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Scorpion Open at Notts County Sailing Club

by Nicola Willars 10 May 2016 17:07 BST 7-8 May 2016
Scorpions at Notts County © Amy Forbes

It is safe to say that we could not have wished for a better weekend at Notts County Sailing Club for our 2016 Scorpion open. The fleet of 27 boats were treated to beautiful sunshine, a gentle breeze and copious stocks of rum in the bar which all made for a fantastic atmosphere. Despite some ill timed wind shifts, Race Officer Ken and his team did a sterling job and we enjoyed some great sailing.

Competitive racing was seen throughout the fleet, which included two junior helms (Chloe Willars and Jake Willars) and two junior crew (William Thomas crewing a scorpion for the first time, with Martin Denchfield in 1925; and Amy Hinsliff-Smith sailing with commodore Ross Ryan in 1865).

It was fantastic to see the return of Scorpion Sailors from the past – Richard and Sarah Mason in Peaches, John and Richard Greenhalgh in 1590 as well as Scorpion Newbies NCSC's Alex Piggott in 1984 and SHSC's Nigel Pepperdine.

The club welcomed 14 visiting boats, with a very strong contingent from Pennine Sailing club who brought six boats and Staunton Harold who travelled with three.

Visitors came from as far afield as: Sutton Bingham, circuit regular Jo Mahy and her new crew Julie Dogrell in 2015; Penny Jeffcoate sailing with Will Snow (who made his Scorpion debut) from Island SC in Mum Nadina's local boat 2025, and Chipstead's Janet Ritchie who sailed Drama Queen to Highest Placed Lady Helm, with her husband Alan; From Northampton we saw Ollie Wells sailing in the modern epoxy built Pinnell and Bax Championship Spec boat 2034 (which is, incidentally, for sale!).

Flyer of the day on Saturday was awarded to Jack Banks in 2017, and on Sunday this award went to Nigel Pepperdine who showed tremendous form as a Newbie Scorpion Helm (maybe time to trade in the RS200?!).

Great racing on Saturday was followed by one of Pauline's infamous curry dinners, which helped to soak up some serious drinking in the bar afterwards. The writers of this report still cannot believe they managed to stay awake until 1am on Sunday....!

Sunday rounded the weekend of fun off with three races held back to back in brilliant sunshine as the breeze began to build, and saw Nigel Potter and Kevin Hope sailing Paintcraft Boat's newly acquired Perdita.

The weekend finished with the top three results ending as they had the evening before:

  • 1st Tom Jeffcoate (Notts County) and Rachael Rhodes – Tom chuffed with his first Scorpion event win in 5 years.
  • 2nd Pete Gray (Staunton Harold) and Rich Pepperdine – Pete is the current Silver Scorpion champion, and incidentally his boat Quackers is for sale...!
  • 3rd Richard and Sarah Mason (Notts County) – the first Scorpion Open this husband and wife pairing have competed in for 3 years.
  • 1st Junior Helm - (Notts County) Chloe Willars sailing with Dad Jon Willars
  • 1st Junior Crew - (Notts Count) William Thomas sailing for the first time in a Scorpion with Martyn Denchfield
"Special" prizes were given to Staunton's Rich Pepperdine for an incident in the bar the night before, and Pennine's Pete Crowther who's crew doesn't know his own strength when it comes to adjusting the centreboard on 2031!

Full results are available on the NCSC website.

Paintcraft sponsored prizes were presented by Nigel Potter; Commodore Ross Ryan ended the proceedings, and put in a cheeky plug for NCSC's Spring Regatta on 24th May as thanks were given to all who had attended and helped to make this a superb weekend of Scorpion sailing.

Next open is at Hollingworth Lake on the 15th May. A great chance to notch up another result on the Northern & Midland Circuit.

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