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Silver Scorpion Travellers Series at the Lymington Dinghy Regatta

by Karl Thorne 4 Jun 20:30 BST 1-2 June 2024
Scorpions at the Lymington Dinghy Regatta © Adrian Chisnell

The Scorpion class made up the largest fleet at the two day Lymington Dinghy Regatta last weekend. The Lymington Dinghy Regatta is co-hosted by the two Lymington sailing clubs the "Royal" and the "Town" - don't ask, it's historic but we do come together for a lot of our racing and are friends really. Both clubs provided race, safety and slipway teams who did a fantastic job all weekend - who doesn't want someone to have their trolley waiting for them after three windy races?

The Scorpions had their own start and 3 races a day in a challenging Northerly airstream and springish tides. The sailors were put to a varied, but true and fair test over both days by Gary Barnett and his well organised race team.

During the briefing on Saturday ahead of racing the "Don't-go-ometer" was topping out at 26 knots, and the lulls registering 10 knots - the offshore Northerly was swinging all over the place too. By the time we launched the wind had dropped ever so slightly and the flood tide, which tends to be softer than the ebb at Lymington, had set-in. With that, the majority of the fleet launched and were treated to spectacular racing on a trapezoidal course with two epic kite legs against the tide guaranteed on each round. The upwinds were made a little more comfortable with the tide under, and with plenty of shifts and gusts to manage to try to use to your advantage.

All three races were won by Tom Gillard and Rachael Gray, with a master class in strong wind sailing particularly in the first race when they did a horizon job on Angus Hemmings and Rob Gardner in second. Pete Gray and Rich Pepperdine put up more of a fight in races 2 and 3 to run Tom and Rachael a bit closer. The rest of the placings were a mix with the remaining teams struggling for consistency - a small mistake always led to an unrecoverable lost place or 3!

Class Chairman Chris Yates would never forgive me if I failed to mention his epic start and lead around the first windward mark in Race 2 - his nosebleed clearly affecting his vision and judgement for the rest of the race!

The fleet were welcomed ashore with our legendary Tesco dog-nuts as a reward for signing back in, and an evening BBQ and quiz hosted by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club followed.

Sunday was a lot calmer, although still with the shifty and puffy Northerly, it never topped 15 knots and sometimes went pretty light. The sun made a very welcome appearance and the tide switch was turned onto ebb for the majority of the three races to give our visitors a different challenge and the opportunity to do a hydrographic survey of the western shore whilst ducking the tide on the upwinds.

The morning's racing was once again dominated by Tom and Rachel, closely followed by Pete and Rich - both teams are definitely the class (apart) of the fleet at the moment. The results for everyone else were just as erratic as the Saturday which meant it came down to the wire to decide third overall for the weekend. The locals Nev Herbert and Karl Thorne just edging out Matt Potter and Kevin Hope visiting from Notts County - it turns out coming 3rd entitles you to report writing duties; we won't make that mistake again!

Special mention must be made of youth sailor Joe Warwicker crewed by Lou who did a lights to flag job winning the last race, definitely one to watch out for as we could tell he was quick in the light all through Sunday.

Thanks again to all the visiting sailors, organisers and volunteers who made this a very memorable weekend and it was great fun to be part of a much larger 120 boat regatta.

For those who can make it see you in Sidmouth 15th & 16th June!

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stThe Essence of Wetness2057Tom GillardRach Gray11111(DNC)5
2ndJust the tip2058Peter GrayRichard Pepperdine32222(DNC)11
3rd 2039Neville HerbertKarl Thorne‑74464321
4thBarbarians for breakfast1958Matt potterKevin hope4634‑8522
5thWater Please1969Garry KnottJohn Tailby53‑997226
6thBlue Steal2028Ryan BuchananTom Jeffcoate67586(DNC)32
7th 2042Angus HemmingsRob Gardner25(DNF)53DNC35
8thIce on Fire1939Adrian SmithRobert Smith987‑109437
9thRigged by Marlow1929Joe WarwickerLou1312(DNF)75138
10thDrama queen2005Janet RitchieAlan Ritchie8963(DNC)DNC46
11thPopping Polly2019Al SimMalcolm James101110‑1413650
12thWrecking Ball2059Edward ParsonsTony Hanlon11‑13111210852
13thLiquid Spirit2048Chris YatesDave Barker121081315(DNC)58
14thUp yours2017Jake WillarsGeorge Bender(DNF)DNCDNC1111769
15thDolly1983Cillian DyneGeorgia Riddell(DNC)DNCDNC1612977
16thJammy Dodger1902Phillip DyneJo Riddell(DNF)DNCDNC17141081
17thFac 511988Barny Croft (DNC)DNCDNC18161286
18thPolycrooz19Richard GatehouseLauren Wills(DNC)DNCDNC19171187
19thLa Belle End1896Robert YorkJacqueline York(DNC)DNCDNC1518DNC93

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