 years from 1991 he was the proud owner of 1936 ‘Bottyburp the Barbarian’, a distinctive, bright yellow Gosling – a boat voted 4th in Dougal Henshall’s series for Yachts & Yachting to decide the most iconic racing dinghy of all time; then last but not least, 2020 ‘Snap Shackle & Plop!’, from the Boatyard at Beer, finished by P&B.

John served on the Committee for eight years from 1993 – 2000, the last five as Chairman, but was taken aback to be informed that his predecessor as President, the ‘queen’ of the Scorpion Class, Carol Haines, was handing over the reins and that he was to take over.  “Honoured as I was, it was also a reality check.  I well remember cornering Carol many moons ago in one of the darker recesses of Notts County SC, along with my fellow conspirator, Steve Walker. Armed with a bottle or two of fine wine, our mission was to ‘persuade’ Carol that she was to be the new President, and NO, she was definitely NOT too young for the role! The redoubtable Carol put up very firm resistance but gradually mellowed as the bottles were drained.  The rest is history.  The ‘conspirators’ this time – Steve Walker and Chris Yates, both on the committee with me back in the 90’s.  How history repeats itself.”

PS. One thing that John didn’t mention is that he has won the Scorpion Nationals a record nine times as helm – that’s why you get to be Class President and dress up smart for the Prizegivings!

Chris Yates
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Chairman_Superman.jpg  Gone before me are National Champions and many legends of the class but then why shouldn’t I just let you all into the best kept secret. But then you already know! We all sail the best two-person hiking performance dinghy, fact, with quite frankly the best set of friends anyone could ask for …. you lot!I found out this secret way back in 1981 when a certain Tony Wetherall in his Tenby  National Champions speech declared the same sentiments and I’ve been hooked ever since! A quote from Albert Einstein : A ship is always safe at the shore – but that is not what it is built for.There’s not much else for me to say but to enjoy the forthcoming season and see you on the water. PS. How do you like my new Superman outfit and shades?!
Malcolm James
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2011-image-for-website-1024x905.jpg Malcolm learned to sail National 12s on a gravel pit at Burton SC during the 1970s. Switching to Scorpions in 1982 he owned a couple of Trevor Stewart’s wooden boats; including 1888 ‘Encore’ at Walton-on-Thames SC following a memorable crewing ‘experience’ with the legendary Mr Chris Yates. After a 20 year absence Malcolm is now back in the fold with 2001 ‘Zephyr’ and based at South Cerney SC in Gloucestershire.
Steve Walker
  Steve Walker has been linked to the Scorpion association since his father bought 781 back in the day. Steve sails 2033 with Jerry Hannabuss at Pennine Sailing Club and around the circuit. He has previously owned 1585, 1889, 1944, 1956, 1970. Sat in Staunton Harold club house one Sunday morning,  with Chris Yates, Dave Barker and Jerry ‘The Guru’ Hannabuss, it dawned on us that we have been  competing at Scorpion events for the past 35 (maybe plus) years together….. great boat, great fun and great mates !
Colin Bradley
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is DSC4203-edit-1024x698.jpg Colin has been sailing Scorpions for 15 years with his children normally crewing for him; showing that the Scorpion is an all round boat for people of all sizes and ages. With daughter Jenny crewing at the 2018 Tenby Nationals, their impressive 2nd place in the first race certainly proves this successful formula!
Events & Silver Scorpion
Peter Gray
 This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Pete-Gray-at-NCSC-Cooler-0218.jpg Pete is regularly seen leading the way round the Open meetings in 2039 ‘Inside Voice’, his 2016 Gosling-built composite, and is currently the Events organiser for the Northern Circuit and the Silver Scorpion. He has put together an innovative series of events for the 2019 Silver Scorpion with parallel ‘Travellers’ events in the South-West and Midlands regions. Pete is based at Staunton Harold SC in South Derbyshire. 
Nationals Co-Ordinator
Dave Elston
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is DaveElston-Weymouth-2017.jpg  A long-time Scorpion sailor Dave joins us after the 2018 Tenby Nationals. Taking over the reins from Linda Wolfenden he aims to get us to the best Nationals venues for the next few years. Sailing at Castle Cove SC in Portland Harbour Dave appreciates what makes a great venue, which is probably why the class like sailing at Weymouth so much!
Technical Advisor
Chris Turner
  Chris joined the Committee in August 2016 as the Class Technical Adviser. He has been building and sailing Scorpions for many years.  He holds may awards for sailing, the most important one,  being the National Scorpion Champion together with Alex Hayman in 2016. What Chris does not know about sailing Scorpions is just not worth knowing!
Website & Sponsorship
Simon Forbes
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2034-Simon-Forbes-and-Alan-Krailing.jpg Simon has been sailing in various classes since before he could walk. After having a few ‘guest appearances’ crewing for Peter Gray, he started his regular Scorpion sailing at Sidmouth Nationals in 2013 (boat number and year!) finishing  a creditable 3rd. Partnering with Alan Krailing in 2034 ‘Tough Screw’ at the start of the 2017 season has seen success followed by success; several Open wins, 4th place at the 2017 Weymouth Nationals and well-deserved National Champions at Tenby in 2018.
Advertising & PR
Hannah Edge
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Hannah is our graphic designer and social media lady. She helps out with the website, making graphics, publicising events, re-touching photos (PhotoShop wizard) and other arty bits for the class. Hannah first stepped into a Scorpion at the 2012 Paignton Nationals, finding that these things were far more fun (more ropes to pull!) than the team racing boats she was used to. She developed a reputation for having good boat chat and snacks, sailing at the pointy end of 1976 for quite a few helms over the years.
In 2016 she teamed up with Rachael Rhodes to form ‘Team Girl’ and the duo can be seen racing the distinctive red hulled 2023 around the Silver Scorpion opens. 
Prizes Organiser & Sponsorship
Nicola Willars
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Willars_2017-1024x768.jpg Nicola joins us on the Committee following the 2018 Tenby Nationals to continue the sterling work done by Amy Forbes over recent years. Together with husband Jon and twins Chloe and Jake, Nicola is the driving force behind the world’s largest fleet of racing Scorpions at Notts. County SC.
General Member
Carl Jones
Carl was voted in by existing Committee Members in December 2015.  Carl started sailing in 1992 after getting interested in sail power after a charity raft race. His first Scorpion was 1847. He has been sailing and enjoying Scorpions ever since, now sailing 1974 – ‘Panama Jack’ and 2029 – ‘Jac y Ddraig Goch’ (the newest wooden Scorpion until 2044 ‘Tallulah’ arrived on the scene in March 2019) with his wife Shellie crewing at Llandudno and Pennine.