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Scorpion Open at Llandudno Sailing Club

by Hannah Edge 2 May 11:52 BST

The Scorpion Nationals are heading back to Llandudno for the first time since the early 80s and last weekend's open gave the first chance for many to check out the venue.

We arrived to a friendly club, lots of space, a shiny new slipway but also 30mph+ and rain. The forecast was saying more of the same all day and so the early decision was made to come back again tomorrow for another try. Sunday however was much nicer, the sun came out (briefly), the wind was a steady force 2 to 3 and there were still some nice waves left over from the day before to play in.

The racing...

Race 1 started at the 2nd time of asking, off the line Tom Jeffcoate & Tim Hartley (2023) and Andy Mckee & Steve Graham (2042) took up the early running only to sail into a big hole. Chris Massey & Ben Thackray (2026) sensibly stayed in better breeze out to sea to take the lead at the top mark from Dave Poole & Dave Orrell (1978). Down the first broad reach Chris & Ben again showed everyone how to avoid the hole and disappeared off into the distance never to be seen again. The chase was led for much of the race by Steve Walker & Jerry Hannabuss (2044) after an early gybe on the first reach but Andy & Steve eventually reeled them in to take 2nd.

The race officer caught a few out with the quick turnaround between races but Andy & Steve soon established a small lead in race 2 with Tom & Tim trying to chase them down and Chris & Ben heading the chasing pack. The gaps stayed relatively constant until a change to the windward mark caused some confusion in the ranks over the number of laps required and caused a few retirements, Chris & Ben took 2nd behind Andy & Steve with Rich Jones & Phil Roberts (1947) from the home club taking 3rd.

For the 3rd race the first beat was a bit of a drag race with Chris & Ben edging round the windward mark ahead of Tom & Tim and Andy & Steve. A congested gybe mark allowed Andy & Steve to slip through into 2nd before they pulled into the lead on 2nd beat. Tom & Tim followed them into 2nd and these positions held down the run to an early finish to allow time for a 4th race.

The final race saw the windward mark laid further out to sea, Tom & Tim took an early lead followed by Rich & Phil. Andy & Steve moved up to 2nd down the first triangle and set off after the leaders closing to a few boat lengths down the run. With the overall positions pretty much decided barring any major incidents the 2 leaders embarked on a bit of fact finding for the champs. Without any prior discussion, as soon as their was a bit of separation on the final beat, both decided it was time to hit their respective bells. With a tide line across the top of the course the outcome was dramatic and allowed Tom & Tim a comfortable downwind cruise to the finish.

Overall Andy & Steve were clear winners ahead of Chris & Ben. Barring any more storms then everything looks set for a great week later this summer for the 2019 national championships 27th July - 3rd August.

The next open is at Porthpean Sailing club 11th - 12th May, hope to see you there!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st2042Andy McKeeStephen GrahamDovestone SC/Northampton SC‑21124
2nd2026Chris MasseyTom DaviesHollingworth Lake SC12‑336
3rd2023Tom JeffcoteTim HartleyNottingham4(DNF)217
4th2044Steve WalkerJerry HannabusPennine Sailing Club3(DNF)4411
5th1947Richard JonesPhil RobertsLlandudno SC‑635513
6th1978David PooreDave OrrellPennine Sailing Club5(DNF)6617
7th2029Carl JonesNeil DaviesLlandudno SC‑747718
8th2028Adrian HallTommy Hall 858(DNF)21

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