Gul Scorpion National Championships Day 2
‘It’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain’
Day two of the 56th scorpion Nationals was a rather damp affair, but spirits in the dingy park, as always,were high among the keen Scorpion sailors and the 51 boats set off to the race course 2 miles out to sea.
They were greeted with shifty changeable winds which was creating a challenge for the race committee to set a fair course. After a couple of abandoned starts due to some massive shifts and a postponement to adjust the course, the fleet finally got away for race two of the Nationals.
The first beat was an even split, with boats who took left and right making the lay line for the windward mark around the same time. Chris Turner & Alex Hayman 2004 reached the mark first and from here they managed to lead the whole race uncontested. Followed home by the ever consistent Andy McKee and Chris Massey 2026, Pete Mitchell and Simon Forbes 2034 showing their true form by rounding off the top three.
The wind was beginning to build into a steady force 5-6 with the waves beginning to develop into bigger swells. Championship race three saw the entire fleet take advantage of the Scorpions fully adjustable rigs and fantastic heavy weather handling, dropping in max rake and smashing the Cunningham and flattener on for the lightweights with the lardy boys expressing ever increasing grins. The first beat was a gruelling affair especially as the windward mark was lost into the massive walls of water racing down the course. The plucky sailors were relying on their compasses for directions. Eventually the fleet arrived and spun around it for a tight reach which spread the fleet and made for a tricky leg where places were made and lost. Some of the fleet (us lightweights) chose to go high and to two sail reach before popping the kite. While heavier crews battled on with a tight kite. The second reach was a little broader and was welcomed by the storm battered Scorpions as they hiked hard or clung on, down the exciting rolling waves to the leeward mark.
The next beat was much of the same, with Chris & Alex 2004 revelling in their favourite condition and continuing their dominant performance, they held the lead all the way down to a shortened course flag (a very welcome sight) and a short reach which became gnarlier by the minute for the unfinished boats. Andy & Chris were a close second with Tom Jeffcoate and Tim Hartley 2037
At the finish the storm started to gather and the boats headed back to shore, powering through the waves to be greeted by the ever efficient Looe Sailing Club beach recovery team.
Today’s Special Mentions…………
Ultimate respect has to go to our two Junior Helms Both Chloe Willars sailing with what much be a proud Mum Nicola (2002, Silverballs, Notts County) and James Ripley sailing with Amy Giles (1891, Fire In The Sky, Paignton) for not just showing skill and ability beyond their years but managing to do with if little weight in the boat to counter the power in the rig. It’s another shining example of the Scorpion as a boat.
The other mention, considering today’s conditions goes to the helm and crew John Greenhalgh & David Greenhalgh of this Nationals oldest boat The Melting Pot, sail number 1590 built 1975 (41 year old). Racing today without the newer raking rigs, they were fixed upright. They managed a respectable 33rd in R2 but were forced to head for shelter when the wind got up for R3
Today’s report courtesy of Hannah Edge,
Video by John Crabb and can be found on youtube https://youtu.be/vxDnXvo8c9k
Full results are now available on the results tab of our Nationals Page!!