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De Walt Scorpion National Champions 2023
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The other Championship Report
by Alan Ritchie


Once 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, insert photo if you dare, probably best not to its only part of the story) 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:

- 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,

- an ideal viewing platform on the balcony 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! - and

- a commodore who was keen to get stuck in with a can do attitude,

this all made the event sing.

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.

Alan Ritchie

Full results and more info available here



De Walt Scorpion National Championships 2023
Eastbourne Sovereign SC
6/11 August 2023

These are the latest versions of the NOR & SI - please ensure that you do use the latest version - from this page.

Notice of Race

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Regions - Top Guns

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Pro Am

Practice Race

Race 1 Report

The first points race was held in a fresh force four with a slightly lumpy sea state.

First to the windward mark was Alan Grayling and Simon Forbes (aka Mr Bear), closely followed by Tom Gillard and Rachel Gray and their new Scorpion - The Essence of Wetness. Slow gybing by Mr Bear at the gybe mark nearly resulted in the loss of a transom! Third to the windward mark were Ollie Meadowcroft and Ollie Rayner setting out their stall in their first Scorpion nationals in a borrowed Scorpion, which unfortunately slowly disintegrated over the two points races. Kevin Gosling had a great start, but then went in to reverse when his mast slipped backwards due to problems with his forestay. Dave Wade in the new P&B Scorpion gave the boat a mega (legal!) ooch 10 yards from the finish line at the same time that the boat fittings for the toe strap decided that one race is more than enough for them - splash - cost him three places.

Jack Lewis and Syzmon Mat came in 10th to be pathfinder for the second race.

Race 2 Report

This race was held in a force 3 to 4, dropping down to force two in part of the race, and then building back up to a good 3 to 4, with the waves and slightly confused sea state forming an awkward chop on the racecourse.

Up the first beat the new boat of Pete Gray - Just The Tip - was T boned - luckily it was by the chairman of a boat insurance company so no issues there. It is one thing to promote your company at the championship, it's questionable if you should generate work, new boat is on its way Pete - surprised there was no nomination for the Pecker for that.

First to the windward mark was the pathfinder 1966 They Think It's All Over (Jack Lewis and Syzmon Mat) followed by Barry Wolfenden and Matt Rayner with Alan Grayling and Mr Bear in third. The first reach was open with Alan Grayling taking the lead.

With the wind shifting and twisting, lots of places changed during the beat and then at the end of the sausage there were still a lot of boats in a close battle all being challenged by the tides and the shifts. Rob Gardner fell out of the boat and had to be dragged back in by his helm Matt 'Virgil Tracey' Burge and another incident resulted in Eastbourne steak butchers selling a whopping piece of fillet steak to John 'Horatio Nelson' Mursell looking like he had upset Chris Eubank with a lovely shiner.

The evening's entertainment was a great talk by Stick Daring, member at Eastbourne SSC, sailing in the Scorpion nationals and a complete lunatic who sailed around the UK in a beaten up old Laser raising money for prostate cancer, fascinating even to land lubbers.

Race 3 Report

As the morning sun cast its golden rays upon the waters, sailors gathered, their hearts aflutter with anticipation and excitement, ready to unleash their sailing prowess and vie for glory in Race 3, the first race on Monday. The race's inception was met with a bittersweet twist, for a General Recall was announced due to timing issues. Yet, like star-crossed lovers, the fleet returned to the starting line, determined to seize their chance at victory.

When the fleet finally got away the air was charged with excitement as Martin Pascoe and Tim Hulley on 1980 decided to mount the guard boat. Not the fastest approach to starting! Among the pairings, Tom Lonsdale/Emily Cole-Evans and Shane McCarthy/Shandy proved a captivating duo, their chemistry evident as they embarked on a tantalizingly slow start on the left side of the course. As if enchanted by their beguiling dance with the wind, the rest of the fleet felt an irresistible pull to venture hard right, yearning to explore the scenic delights of the shoreline keeping out of the tide and following the breeze.

Amidst the unfolding spectacle, a daring spectator had a delightful notion to test an inflatable kayak, seeking an up-close view of the riveting racing action. Alas, the whimsical waves conspired with the mischievous winds, leading to a few capsizes and a most entertaining beaching upon the shore. Oh, the joys of maritime exploration!

