Trips Around the Bay! A Foray Into Travelling….


As a sport for the whole family, turns out you cannot go far wrong with spending your hard earned weekend sailing a dinghy (or three) on a disused gravel pit.

And so this is how it has been for our family. Almost three years of Scorpion sailing has seen us institutionalised by club racing: Class racing during the summer season, followed by the joys of handicap racing in the colder months. Two month’s of rest (club shut for shooting season). Then the whole routine begins again in March, desperate to return to the lake.

Until The Helm begins to wonder – what if a whole new world of dinghy racing existed, you know, outside that NG postcode.

Our first outing was to be Staunton Harold. And as that club is “only down the road”, we were ambitious. Two Scorpions were loaded onto the double stacker (I am a sentimental old fool who cannot bear to part with the first boat that introduced us to this class…)
And that is where they remained until the week after Staunton – as gusts of that magnitude were abit fierce for a rookie Open helm, in a newly purchased boat and a couple of Juniors for crew.

And so Pennine was pencilled in to the family calendar.

Tales of shifty conditions, and a daunting dam wall that was sure to make mincemeat of our super-shiny hull should we capsize in a certain wind direction, echoed in our ears as we set off in the direction of the misty Peak District in our shorts and tee shirts.

At Pennine a friendly welcome greeted all five of us (The Helm, His Usual Crew, Two eager 13 year olds and Even The Dog!), and I have to say that this continued for the whole weekend.

Each of The Crew were given a chance to join in the fun of racing in Sc2002, and on one race we even managed a credible mid fleet finish ! On the Saturday evening we enjoyed a well stocked BBQ laid on by the club, and had lots of friendly help and advice over a glass or two from the bar.
The wind played ball on Sunday, leaving the heavier stuff to the last race when thankfully the heavyweight crew was wheeled out of her temporary retirement, giving the kids a chance to enjoy the free WiFi in the clubhouse.

So, would we recommend travelling to the odd open as a family? We certainly would!

The Scorpion Fleet lived up to it’s friendly reputation, Pennine gave us some incredible three sail reaches that we had not experienced before (the lake looked massive compared with our home club!), the kids said they felt like they were on holiday, and even the dog managed to not disgrace herself.

And forgive me if I misheard, but I think there was even a whisper of some sea sailing in the not so distant future #scorpnats …

Nicola Willars