Please select your home edition
Zhik 2024 February Outlet - LEADERBOARD

DeWalt Scorpion National Championship at Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club - Overall

by Alan Ritchie 15 Aug 2023 07:41 BST 6-11 August 2023

Again - it's time to reminisce about the most fabulous week of fun a dinghy sailor can have with their clothes on! - 'But what' I hear you cry 'we've already seen some of the photos from the fancy dress on Thursday and there were certainly (male) chests on display - clothes appeared optional!' Well although the fancy dress is important to some (Congrats to the Custard Tarts). Read on and see what else happened that's not quite been reported fully.

Saturday - Blowing a gale with rain to monsoon levels - some people would take that as a bad sign - no - the Eastbourne positivity begins here with the hosepipe ban lifted due to recent weather - Ideal. Boats arriving and being left on the beach in road travel mode with the majority opting to wait till the wind abated a little - (not Mr Denchfield though, struggling to get his mast up in a 40 knot gust! - could that have been Pecker number 1?) Lovely commodores reception with what seemed like thousands of canapes for the hundreds of sailors and families. Pecker to Mr Hayman (our resident F50 superstar boat bimbler extraordinaire) - due to time zone issues Alexs accommodation was booked for the week after the champs... Not an issue as beds were found to look after the team.

Sunday - Force 3 to launch building nicely - 6 hours on the water as the race committee struggled to battle with wind and tide, rumours the local ironmongers had sold out of chain proved unfounded, and in the end the marks held long enough to get the practice and two championship races in. With an exhausted set of sailors there was just one hero with enough energy to keep us all enthralled - Stick Daring - AKA Mr Laser round the UK (Lunatic raconteur). Thankfully Stick commanded the clubhouse with his tales of daring do around the UK in his £50 laser - a fascinating addition to the fleet socials and well worth attending. - Those too tired to stay awake missed out though I think Stick is one of the 80% of the fleet from this year already pre-entered for Castle Cove. Pecker to Russ for getting confused as to which beach he'd launched from....

Monday - More breeze again - marks behaving themselves so 3 hours on the water was all that was necessary to get two great races in. The first of our two included dinners (commodore reception excepted). 161 portions of lasagna with trimmings followed by cheesecake to sweeten up the as always excellent Denchfield quiz, - winners were Team Pascoe but as one of the questions had Meg Pascoe as the answer seems a little biased! New friends made with some challenging questions around tables scattered all over the Eastbourne seafront. Pecker - Richard Gatehouse for repeatedly abandoning ship during the day.

Tuesday - Looked a bit lighter today - not by the second race with boats hitting terminal velocity in race two and maxing out rake, cunningham and crew hiking ability all at the same time. The AGM as ever expertly managed by our secretary Steve Walker with a lot of time spent discussing not just the next 4/5 Nationals venues but also the Scorpion Foundation - much more to follow on this. Fish and Chips expertly distributed from the mobile chip van with over 120 portions in an hour. Pecker - Matthew Raynor for trying to windsurf the boom downwind after breakage in a force 6 bear away - he forgot that there was also a long upwind to contend with.

Wednesday - Finally the big one. Crews race day. The chance for the real experts to hold that stick thing at the back of the boat. Oh and a couple of championship races before that to make sure the helms could get their tiller fix first. With 24 boats on the line in a steady force three for the Crews Race, the normal helms were made to work very hard for once - a worthy winner in Rob Henderson who just happened to be sitting in the concours d'elegance machine (Tom Castle Memorial) boat with an ex champion crew in the front. Next was Dinner at the club, Chicken Pie, followed by Rachael's 'Human Hungry Hippos'. Potential multiple injuries make this one game to be used sparingly in the future but no hospitalisations on this occasion. Pecker - Mr President Mursell with an old issue of sailing without hatch covers - all OK till you capsize - however luckily no RNLI support required.

Thursday - Three big questions - 1) Would the wind build enough to get sailing 2) How much rum can the Scorpions get through on Fancy dress night 3) What's the highest number of encores ever recorded at a sailing event ? Answers 1) No, 2) 12 litres (I blame the Boom of Doom) 3) 12 encores registered at Eastbourne on Thursday 10th August 2023 (awaiting Guinness Record verification). Pecker - Louise Corfield - for mistaking a coast guard helicopter for our camera drone...

Friday - Prizegiving and plans made for 11.5 months time at Castle Cove, greeted as ever by the smiling catering team (all volunteers) with yet more included food - tea and bacon rolls to help soak up that rum. Laden Tables are quickly despatched to their worthy winners - huge congratulations to all prize winners though as I say fairly frequently - as we sail Scorpions we're all winners...

Eastbourne had what Scorpions love. Namely - a keen enthusiastic team of volunteers - 72% of the club members helped during the week supporting us with food, launching and recovery, race management, safety cover, serving drinks etc, cheap and available food and beverages, a commodore who was keen to get stuck in and a can do attitude, all made the event sing. The balcony made an ideal viewing platform for the non-sailing folk when they could pull themselves away from bus rides, lunches and visits to local landmarks that they do better every year. The Paintcraft mobile workshop, run by Nigel and Jake, did an awesome job replacing broken spars, pulled out fittings and much more besides to ensure everyone got maximum sailing in and minimum disruption. Eastbourne SSC made a promise to no boats would touch the beach on landing or recovery and none did! Absolutely awesome work. We promised record breaking Rum consumption - we achieved it!