But the racing heart knows no respite, and as the breeze built, so did the fervour of the competition. Alan Krailing and Simon 'Bear' Forbes, like gods of the sea, charted a course to victory, their mastery of the elements propelling them to claim the coveted race win. Dave Wade and Ben Raynor, a force of nature in their own right, harnessed the winds to secure a dazzling second place. And with unwavering determination, Alex Hayman and Rob Henderson sailed steadfastly to capture a well-earned third position, a testament to their resilience upon the waves.

Race 4 Report

The tempestuous waves and capricious winds, fate wove a tale of surprises upon the vast expanse of the sea. As the race commenced, a pleasure cruiser dared to interpose itself between the gate boat, causing the racing gods to decree a General Recall, anointing fairness upon the event.

Some daring sailors were left perplexed amidst the dance of the elements, but Barnaby Croft and Louise Corfield faced the trials of Race 4, a day that tested their mettle and passion. The sea graced them with challenges, leading to not one, not two, but four captivating capsizes. Yet, with each tumble, their spirits soared higher, for every minute spent upon the water was a cherished moment in their hearts, securing their first race finish taking 46th place.

With the winds' crescendo, the fleet found themselves embracing a new aquatic sport - open water swimming! Dave and Ben, Sam Pascoe and Sam Barker (aka Sam Squared), Hayman/Henderson, and Kevin 'Gonzo' Gosling and Andy Service, all declaring themselves as captains of splash, taking a dip into the playful waves, their spirits undeterred by the unexpected twist of events.

Alas, fortune frowned upon some sailors, as breakages wreaked havoc amidst the racing fray. Sammy Mason and Richard 'Boggy' Mason's main sheet block, weary of the tumultuous seas, bid farewell, leaving them to navigate the waters with hands and wits alone. And behold, Barry Wolfenden and Matt Rayner, with audacious flair, eschewed the conventional ways, abandoning his boom, and venturing into the wild unknown, a true sailor's adventure!

Triumph awaited those who dared to sail the course with vigour and mastery. Alan and Simon, tamed the unruly tides to claim the coveted race win. Tom Gillard and Rachael Gray, a force to be reckoned with, raced through with unwavering spirit to seize the second position, their sails billowing with triumph. And in the embrace of the waves, Hayman and Henderson secured a well-earned third place, their hearts aflame with the passion of the sea.

Race 5 Report

Tuesday started with what looked like a calm appeal but rain came in so there "aint no sunshine". It was however to be a "lovely day" with many claiming that they "can't get enough" of the screaming reaches and they just want to "do it again".

The first race of the day started in moderate winds with minimal tide and a beat where one way or another would get you to the top mark without too much drama. Once again "all the young dudes" showed the way with their demonstrations of "life in the fast lane". Further down the fleet and life was a little "rock and roll" with courageous sailing by all where "I will survive" was most definitely the motivating sentiment.

After the full 3 laps were sailed the usual suspects came out in the chocolates with Sam squared (Sam Pascoe & Sam Barker) taking care of the business followed by Alan Krailing & Simon Forbes and Tom Gillard & Rachael Gray). The remaining top places were taken by our established professional teams who make this fleet such a phenomenal experience for everyone.

Race 6 Report

The second race of the day saw more wind and more tide. The start felt more crowded, making the first beat for many a challenge to create the necessary "bridge over troubled water" that enabled the fleet to hug the shore and make the long starboard tack to the windward mark. Once again there was no need to "imagine" who the leading boats were. "Rocket man" Tom & Rachel showed everyone that they had "moved on up" into the winning position. Working down the fleet there were times when some of the downwind legs were a "walk on the wild side", with reassurance within the teams to "baby hold on".

The wind continued to build throughout the race and for many it was a question of "staying alive" and for other there was certainly evidence that they were indeed "low riders" having become "tangled up in the blue".

Whilst the battle I'm sure was fierce to stay "one step beyond" the next boat, the final beat felt like the highway to hell with bodies aching, brain power fading as the "carwash "experience of big waves and strong gusts continued relentlessly.

"Rocket Man" held his lead to the end with Sam Squared and Mrs Bear making the top 3.

After the very testing conditions of the day key lessons learnt in our boat were "love the one you're with" even if they mess the beat up! And on the "long and winding road home" to arriving at the beach, greeted by a fabulous shore crew, "It's all right now"!

For those reading the write ups and thinking "wish you were here" don't hesitate "Sail Scorpion". Possibly the best boat in the world.

The fleets aching bodies were succoured by an evening of Fish and Chips and sponsored pro/am drinks, with many thanks to our sponsors DeWALT and Craftinsure.

Race 7 Report

A great morning greeted sailors and volunteers at the 2023 DeWalt Scorpion National Championship at Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club.

