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2022 DeWALT Scorpion National Championship at Looe Sailing Club - Wrap Up

by Alan Ritchie 19 Aug 17:41 BST 24-29 July 2022

Records Set, Trophies Won - Eastbourne Next, Oh What Fun

So I know you've all been glued to the results and daily missives from a variety of sources but here's the real story(s) of what happened in Looe for the 2022 DeWalt Scorpion National Championships. Summing up in less that a large tome may be a little unfair but I'll try to restrict myself and keep it a bit abridged (those who were there may have additional stories to be discussed next year in Eastbourne).

Saturday 23rd

Arrival - Looe volunteers - too efficient! Dazzled by Commodore Callum's white coat and smile, I forgot to get my rudder out of the car and the boat was gone into its parking spot for the week. At the trailer parking out of town - I had a chat to the farmer who owns the field - that's two lovely conversations and it was still only 8am in the morning.

Rig up - tricky on my own but always a friendly and willing face to help with masts and undercovers etc. - Rock Stars in a new boat next door - its OK they've got no tape so they are human after all.

Commodores reception - Marvellous - old friends and new scoffing away doing laps of the buffet table, super welcome from some chap in white (must be the Commodore bloke again).

Sunday 24th

Or as it may now be known - hilly Sunday (watch the video and tell me I'm not wrong!)

Due for a practice and two 'real' races - the wind and waves built and built - however we're Scorpions so a little wet stuff doesn't matter - various degrees of damage (mostly to bodies) though the oldest boat in the fleet 1052 seemed quite happy to complete all three - something over half the fleet didn't manage - tough home build that one! Water bottles lost too numerous! Grins on faces from survivors - large, bodies aching - all.

Games night a little muted as many were trying to lay in a gentle position while asking for massages from non sailing partners (SWHAGS)- but they couldn't help having been fed and watered in the bring and share lunch - many were having their own issues on overconsumption.

Monday 25th

Still windy but forecast for the week not looking great - lets get three races in while we can! - More tired bodies but less actual boat damage - waves down to a mere 1 - 2m swell - not the tower blocks of yesterday.

Denchfield quiz very well received, though the tie breaker was way too hard - I mean who knows square feet converted to square metres when you didn't even know the starting number to begin with....

Tuesday 26th

Delay for wind to build but terrific race once we got a start away (perhaps yet more explanation still required for some of our helms)- Third different race winner already - daily prizes being scattered around the fleet.

Fish n chips for all followed by sea shanties courtesy of Barrett's Privateers - more sore heads - oh well - we know the highlight is coming at 10.15am tomorrow - that's enough time for an orange juice and alka seltzer.

Wednesday 27th

No wind! - But we did get an AGM (highlight of the week obvs), beach games and lots of folks raiding the Looe charity shops in search of the best buys for Thursday's fancy dress party.

Great Lunch / Tea for the SWHAGS - luckily some cake made its way to my fridge for testing later.

Volley ball madness made the infamous Sheppey Raffle less of a fight and more of a ruck - who would have known that a vegetarian would end up winning half a lamb! Also the mobile phone prize was generously re-gifted - more money back into the pot for Scorpion class funds... - more cash = more fun

Thursday 28th

Slight delay while the wind settled but eventually three races completed in the softest wind of the week (force 2 - 3)- the lightweights got their chance and many took it. Dream team female superstars pathfinder on race 2 - yes we have plenty of variety in this fleet - all genders and ages most welcome.

Lots of scratching of heads as the second discard kicks in and people try and work out if they've managed to beat their mates - no matter - fancy dress in an hour!

A minor achievement for fancy dress - we've broken the record takings at the bar!

The amount the room was bouncing maybe Callum could use the some of the profit and get a structural survey - we want that club house still standing when we come back in a few years time.

Friday 29th

Prizes and bacon rolls - A laden prize table is quickly and efficiently despatched to sailors of all ages and sexes:

Kind words said by that man in white Callum, though he looks a little grey this morning - perhaps the bottle of scotch will help...

Farewells to old friends and new and the plans to get accommodation for Eastbourne booked asap - some people booked months ago!

A great week in Looe and I've mentioned just one name from the host club but I could have said about 100 - it seemed that the entire sailing community were there from dawn till dusk - then found in the corner of the bar, Callum - pass it on to all of them! After PRO and briefing duties a certain member was busy assisting boat departure on Friday morning - steak and kidney pasty in hand...

Looe you were awesome!

Huge thanks to not just Looe but the folks on the Scorpion side also - you know who you are - pasties and beer don't appear by magic - someone had to fill four fish crates with ice to get the beers set each day, someone had to collect pasties, trophies have to be ordered, collected and polished (you should return polished!), results every day need compiling then extracting the individual fleets, and trophies, socials need organising, money needs collecting, entries need collating - etc etc etc.

It's a great team effort to ensure it all runs through - luckily we have dedicated and helpful people to ensure we can all have fun, the SHWAGS grow each year - please contemplate what else we / you can do to accommodate everyone on our annual party holiday (sailing included).

But enough of this year - lets look to the next championships and see what makes us so fantastic. This is a theme and list that keeps growing...

Friendly - you're never on your own and the rivalries are gone once the beer is flowing.

Pecker - People try all year to be daft to win the coveted chicken - indeed one worthy past winner has already got a nomination in by not checking out of accommodation on Friday and being at the prize-giving as the cleaners are trying to prepare accommodation for the next booking. Maybe he just didn't want to leave Looe.

Competitive - Look at the results - speaks for itself how many people were out there trying to squeeze one more point. It seems many established sailors are re-awakening to the fun factor that we bring to a week's sailing - the boats are fantastic and the survival rate in the breeze was amazing! If you do get unlucky and break something we've got boat builders amongst us and lots of talented amateurs to help get you back on the water.

Socials - every year a great party atmosphere - I wonder each year how we can improve what we do - yet we do! Many folks take a week off to rest after a Scorpion nationals - we're all exhausted - sail all day - party all night

Prizes - Photo speaks louder than words (see picture above)

Sponsors - DeWALT made sure we were fed and watered after each day - we started the feeding regime last year at Penzance - long may it continue as it really helps the post sail wind down. Prizes n goodies from P&B, Ovington, Craft Insure, Copperfish Distillery and FFX, it is all really appreciated - my Craftinsure water bottles are still going strong from last year....

Family - The shwag / shwabs group grow each year and more updates to follow on the next amazing initiative to ensure some of our younger fans are even more included next year...

Venues - Penzance, Looe, Eastbourne, Castle Cove, Tenby - top locations all.

Problems - lets be honest with ourselves the world isn't perfect - we know of working Scorpions that aren't being sailed enough - we all need to get on the phone / nag our club mates and keep the party going!! Whilst we were restricted to 75 this year - Eastbourne can take more - and want to!

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