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Silver Scorpion Series at Notts County Sailing Club

by Debi Forbes 15 May 2023 12:47 PDT 29-30 April 2023
Aerial view early in the day at Discover sailing at Notts County Sailing Club © David Eberlin

Notts County Sailing club welcomed 27 Scorpions for the second open meeting of the 2023 Silver Scorpion series. A bright and sunny April morning greeted sailors, though the wind hadn't got the memo, and the race officer decided to postpone Saturday's racing until the wind started to settle.

Following lunch, the RO sent the fleet out and attempted to start the first race of the day, a thankless task given the 180-degree shifts taking place. After a bit of a float around racing was cancelled for the day, and 8 sprint races planned for Sunday.

Sunday dawned with much better breeze, and a few hangovers across the fleet. With 8 short sharp races of 1-2 laps, the racing was extremely close and any mistake was punished. Each race was led by a variety of boats, including Nigel Potter who led race 6, proving that wooden boats are still highly competitive against the new winders.

Race 1 was a 2-lap race, won by Tom Gillard and Rach Gray, with local lads Chris Martin/John Tailby hot on their heels. 3rd place went to Pete Gray/Rich Pepperdine. Race 2 followed quickly after, another bullet for Gillard/Gray, 2nd Gray/Pepperdine with Kev Hope/Andy Thompson in 3rd. Race 3 and 4 finished with Gillard/Gray taking another win, Gray/Pepperdine 2nd with Andy McKee/Simon Forbes, in 3rd.

Race 5 was a short and sharp 1-lap race, keeping the fleet on their toes around the race course, Steve Graham and Jerry Hannabuss took 3rd place, behind Gillard/Gray and Gray/Pepperdine. With the RO keen to get all 8 races in, she posted another 1-lap drag race for race 6, which finished Gillard/Gray in 1st, Martin/Tailby 2nd and Nigel Potter/Sarah Mason in 3rd, having led round the windward mark and down most of the run.

Back to 2 laps and Chloe Willars, sailing with Gary Knott, led the way around the windward mark in Race 7, but was unable to hold on with pressure from Gillard/Gray and McKee/Forbes, taking 3rd across the line. Race 8 finished in similar fashion to earlier in the day, with Gillard/Gray taking the line, followed by McKee/Forbes 2nd and Dave Wade/Rob Gardner finishing in 3rd.

The racing was close throughout the fleet, and there was great representation of female helms and crews, juniors, and those who were attending their first scorpion open meeting. But in the end Gillard/Gray took the overall win, with Gray/Pepperdine in 2nd and McKee/Forbes in 3rd.

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