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Scorpion 50th anniversary

The Scorpion class racing dinghy designed at St Mawes Cornwall by Taprel Dawling as a fairly high performance racing dinghy and excellent sea boat.
The Scorpion has over the past 50 years given huge pleasure, amusement and life changing experiences to thousands of people.
The Class is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this successful 14 foot  racing boat at Porthpean Sailing Club, 323 / 24 January.
If you are interested I suggest you contact Porthpean Sailing Club via their excellent web site.
I am touched to have had several people invite me to attend.
While I can’t go, I have passed on the info to those I am still in touch with and send my very warmest wishes, one of my replies is copied below.

Thank you for your invitation.
A delightful surprise, I thought I was long forgotten.
Unfortunately I will not be able to attend.
I am in the far away South West of France for this winter about half way between the Med and Atlantic, working on marine paintings, and have no plan to be in Devon and Cornwall before spring.
Kindly mention me to those who knew me and send them my very best wishes.
It would be wonderful to see them again, hear of their further adventures and maybe reminisce a little.


Looking back, I hugely enjoyed, more than I realized at the time, the company and competition with a everyone in the Scorpion fleet ashore and afloat.
I hope many of them feel I in turn made some contribution to happy days with Scorpions.
I am still in regular touch with some former Scorpion people, notably Geoff Trebilcock, Steve Mitchell, Ken Rigby, Mike MacNamara, John Miles, Nick Lightbody and some of my friends at Bexhill SC and in the S E.
Of course there are many more I remember very well and most fondly, but have lost touch with.
The list would start with David and Barry Edwards and Ken Robertson and be a long list.


You may be aware, these days and for the past 29 years I work as a marine painter.
I have a web site and if you wish you and the others can follow my still often adventurous life on my blog http://www.frickers.co.uk/blog/
On the subject of which thanks for the link to the PSC web site.
Some one deserves congratulating, a lively and enjoyable site.
I hope our paths cross again with time for a few yarns or better, we all cross tacks again in St Austell Bay.
Kind regards,
Gordon Frickers


For those who don’t recall those far off days, or wish to look down memory lane for a few moments, I have not raced a Scorpion for at least 25 years.
After racing both as crew and helm, and owning, building some 80 Scorpions (mostly when I was in the guise of “Mr.” South East Boat Builders Ltd of Rye”)  I went to the Wayfarer Class (notable Wellington 6778). Then became the owner a Sonata (“Music Maker“) a couple of Albacores and finally several Lasers.
I have had the privilege of sailing on many other yachts and ships including Thames barges, an Admiral’s cupper as tactician and what was then the world’s oldest active square rigger Maria Asumpta (built 10 years before the Cutty Sark) as well as becoming an RYA National squad coach for Optimists and Lasers.

I owned and loved a series of Scorpions only one of which I did not build myself (my first Scorpion, G – String 1299, built by Westerly Boats at Rock, Cornwall).
I loved them partly because of the boat, partly because of the company.
While based at various clubs over the years, in particular Bexhill SC, Porthpean SC, Restronguet SC, Fowey Gallants SC and the Royal Plymouth Corinthian YC, I gradually learnt to race nationally and internationally, was even invited to become an international protest committee judge.

My first Championship was at Whitstable as crew to John Labbet sailing Gojo and learned to respect Sherry, my first as a helm at Falmouth.
I have excellent memories of camping at events, learning about beer, bad puns and hundreds of other things one does if lucky when growing up.

I served for a while on the National Committee, another educational experience and exhibited Scorpions at many boat shows including Earls Court London and the London Dinghy shows.

Scorpions and Scorpion people gave me the chance to learn to race locally, at open events and nationally, the adventure of running a boat yard, lots of stress and personal development.

I am still delighted to have known the such a variety of people and had the experience which in turn opened may other fascinating doors and in a real way still contributes to my marine painting today and every day.

Thanks for so much fun guys and contributing to my unusual life.