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Scorpion Open at Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club

by Chris Massey 16 May 07:01 BST 13 May 2018

With three boats worth of crew attending other classes events (booo!), a string of illnesses in the fleet (one quite serious, we're all thinking of you Terry, keep fighting!) and one AWOL, five Scorpions attended Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club's Scorpion Open, which was once again shared with a GP14 Northern Bell Open.

Our numbers may have been few (especially compared to the GPs who, in their World Championship year, saw a bumper turnout), but the racing was exceedingly tight.

Race 1 kicked off with a nice breeze, Pete Crowther and Dave Thompson were forced into a tack early after the start by Steve Walker and Jerry Hannabus, which, by their own admission, put them on a stonker of a course for the windward mark. Their significant lead was never challenged and Crowther/Thompson took a convincing win. Walker/Hannabus kept just within reaching distance of the boats behind, but were never truly challenged. The real fight was between Chris Massey/Ben Thackray battling for third with Colin Bradley/Paul Newman. The position was exchanged several times throughout the shifty race and it looked like Bradley/Newman would prevail, only for them to think they had crossed the finish line 2 legs early. Local knowledge is known to be beneficial to a sailor; in this instance knowledge of where the finish line is, was what helped Massey/Thackray to secure 3rd!

After a typical Hollingworth Lake gut buster of a lunch, the fleet set off for 2 back-to-back races. The start of race 2 was won by Massey/Thackray who closed the door at the Committee boat end on the whole of the fleet forcing 2 over the line..... It's a shame there was a whole race to go. Massey/Thackray managed to hold the lead for a lap, only to be outwitted by the wily team of Walker/Hannabus on the downwind leg. Massey/Thackray (still getting to grips with their new seats in the boat) were then out matched by Crowther/Thompson heading into the next windward mark. That's where the positions stayed for the rest of the race, followed by Bradley/Newman in 4th and Carl Jones crewed for by none other than the Commodore of Llandudno Sailing Club himself, Phil Roberts, in 5th.

Race 3 got underway in another great breeze. While most of the fleet battled for the Committee boat end again, Massey/Thackray chose to stay out of the fight and start part way down the line and make a beeline for 'Cafe Point', where a significant wind bend was clearly developing. The move paid off, and on the tack Massey/Thackray found themselvesd well clear of the fleet on a decent lift. This gave them a comfy margin, with the rest of the fleet constantly battling to stay ahead of each other in the shifty breeze. But once again Walker/Hannabus managed to claw the ground back on Massey/Thackray and take a pass just at the end of the penultimate lap. Keen not to see a repeat of race 2, Massey/Thackray pushed hard and managed to sail beneath Walker/Hannabus on the next broad reach leg. The rest of the fleet taking advantage of the battle closed to within striking distance and all boats rounded the next mark in line astern. Places were exchanged constantly for the remaining lap, but, with what appeared to be a bungee cord attached to the back of Massey/Thackray's boat, Walker/Hannabus managed to sling shot past on one of the last runs and stayed in the lead to the finish line. Crowther/Thaimpson finished 3rd with Bradley/Newman in 4th place.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1st2033Steve WalkerJerry HannabussPennine SC‑2112
2nd2031Peter CrowtherDave ThompsonPennine SC12‑43
3rd2026Chris MasseyBen ThackrayHLSC‑3325
4th2030Colin BradleyPaul NewmanPennine SC‑4437
5th2029Carl JonesPhil RobertsLlandudno SC55(DNF)10
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