Sidmouth sailors host national competition

sidmouth

The boats coming back to shore. - Credit: Sidmouth Sailing Club.

Sidmouth Sailing club became the hosts of the National Scorpion fleets open event last weekend. 

Twenty-five Scorpion sailing dinghies from around the country started to arrive on Friday (May 20) evening and Saturday (May 21) morning and set up on the Ham.

They were given an extra special Sidmouth welcome as they enjoyed the events at Sea Fest and were particularly delighted to find a bar, food and entertainment so close

The first race started at noon with plenty of wind and waves. All the competitors, including seven from Sidmouth, enjoyed four races back to back and returned to shore tired and smiling.

On Sunday (May 22) the day started sunny and still but fortunately a breeze filled in and the competitors were once again on the water.

Racing was close and competitive with the front place dominated by professional sailor and multiple National and international champion Tom Gillard with his crew Rachel Rhodes.

Other National champion winning teams fought for a second (Pete Gray and Richard Pepperdine), third (Matt Burge and Bob Garner) and fourth (Tom Jeffcoate and local lad Alex Hayman).

exmouth

Charlie Pickering with the youth helm prize. - Credit: Sidmouth Sailing Club.

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The Sidmouth boats all finished every race and the first Sidmouth boat prize went to Janet Ritchie and Alan Ritchie in their boat Drama Queen.

And special mention went to Charlie Pickering who at 15 helmed for his dad in his first-ever open. 

Scorpion dinghies are a two-person boat which attracts sailors of all abilities and ages (from 15 years to 65+).

It has a spinnaker and many spectators will have seen the colourful sails hoisted as the boats went downwind.

east devon

Rachel Rhodes and Tom Gillard receive their first prize from Commodore Barnie Croft - Credit: Sidmouth Sailing Club.

Many thanks go to all the helpers at the club, in particular, James Francis the race officer, Oliver Salter the club president, Barny Croft - Commodore, Alister Watson - the sailing secretary.