With well over half the races already having taken place it was with some relief that light wind and sunny blue skies was going to be the order of the day for Wednesday's races.

After a short delay for a stable breeze, race 7 got under way in 6-8 breeze. Dan Henderson and Amy Clay in Fifty Shades of Gray heading around the top mark in first position, a slight discussion about sausage or triangle in the boat left them off on a reach only to see the next two boat head down the run. They got back up to second but were unable to catch Alan Krailing and Simon Forbes in Mrs Bears Boat who went on to the winning streak again. Pete Gray and Richard Pepperdine came in a good third.

Race 8 Report

The race team were great and allowed the sailors have a quick break whist they tweaked the course before starting race 8. The race was a big go right day (again) and this time youth managed to get out in front and a new race winner for the week was found. Well done to Ollie Meadowcroft and Oliver Rayner from the lovely sailing club of the Yorkshire Dales who took line honours. Sam Pascoe and Sam Barker came home second in Sam Squared. Matt Burge and Robert Gardner popped in another consistent result, coming in third.

Crews Race Report
The crews race started shortly after race 8 and a fleet bigger than some classes Championship fleets got under way with a short triangle sausage course. It was a super competitive, fun race, with plenty of noise out on the water. Many crews found getting the right approach for the windward mark a challenge, with Richard Mason and daughter Samantha managing to stay hooked by their rudder on the windward mark for a good 5 or 6 minutes just checking the mark was anchored well. The top three were away and gone and finished in the order Rob Henderson and Alex Hayman in Wrecking Ball first, Sam Baker and Sam Pascoe second with Oliver Rayner and Olllie Meadowcroft third.

With one day to go, and touch and go if the fleet will sail with a very light forecast, Alan and Simon lead with a 3 point advantage over Tom and Rachael with Sam and Sam another 2 points back and the second discard for the week kicking in on race 9. It's all to play for with less tide and even more sunny weather planned.

Final Day Report

The 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.

At this announcement, the fleet dispersed to go and find some lunch (varying from shrimps to ice cream). The big question for those who were already in the kit was to change back and risk having to get changed again or stick in kit and slowly roast to death.
An hour later things hadn't really improved with only 4 knots being recorded on the race track, so a further one-hour postponement was put up. This intensified the game of to wetsuit or not to wetsuit and a few more players bailed out and got changed. Other than that very little happened over the next hour (I've got an easy day to write a report for here).

Another hour later 4 knots was still being recorded so the wind was given it's last chance to play ball with a final one-hour postponement being put up before a final decision at 2.30. A light breeze blew into the club house, giving optimism for some and others wished that it would clear off as they'd already started packing the boat up - or had dewetsuited. By this time only the hard-core wet suit enthusiasts remained; Nigel Denchfield and Caroline Monk to name a couple.

2.30 came and it was decision time, and after some discussion it was decided that unfortunately the conditions were unraceable and racing was cancelled for the day.
At this moment Alan Krailing and Simon Forbes were declared DeWALT Scorpion National Champions 2023- huge congratualtions to them both! Arguably even more importantly the wetsuitists had lost the game and sulked off to get changed. The fleet was glad of the early finish as it meant time to prepare for the main social event of the Scorpion year - the fancy dress party!

Huge thanks to everyone at Eastbourne for a fantastic week, and to all our sponsors DeWALT, CraftInsure and P&B.

'Highlights' of the day are here.

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Runners & Riders by Alan Ritchie

Unbelievably after years of obscure waffling about who might win the greatest family-friendly sailing holiday by the sea I’ve been asked again to put my nonsense cap on and contemplate who might take home a van load of silverware from Eastbourne on Friday 11th August.

I believe the requisite nonsense required was something to do with sailing so I’ll mention that but the really important stuff is that Scorpion Nationals is a chance for us all to socialise with old chums and make new ones. The sailing is also important, and you’ll not only find many top sailor types plying their trade trying to win but that competitive edge goes right through the fleet, but with a smile. This year's fancy dress theme is boat names, so as well as speculating on this year's Runners and Riders, I’ve also added a little resume of names and potential ideas for their fancy dress outfits.

Sailing wise it’s the standard amazing Scorpion line up 10 races, practice race, crews race etc. Racing begins on Sunday 6th August till Thursday 10th at Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club, and socialising central will be anywhere and everywhere all over Eastbourne but especially the sailing club.

