The National Scorpion Association organises racing events and events to promote the class every year. The Silver Scorpion Travellers' series of Open Meetings sponsored by CraftInsure are spread over the season and over the country. The annual highlight is the National Championships, which were hosted in 2023 by Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club in Sussex. The 2024 Championships is at Castle Cove SC in Weymouth.
The RYA Dinghy Show at Farnborough was a great success.
We enjoyed a continuous stream of visitors over both days attracted by our two beautiful vintage Scorpions with gleaming bright decks - in a show otherwise dominated by fairly anonymous grey plastic. It was hard to pass through the Rockley Clubhouse refreshments area without being drawn either to the throng around the Scorpions or to the brilliant gleam of new varnish.
The older boat was Kevin Gosling's 1929 originally built in 1989 for Graeme Bristow and recently restored by Nick Lightbody. The decade younger boat was Duffin's 1959 built in 1999 for Chris Yates and recently restored by Nigel Potter & Jake Willer.
1929 displayed a new HD Sails Main, with Nick's own made jib & spi. 1959 displayed a complete suite of new North Sails. The other main maker of Scorpion sails are P&B who were based on their own stand nearby.
1959 was fairly simply fitted out with a standard raking rig, split main sheet and piston jib tracks.
1929 displayed a range of experimental features including:
- 2:1 mainsheet with a LBM (Lightbody / Bowers / Morrison) traveller to control the rear strops; - remotely adjustable jib tracks with an inhauler and a barber hauler; - double ended rake control so that the rig can be dropped back in gusts, with reduced tension - then repowered & tensioned, with a single string; - Selden Zeta mast with heavily swept spreaders; - Jon Turner's Neutral Mast Step which simplifies mast bend control; - a flattener which comes on automatically as the rig is raked so that the mainsheet and kicker are unaffected.
In addition, for training and tuning purposes, 1929 showcased the use of a Cyclops Marine Nano Load cell which displayed the forestay load on a Vakaros Atlas 2 data display.
Scorpion National Championships 2024 in association with Craftinsure at Castle Cove SC, Weymouth, Dorset
Saturday 27th July - Friday 2nd August 2024
Thanks to the amazing hard work Castle Cove SC have been putting in behind the scenes, we are really excited to announce that the capacity for the De Walt Scorpion Nationals - in association with Craftinsure - at Castle Cove 24 has been increased to 110!
It is great to see so much demand to be part of this iconic event.
We’ll follow up over the next few weeks with details on how you can change your pre-entry into concrete interest, how to join the waiting list if you’re not one of the lucky ones already on it, and how the Scorpion Foundation entries will work for this year.
Thanks for all your support and look forward to seeing you on the water soon.
Chris Yates (NSA Chair)
Full entry is now open for the 2024 National Championships.
For all official documents and information please refer to the Online Official Noticeboard
If you have pre-entered you have priority access to Full Entry now until the end of February. If you haven’t pre-entered there are a very limited number of slots available and once they’re taken we’ll open up a waiting list.
The entry fee is set at £285 – which is the same as last year which has been no mean feat in the current climate! And as we continue to encourage youth, entry is only £150 if one U21 in the boat and £75 for a full youth entry!!! We also have limited number of Scorpion Foundation boats, at charter fee of £0!!!, available for the week for Youth Teams to race- please contact Steve or Chris to register your interest.
We’ve worked hard with Castle Cove to pull together a great week of sailing and socialising and we’ve got a fabulous programme lined up. Five days’ worth of great sailing in Weymouth Bay (weather gods -please play ball), on and off the water coaching from Adam Bowers, a terrific social programme (inc 2 evening meals as part of the entry fee) and it’s all based at one of our absolute favourite venues- Castle Cove. If you haven’t been before, you’ll love it, and if you have, then you know!
We’re expecting a large turnout so best to get your entry in ASAP to secure your place.
This year we have an Online Official Notice Board where you’ll find the NoR and link to enter on WebCollect.
We’ll also use the Official Notice Board (ONB) to host relevant docs and info for the week (Tidal Info, Arrival info, Car parking info etc).
The 2024 Scorpion National Championships social programme will be released on the ONB in due course, but its nearly there, from SHWAGs lunch to on and off water coaching.
For more details of the 2024 Nationals please see the Championship page.
A nine month Open Meeting Season in 2024!
We’re really excited to announce the silver scorpion calendar for 2024, with 9 events from Starcross YC (river Exe) to Pennine SC there is something for everyone!