Every year I say how can we improve on the last championship - we did and now the mantle falls back to our Nationals organisation team and the Castle Cove team to lay on a week of sailing, fun and activity that we all remember fondly for a long, long time... 27th July 2024. It can't come around soon enough.

Many many thanks again to all at Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club and our sponsors, DeWALT, Craftinsure and P&B.

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Scorpion nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1st2051Mrs Bears BoatAlan KrailingSimon ForbesSHSC / Waldringfield2411231-1014
2nd2057The Essence of WetnessThomas GillardRachael GrayStaunton Harold SC11-62315417
3rd2062Sam squaredSam PascoeSam BarkerCastle Cove SC334412-6219
4th2053***MISSING***Matt BurgeRobert GardnerNotts County SC429644-12332
5th2058Just the tipPeter GrayRichard PepperdineStaunton Harold SC-8557563637
6th2059Wrecking BallAlex HaymanRob HendersonLymington Town SC51033678(DSQ)42
7th2061Sliver MulletDavid WadeBen RaynerDraycote1162107514-1555
8th2030Saline DripOllie MeadowcroftOliver RaynerYorkshire Dales SC718129(DNF)810165
9th2037 (2048)Fifty Shades of GrayDan HendersonAmy ClayWarsash14-20171419122785
10th2042***MISSING***Angus HemmingsFraser HemmingsIndependent1211-2319131441285
11th2026Sneaky NinjaIan CadwalladerEllie DevereuxChew Valley Lake SC61210-20811202087
12th1969Water PleaseChris MartinJohn TailbyNotts County/Midland13141312101019-2391
13th1959 (1966)They think it's all overJack LewisSzymon MatRya107-39221413161193
14th1958Barbarians for breakfastMatt PotterKevin HopeNotts County SC17-24161191518995
15th2014 (1969)IntoxicatedAJ EatonChris EatonStarcross Yacht Club917158122313-2797
16th2044TallulahSteven WalkerJerry HannabussPennine SC-27881815161126102
17th2043Egyptian SurpriseBarry WolfendenMatt RaynerBough Beech221521(DNF)229238120
18th1995SilverlodePeter RoseJohn RoseTenby SC1991416(DNF)213219130
19th1943Blue MoonJohn MursellMatthew PalmerCastle Cove SC2425-32311817913137
20th2040 (1931)AMBUSHKevin GoslingAndy ServiceIndependent2113201745(DNF)721144
21st2060A Date With DestinyRussell WheelerLee MarriottIsle of Sheppey Sailing Club252611152319-2828147
22nd2005Drama QueenDave ElstonAlan RitchieCastle Cove SC/Sidmouth SC-322172616223130153
23rd2031UPYOURS2Peter CrowtherDave ThompsonPennine SC2023-292324252524164
24th1937The Bee's KneesMyles JacksonBill JacksonLlandegfedd SC23162621213030-40167
25th2022Quackers!Debi ForbesChar GrahamStaunton Harold SC162225(DNF)38242622173
26th1986Proper huntShane MacCarhyAndy ThompsonEast Antrim boat club15(DNC)331317DNF2916183
27th1951SidewinderFiona TaylorGordon TaylorLymington Town SC-3534182729312225186
28th2054In a minuteTom LonsdaleEmily Cole-EvansSouth Cerney SC18(DNC)27511OCS3432187
29th2001ZephyrMalcolm JamesJosh OatesChew Valley Lake SC2630-383436183614194
30th2052Heart of GlassRob CageJohn ReayThames SC31193432(DNF)DNC155196
31st1997PeachesSamantha MasonRichard MasonNotts County SC3333192820(DNC)4518196
32nd1970Custard TartEdward ParsonsTony HanlonEmsworth SC392822243028-4737208
33rd1980StormMartin PascoeTim HulleyWeir Wood/Castle Cove3629(OCS)2528203338209
34th2019Popping PollyAl SimDuncan SimSouth Cerney SC-3838243026263531210
35th1985Another WombatHatty MorsleyRob MorsleyPortdinorwic SC29-37283335273733222
36th2017 (2002)Mr Blue SkyJon WillarsNicola WillarsNotts County SC283131293129-4847226
37th2050***MISSING***James GardnerAnne GardnerHISC3435303825(DNF)4242246
38th2018Short & Curly'sNigel PotterRyan RIchardsNotts County SC304235(DNF)27DNF2429247
39th1052ShandyJake WillarsAlison SheldrickHCYC/NCSC4427363633(DNC)4335254
40th2009PerditaNeil PetersJess PlailEssc4036433534(DNF)3849275
41st1998 (1921)The Black PearlJoseph WarwickerNick LightbodyPevensey Bay Shoreham Bough Beech3732(DNC)DNCDNFDNC1717283
42nd2056DelilahCheryl WoodDave BennettPennine SC/Chew Valley454437374037-4646286
43rd2048Liquid SpiritChris YatesJodi MartinDraycote4339(OCS)DNF32324148295
44th2036Head over FeetRobert Campbell-GrayAngie ValeAlton Water(DNC)DNC494039333939299
45th1903The Heart of GoldMonty HamptonGeorge BiggsLlandegfedd SC/ South Cerney SC-4747464342344443299
46th1912Pigs on the wingWilliam WinterLJ WinterCam SC(DNC)DNC423941DNF2734303
47th1891Fire in the SkyJeremy LovellMonty LovellIndependent464344414636-5553309
48th2015 (1931)The BusinessEmily CookDaniel CookClub Nautique de Versoix Switzerland42(DNC)50DNF37DNC2141311
49th1990 (1877)Blue BreezeMark WhitemanDavid WhitemanRye Harbour sailing Club4945-534444355051318
50th1992Tangled Up In BlueWilliam B PinnockCaroline MonkGlossop Sailing Club414147(DNF)DNCDNF4036325
51st1940Spitfire SummerNigel DenchfieldChris ClarkeGrafham Water48404142(DNF)DNC5250333
52nd1919PolycroozRichard GatehouseLauren WillsSidmouth SC(DNF)4652DGA43DNF5445351.4
53rd2055There's no F in bagsPaul McHenryJohn HarlowNotts County SC(DNC)DNC45DNFDNFDNC4944378
54th1988FAC 51Barnaby CroftLouise CorfieldSidmouth SC(DNF)DNCDNC4647DNF5352378
55th2011Must Try HarderJohn CooperAnesta CooperHunts(DNF)DNC5145DNFDNC5154381
56th1929 (1759)L'Espirit de TurnipNick LightbodyMick GreenlandLaw Society YC(DNC)DNC40DNFDNFDNCDNCDNC400
57th1878HighlightJoshua CookAaron AdamsBexhill(DNC)DNC48DNFDNFDNCDNCDNC408
58th1921***MISSING***Michael RockDaniel RockScorpion Association(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC420
58th1936Bottyburp the BarbarianSimon Holden***MISSING***King George SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC420