We’ve two dinners laid on as part of the bargain entry fee and a packed social programme. At the prizegiving on Friday morning (so long as the weather gods play ball and we’ve got at least 66 of the races in!) we’ll be scoffing complimentary bacon rolls although personally I’m looking forward to the human hungry hippos on Wednesday night (no pressure Rach). That’s only because Team Denchfield’s quiz is too cerebral for me – I got at least two right last year! And the socialising is not only important for the sailors but also for the SHWAGS who are joining us at Eastbourne Swag where their activity starts with a Pimms and Ploughmans lunch on Sunday where further activities will be discussed and prioritised to ensure maximum enjoyment whatever your personal preference.

As ever the Pecker will be awarded each evening recognising outright stupidity alongside daily prize giving, ensuring plenty of focus on not being caught being daft though there are already nominations flooding in for Pecker no 1.

FRONT-RUNNERS

Let’s run through the likely top 10 contenders before we get to the rest of the fleet ……

Tom Gillard and Rach Gray, the current National Champions in a brand new boat (and there’s quite a few  of those about this year!) – 2057 Essence of Wetness - expect race wins galore, odds on favourite to add yet another Scorp title to their trophy cabinet. Last year Gilly took 5 different class nationals wins – can he continue his blistering form after Merlin week domination. Fancy Dress – what does wet smell like?

Pete Gray and Rich Pepperdine – 2058 Just the Tip – so close on every occasion – if only Rach could throw in a few bad tacks and they could be sitting pretty on Friday. With some kind of Council Refuse suggestion for a boat name will we see the boys in full dirty HiViz on Thursday night?

Sam Pascoe and Sam Barker 2062 – Sam2 – Pedigree for these two knows no bounds, Contender, International 14, Musto Skiff etc etc. Winners on home water at Castle Cove last time out they’ve been honing their high wind on Garda but in Musto Skiffs, Eastbourne should be a breeze. Fancy Dress to include boxes from the Ovi shed one assumes – let's hope there’s lots of right angles.

Alan Krailing and Si Forbes – 2051 Mrs Bears Boat – winners when Gilly didn’t turn up a few years back. Multiple top Lark sailor Alan is back to go again with super crew the BEAR. Fancy Dress - do we expect to see some seriously furry costumes with pink ribbons on these two rockstars??

Matt Burge and Rob Gardner – 2053 – won the last race at the Champs last year after a week dialing the brand new boat in. Fancy dress – boat is nameless so naked?

Dave Wade and Ben Rayner – 2061 – Silver Mullet – Multiple Ex champ and long time Scorp fan Wadey has the same old crew but a brand new boat. With a silver mullet for a name we’ll expect the barbers of Northampton to be getting no business of late.

Alex Hayman and Rob Henderson 2059 Wrecking Ball – F50 duties have allowed Alex a brief stay in the UK and he spends it sailing a Scorp. With Hendo at the front and all the Merlin / RS200 heritage to contend with we’ll expect big pace. Fancy Dress as a Wrecking Ball – sounds like a standard Cava after party but what to wear…

Tom Lonsdale and Emily Cole-Evans 2054 In a Minute (luv) – He’s won in albacores and few more besides but hasn’t yet got the scorp clicking – at last in the right boat with lots of string for Emily to pull. Fancy dress??

Rob Cage and John Reay 2052 – Heart of Glass – Another Race winner last year in this new boat last year – have they got the stamina to push the youngsters out of the way consistently. Fancy dress do I see a few crystal chandeliers being worn?

Dan Henderson and Amy Clay 2045 – 50 Shades of Gray – Rapid when they turn up together could easily be pushing a few established Scorp names behind them. Fancy Dress wise all eyes will be on these two with their kinky named vessel.

AJ and Chris Eaton 2014 – Intoxicated – AJ nearly won when passenger a few years ago can Chris push his brother along similarly. Intoxicated isn’t a boat name – its more of a way of life on a Thursday at a Scorp nationals

Shane Macarthy and Shandy (Andy Thompson) – 1986 Proper Hunt – These Buoys are travelling from the emerald isle so expect a big result. Shane did OK in the sunshine in Barbados with a GP14 a few years back – will Eastbourne have Rum ready – no but we do have Beer when we come ashore ! Horses and Riding crops at the Ready ?

FEMALE HELMS

On the Female helm front we’ve a selection of new winners available:-

Debi (Mrs Bear) Forbes and Charlotte Graham 2022 Quackers – looking faster every time they sail – they’ve got the best backup in the fleet with Stevie G to rerig every day – Fancy dress including Ducks I assume.

