Hamble Warming Pan
Over the weekend of 13-14 March Hamble River Sailing Club hosted the 48th Annual Warming Pan regatta. This year’s invited classes were the Firefly and National 12 classes, the local Foxer dinghy fleet, and the Merlin fleet who’ve attended the event since it started.
The original event programme scheduled two races on each day separated by a lunch break. However light winds on Saturday only allowed a single race for each fleet before the ebb tide began to run and sailing became impossible. The silver lining in this cloud was that all competitors were ashore to enjoy an afternoon in the warm sunshine, or for some, several hours in front of the TV watching the Six Nations Rugby.
Fortunately the breeze returned for Sunday and PRO Jamie Wilkinson took a brave decision to run three quick back-to-back races for all classes on a tight, small, course within the river. The start and finish line was from the HRSC balcony, perfectly located for the many spectators. With a gusty 15-20 knot breeze, and a crowded river due to yachts on passage to and from the Warsash Spring series, the 51 competing boats had to keep their wits about them to avoid incidents.
Four different boats won races within the 24 strong Merlin Rocket fleet. Andy Davis and Tom Pygall eventually took home the traditional Warming Pan first prize with a neat 1, 2, 3, 4 scoreline. They were pushed hard by Mike Calvert & Chris Downham and Richard Whitworth & Olly Turner who both finished just a point behind after the four races, Calvert/Downham sneaking into second overall on countback. Fourth overall in the Merlins was the duo of Stuart Bithell & Andy Tunnicliffe who would almost certainly have finished higher up if they’d avoided an unfortunate incident with a moored fishing boat which forced their retirement from the last race.
The final scoreline in the 16 strong Firefly fleet appear to show that overall winners Roger Morris and Jo Bailey had an easy time with a scoreline of 5, 2, 1, 1. The results don’t show the full picture though with Morris/Bailey pushed hard all weekend by the combinations of Steve Greaves and Caroline Edwards who finished second, and husband and wife couple Rob and Mel Sherrington who took third overall.
The 8 strong Foxer fleet was a tale of two halves with Shaun Barber dominating racing on Saturday and Tom McWilliam taking the race wins on Sunday. Shaun’s consistency over the weekend gave him the overall title, with James Rowland’s consistent scoreline of four second places, giving him second overall.
2009 Warming Pan Winners Jo Richards and Sophie Mackley retained their title with three race wins out of four in the small National 12 fleet.
Hamble River Sailing Club is looking forward to running the 49th Warming Pan next March, and is already making plans for the 50th Anniversary event, to be held in 2012.
Full results here