Find out more at

Related Articles

Scorpions at Chew Valley Lake
Some had to battle through snow to get there The 2024 Silver Scorpion kicked off at a chilly Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club. Some had to battle through snow to get there, but the most foolhardy members of the Scorpion, Merlin Rocket and Flying 15 fleets launched for the midday start. Posted today at 9:05 am
It's a wrap!
In sailing we have a lot of plain white hulls In sailing we have a lot of plain white hulls. Let's face it, when everything looks the same, it does make things a bit dull. The end of February is a dreary time, so it's time to talk about boats which brighten things up. Posted on 19 Feb
The Staunton Blaster
East Midlands Mini-Series event won by Pete and Rach Gray Light winds put paid to fast paced sailing on Day 1, in fact almost put paid to any racing! After one race where sailors cajoled their boats along and tried to catch every slight hint of a puff, it was decided to postpone. Posted on 13 Feb
Scorpion End of Season Championships
Staunton Harold hosts end of Silver Scorpion series Despite a continually changing forecast, 27 Scorpions skirted the Midlands wide flood water, descending upon Staunton Harold Sailing Club for the 2023 End of Season Championships. The fleet were met with hot beverages and pastries. Posted on 6 Nov 2023
It's all in the Name!
Racing Sailboats, an institution right at the very heart of the UK dinghy sailing scene It is a sad fact of life that the sailors who were drivers at the heart of the so called 'golden era' of dinghy racing are getting older, but their ability to get together for an afternoon of fun and laughter is as strong as ever. Posted on 3 Nov 2023
The Morning Sun
...when it's in your face really shows your age Taking the positive feedback that was received as the main metric, it seems a pretty fair assessment that the recent article on the state of the domestic dinghy scene struck something of a chord with a number of classes and individuals. Posted on 29 Oct 2023
2024 Scorpion sailing programme
Plus increased capacity for the Nationals at Castle Cove We are very excited to release the Scorpion sailing programme for the 2024 season, with events at established Scorpion favourite venues and new ones to add to the fold. Posted on 23 Oct 2023
Scorpion Inlands at Draycote
Your author hopes to start winning soon, and escape report writing It would seem that I have once again landed myself the role of report writer (you'll all be sick of hearing from me this year) - we really need to sort ourselves out and start winning to avoid this... Posted on 28 Sep 2023
Something so right
Dougal Henshall looks at what makes for a good championships attendance Jack Knights coldly set out that the golden age of dinghy racing had already had its day, and by the mid-1970s he felt that that all the signs were that activity levels had peaked. He claimed to see the first signs of a downward trend. Posted on 13 Sep 2023
DeWalt Scorpion Nationals at Eastbourne Day 5
The final day dawned to a nice breeze but a less optimistic forecast The final day dawned to a nice breeze but a less optimistic forecast, and as predicted the wind had dropped to 3 knots at the scheduled launch time so a one hour postponement was very sensibly decided upon. Posted on 11 Aug 2023