Fiona Taylor and Gordon Taylor – 1951 – Sidewinder – Consistently trying to be first off of the beach Fiona must learn that all string in front of the thwart is the crews responsibility (sorry Gordon). Missiles on Thursday night?

Cheryl Wood and David Bennet 2056 – Delilah – New to scorps though a claimed top RS female helm (what number though 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 00?) . With David at the front the boat will get polished before and after every launch. Welsh cakes all round to go with the inevitable singing I guess.

YOUTH

Getting more Youth into the Sccorpion family is really important, and we’ve got a great Youth entry this year including a few names one or two of you might recognise from 420s, 470s et al – wouldn’t it be great to see some race wins going to the under 20s …..

Oli Meadowcroft and Oli Raynor 2030 – Saline Drip – Serious sailors with parents who have been a bit quick in their day ……. Which of the Raynor boys will be first to beat dad ..?

Joshua Cook and Aaron Adams 1878 – Highlight – Will the highlight be the parrtyting or the racing ?

Michael and Daniel Rock 1921 – Necromancer – Dances with the dead – ooer ! bit Scary

Joe Warwicker and Lynne 1998 – Black Pearl – plenty of Pirate potential here – Joe won a race at the Endaevour a year or two back – yet more potential getting into some real racing

Jack Lewis and Szymon Matyjaszczuk 1966 – They think it’s all over (It is now). – Jack won the bloody mary on the wire of a 420 – this could get interesting !

YOUTH & FEMALE

Emily Cook and Daniel Cook – 1931 – The Business- Top boat with a great heritage and a team from the Swiss youth sailing squad – will this be the year the ladies pot goes European bound ? Obviously Filofaxes and Briefcases at the ready for Thursday night

Samantha Mason and Richard Mason – 1997 Peaches – Persuaded by the fun of Sidmouth that sailing a scorpion at Eastborne was a worthwhile activity, if its under 20 knots Sammy will be right in the mix. Future years may require some schoolwork so get the results in now before the real pressure builds. I think the local Asda has a fresh supply of fruit available for Thursday night. Also likely to be top Junior Helm !

Amelia Biggs and Monty Hampton 1903 – Heart of Gold – Monty keeps coming back – this time in a classic

AND SOME OTHER NOTABLE MENTIONS :-

Dave Elston and Alan Ritchie 2005 -Drama Queen – Sailing wise no chance of winning but will be smiling. Every chance that Shakespeare could be involved with a crown

Ian Cadwallader and Ellie Devereaux 2026 Sneaky Ninja  – Racing seriously for 10th place. Another easy one – as long as the helm still fits in his Judogi

Baz Wolfendon and Matt Rayner – Egyptian Surprise –– Living on board a yacht should give this helm an advantage – can he use it though? Fancy dress wise -the ship is re-named so Baz can wear his Mother in Laws swimming costume (again!)  – 40 years on – it’s still going strong.

Simon Holden and guest star – 1936 Bottyburp the Barbarian – As ever crew selection has involved extensive research right up until the start day – who know how the sailing will go. expect to see the helm in some kind of large angry caveman outfit? With requisite woopy cushions …??

William and LJ Winter – 1912 Pigs on the Wing – Sailing wise a possible bronze or silver fleet winner ? Vegetarians beware or is it an energy drink themed outfit.

Kev Gosling and Andy Service – 2040 Ambush – Sailing serious and re-rigging on the water normally slows down realistic chances of a top spot. Can we expect camouflage outfits – or will we not even see these chaps – could they be waiting ‘round the back’ to catch us all out as we stagger on from the cava party.

John and Nicola Willars 2017 Mr Blue Sky – Sailing for the Married couples pot (we must have one of them surely?) There were 5 in ELO’s original line up – could be tricky to pull off.

Chris Yates and a.n.other – 2048 Liquid Spirit  – Expect to be taken high on the reaches if you try and overtake. Ghosts and Ghouls beware or is it a cheeky bottle of rum I see before me.

Barney Croft and Louise 1988 - Fac51 – First time nationals for these sailors – welcome to the fun. The night club of all nightclubs. The Hacienda the cathedral to rave culture!! looking forward to the dayglow facepaints.

Spitfire Summer 1940 – Sailing wise definitely will comment if the line bias is more than 2 degrees out. Right now I feel this team are probably glueing wings onto fuselages to create the ultimate tribute to the Glorious few.

So to sum up (keyboard overheating now) we’ve got boys, girls, fast and fun with a great week lined up – if you arnt there what have you missed – don’t get FOMO – get a scorpion.

See you there !