We will return to some of the usual scorpion strongholds (Sidmouth, Notts county ect) as well as exploring what some new venues have to offer.
The first of these new venues is Starcross YC as part of the Exe regatta weekend – we will be having our own start there, but as with the Weymouth regatta in previous years early booking will be essential (Castle Cove are understandably not doing a regatta next year so they can have a rest before hosting the event of the year that will be our nationals!).
The next venue to mix things up is our inlands which will be held at Grafham in September, this is one of the most open inland waters in the UK and with a central location it should be a bumper turn out.
Our final new venue for 2024 is the Isle of Sheppey SC. Sheppey boys Russel and Lee have been telling us how great a sailing venue it is for years, and after Chris and myself experienced the reliable sea breeze for ourselves at the 2023 round the island race I was straight on the phone to Lee when I got home to get Sheppey booked into our calendar for an open meeting in 2024!
Another new addition for 2024 is the youth open meeting, this will be held on the early May bank holiday Monday at Notts county (after the general open meeting on the Saturday and Sunday). This will be a good chance for the youth teams being supported by the scorpion foundation to have some practice before the nationals as well as a chance to show off the local youth talent and hopefully introduce some new fresh faces to the fleet. Youth is under 24 on 27th July 2024 (first day of the champs) and there will also be junior prizes (under 19 as of 27/07/24).
A big thank you to CraftInsure for once again sponsoring the silver scorpion circuit. 2024 is shaping up to be a big year for the scorpions and we look forward to see you all out on the circuit!
John Tailby and Chris Martin – Silver Scorpion coordinators
The programme is:
March: 2/3 - Chew Valley
April: 6/7 - Staunton Harold
May: 4/5 – Notts County 6 - Notts County Youth Open
June: 1/2 - Lymington as part of Lymington dinghy regatta 15/16 - Sidmouth
July: 13/14 - Starcross as part of Exe regatta (Scorpion start confirmed) 27 - Aug 2nd – Castle Cove Nationals
Sept: 14/15 - Grafham Inlands
Oct: 19/20 – Isle of Sheppey
Nov: 2/3 - Pennine End of Seasons
Future National Championships
2024 Castle Cove SC, Dorset Sunday 28th July to Friday 2nd August 2024
2025 Penzance SC, Cornwall Saturday Sat 2nd Aug - Fri 8 Aug
2026 Looe SC, Cornwall Saturday Sat 1st Aug - Fri 7 Aug
2027 Tenby (Dinbych-y-pysgod), Pembrokeshire, Wales Saturday 24th - Fri 30th July
2028 Mounts Bay SC, Cornwall dates tba
Enter future National Scorpion Events through Webcollect
New members, renewals and event entries should be via the link here or event entries can be made using the Upcoming events selections on this page...please contact us with any questions.
The Scorpion dinghy is the 'modern classic' dinghy – a 'classic' in the sense that the strict 14' design is now over 60 years’ old but 'modern' because we keep up to date with affordable technology. Hulls are available in FRP, wood and composite forms. Cockpit layout and rig controls can be tailored to suit personal choice, with various combinations of sails, spars and foils permitted.
The Scorpion’s classic design gives enhanced versatility, longevity, durability and competitiveness. The Penzance 2021 National Championships highlighted this when Scorpion 1880 ‘Shock Wave’ (a wooden Turner build from circa 1985) led the fleet for most of the final race. New boats are always welcome in the fleet but they are not essential to win, as reigning Champions Tom Gillard and Rachael Rhodes demonstrated at Penzance and at Llandudno 2019 in their 10 year old FRP design 'Barely Illegal'.
You can find out more about the Scorpion's technical details, Class rules, Tuning Guides and inside information here.
Ideally suited to recreational dinghy sailing for all ages, the Scorpion is a popular and well supported class with an active second hand market protecting your investment in a new or previously enjoyed boat. Contact us if you’re interested in trying out a Scorpion, would like to join our annual Silver Scorpion Open Meeting programme or have any questions about the Scorpion dinghy.
Extract from Mark Jardine’s interview with Tom Gillard re his (together variously with Rachel Gray & Andy Thompson) remarkable success in multi-classes this year …
"A good time off the water is just as important as the sailing, so I asked Tom which class, in his opinion, has the best social activities:
I would say the Scorpion. It's a chilled-out vibe, a nice bunch of people, with newcomers to the fleet alongside old hands, and everybody's very open about what they do to make the boat go fast. It's a real community. The class is going from strength to strength; whether you've got a wooden boat or a fibreglass boat, there's help everywhere, and no-one feels at a disadvantage."