HD Sails at the Scorpion Nationals
The first Scorpion Nationals following the launch of HD Sails saw immediate success with Tom Jeffcoate & Harvey Hillary finishing 2nd overall and Andy Mckee & Tarren Jones finishing 5th.
57 Scorpions descended on Paignton for the annual National Championships. With a range of wind strengths racing was incredibly close as demonstrated by how many high scores the front of the fleet had to carry. The exception was Tom Gillard and Ollie Wells who sailed an impressive series to take the overall victory. Behind them Tom & Harvey recorded a series of top 3 results including a dominant win in the breeziest race of the week but a couple of tactical mistakes early in the week left them too much to do to challenge Tom & Ollie for the overall win. At the same time HD sails were halping Andy & Tarren record their best ever nationals result of 5th overall, in the process beating 9 time national champion John Mursell into 6th and 3 time champion Dave Wade in 8th.
After the event Tom said the new sails showed some impressive speed, especially in the breeze and on the reaches and that with a bit more time on the water (the first race was Harvey’s 2nd time ever in a Scorpion) they would be in a very strong position to challenge for more event wins.
The Scorpion inlands at Grafham saw strong performances for the latest HD Scorpion sails as Tom Jeffcoate & Mark Hogan finished 2nd and Andy Mckee & Tarren Jones finished 3rd overall winning half of the races between them. Shifty and gusty conditions greeted a very strong fleet of 24 for 6 very close races in testing conditions. Saturday saw the 2 HD sails boats in dominant form scoring 1,3,1 and 3,1,2 respectively to occupy the top 2 spots overnight. Some missed shifts in the first 2 races on Sunday allowed 2 other boats into the mix and going into the last race Tom & Mark were tied with Tom Gillard & Andy Thompson with Andy & Tarren 1 point behind and with former National Champions Dave Wade & Ben Rayner a further point back. Tom & Mark and Tom & Andy broke clear from the rest of the fleet and after 4 laps with barely more than a couple of boat lengths between them it was Tom & Andy who just managed to get water at the last mark and hold on to win by less than 1/2 a boat length and take the inland title. 4th for Andy & Tarren in the last race was enough to secure 3rd spot overall. Overall another successful event for HD sails with some great boat speed only let down by the occassional driver error creating plenty of optimism for the next open at Chew Valley in 3 weekends time.
Using the latest HD sail design Andy Mckee & Tarren Jones scored a clean sweep at the first Scorpion open meeting of the year. Held at Dovestone SC on the 1st April they won all 3 races ahead of 2 other boats also using sails made by Andy Davis. Afterwards Andy Mckee confessed to feeling a bit rusty on the boat handling side but said the sails felt quick and they had some devastating downwind pace.
This is already the 2nd success for the HD Scorpion sails after they also triumphed at the Tiger Trophy in February and expectations will be high for the upcoming events at Grafham and Chew Valley where both Andy Mckee and Tom Jeffcoate will be aiming to keep up the winning ways. For help on getting the most from your new Scorpion sails we have put together a tuning guide, this will be available online soon, in the mean time please call Andy Davis at the loft or feel free to ask Andy Mckee or Tom Jeffcoate any questions you may have out on the circuit.”
HD Sailors top the podium at Rutland’s Tiger Trophy.
Tom Jeffcoate sailing with Tom Pygall in a Scorpion tied on points with Matt Biggs and Ben Hollis who were sailing their Merlin. It went down to the wire on Sundays big pursuit race, Matt and Ben had a good tussle with another HD Merlin. Stuart Bithell who has just been selected for this years Olympics borrowed Andy Davis’s Merlin and between Stuart and Matt there was just half a boat length in it at the end.
As this put Matt in second it was down to the two Toms to finish in the top 15. With superb sailing they held onto fifteenth and ended up tied on points, with a race win on Saturday the two Toms won on best number of firsts. This denied Matt and Ben of winning the Tiger Trophy for the second time but both teams must be applauded for their outstanding sailing and stamina against the elements. Certainly a great weekend for the HD loft!