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Craftinsure 2023 LEADERBOARD

Craftinsure Silver Scorpion open meeting at Sidmouth Sailing Club

by Steve Walker 30 May 2022 23:57 BST
Craftinsure Silver Scorpion open meeting at Sidmouth © Oliver Salter

This was the first salt water Open Meeting of the 2022 season. The home of twelve Scorpions and also veteran builder Kevin Gosling's home club, Sidmouth is the type of place the Scorpion was designed for. Light enough to get up and down the beach easily and a sparkling performance in a south coast sea breeze.

Many of the fleet arrived early on the Friday to celebrate five decades of Shandy by drinking the beer tent at the local "Seafest" festival dry on the first night, whilst some of the more civilised folk headed to the Fountain Head to sample the local ale!

26 Scorpions awoke to perfect conditions, if you like sunshine, a soft tide and light but sailable breezes were a good test which probably favoured the slightly lighter crews. The course was set and the fleet needed binoculars find the windward mark on the championship-sized triangle-sausage course of which two laps were completed.

Throughout the day the wind increased slightly giving some great downwind sailing with some waves to play with to make those extra gains.

With Sundays forecast due to be lighter the race officer James Francis made the decision to bring a race forwards to complete four races on the Saturday.

Overnight Tom Gillard & Rachael Gray topped the fleet with new comers Matt Burge & Bob Gardener in second showing great upwind speed in the Pinnell & Bax team boat. It was then tight in the pack with Tom Jeffcote & Alex Hayman (making his return to the fleet between sail GP events), and Nigel Potter & Ferret having good results. Pete Gray & Rich Pepperdine and Sam Watson & Andy Thompson also had strong performances though were both victims of the U flag!

With the sun still shining the fleet returned to shore to a festival feel with music, ice cream, food and beer from "Seafest" keeping us entertained for the evening.

With an 10.30 start on the Sunday some of the fleet were very glad to see the postponement flying as they were trying to move out of their accommodation, find lost keys and clear up the remains of Shandy's birthday celebrations.

The final two races were completed in a light south easterly. Gillard & Gray fought back up the first beat after a very confused crew realised the compass stuck on 170 for the entire day no matter what direction they were pointing in! Gray & Pepperdine took the final bullet of the day meaning they could discard their UFD and take second overall.

The first south coast open of the season was won convincingly by our National Champions Tom Gillard & Rachael Gray in 2013 Bearly Illegal with five wins and a second.

Other notable performances over the weekend were Dan Henderson & Amy Clay, in Dan's first time in a Scorpion, took a fifth and a third in the last two races having been hindered by borrowed boat problems suggesting that Dan's talents adapted well to Scorpions.

AJ & Chris Eaton were starting a trip down memory lane, having returned to the class in 2021 after not sailing for ten years, with their first outing in 2014 in which AJ had come second in the Championships at Lyme Regis in 2009 sailing with Tim Parsons.

Sidmouth Sailing Club did an excellent job in promoting the merits of their club and their use of professional Race Officer James Francis resulted in perfectly set courses - so great sailing and lots of beer left many happy memories as the fleet dispersed on Sunday evening.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st2013Tom GillardRachel Rhodes11111‑25
2nd2045Peter GrayRich Pepperdine52UFD22112
3rd2037Matt BurgeBob Gardner2‑9233616
4th2025Tom JeffcoateAlex Hayman333‑44417
5th1986Sam WatsonAndy Thompson6UFD666529
6th1958Nigel PotterFessett4447‑131130
7th2014AJ EatonChris Eaton‑1375510835
8th2026Ian CadwalladerEllie Devereux10698‑12740
9th2005Janet RitchieAlan Ritchie7512‑138941
10th1995Peter RoseJohn Rose9‑117971042
11th2011Chris MartinJohn Tailby11810119‑1249
12th1962Tom LonsdaleEmily Cole‑Evans812810‑141452
13th2020James SalterEd Steele‑16101114151565
14th2019Al SimMalcolm James171415‑19111370
15th2037Dan HendersonAmy Clay12RETDNCDNC5372
16th1959Lawrence CreaserMaciek Matyjaszczuk14131415‑201672
17th1981Dave ElstonNigel Hufton15UFD1312171875
19th2021Andy HaymanRichard Gatehouse20161617‑212089
20th2000Helen AlanTim Wilde1918182018‑2293
21st1993Miles HapgoodSteve Smith‑22171921191995
22nd1929Nick LightbodyJon Cowper21UFDUFD16161796
23rd1762Oliver Moore‑JonesWill Dodds25192023DNCDNC113
24th1952Ady MoretonSteve Beard23RET21222324113
25th1861Charlie PickeringSacha Pickering24RETDNCDNC2423123

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