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Merlins at the Hamble River Sailing Club Warming Pan

by Louisa and Ben Archer on 24 Mar 2011 19-20 March 2011

The entrants to the 49th Hamble Warming Pan and first Craftinsure Silver Tiller Merlin Rocket open meeting were greeted by a beautiful, blue-skied, sunny morning that looked ready to spoil any decent wind prospects the many competitors were geared up for. After a minor postponement a nice little force 2/3 South Westerly blew in and the first raced kicked off.

Andy ‘Taxi’ Davis and Tom Pygall took the lead, pursued closely by Tom Stewart and Steve Hall as well as Simon Blake crewed by Alex Jackson, this being the trend until they thought they had finished…but were kindly informed by Blake/Jackson that they had to do another lap. This resulted in Stewart and Taxi taking first/second place, chased hard by David Hayes and Johnny Ratcliffe in third as Blake was OCS at the start. It’s a shame that Tom Stewart couldn’t capitalise on this victory and was unable to achieve the consistency of results to place higher overall as he was a strong contender for the chocolates all weekend.

Race two was conducted in a slightly weakened breeze, with increased tide, which became the dominant feature of the race as the fleet worked their way up the Hamble side between trots of moored yachts, and ran down the Warsash side out of the channel. Flag knowledge was also at a premium with some choosing to do an extra lap despite having finished. Simon Blake had upped his game sufficiently to win, Dan Alsop and Jennie King (who clearly knows their flags) coming in second, having overtaken Taxi on the last run, who was third.

Sunday morning was not so bright, yet the wind was stronger and more consistent . Race three started with a recall where 40% of the competitors were lobbed from the race, this giving Dan Alsop a race win, followed by Richard Dee and Chris Gould in second, with David Hayes and Johnny Ratcliffe gaining a third. Unfortunately for Taxi, who lead all the way round the course again, he was one of the fleet who has had to revisit his starting discipline.

The fourth and final race was won by another thought-I’d-completed-the-race-now-need to-do-another-lap scenario. It began with Taxi and Blake leading the fleet to the windward mark on every lap, where a tussle for water ensued. They get round, hotly pursued by Richard Dee, Blake is then forced to tack right whilst Taxi and Dee tack to the left. After battling for two laps they speed down to the final leeward mark on a run, and following an excellent rounding Blake now cocks it up, imagining he has to sail an extra lap, rather than sailing for the finish, and he drops back to third place. Taxi and Dee take the advantage, but Taxi extends this further to win, with Dee second.

Overall Results:

Pos Sail Boat Helm & CrewR1R2R3R4Pts
13684 Keyser Soze Andy Davis & Tom Pygall232216
23539Gangsta Paradise Dan Alsop & Jennie King42147
33610Needlemaker Richard Dee & Chris Gould782211
43701Stomper Tom Stewart & Steve Hall1522713
53722Stealth David Hayes & Jonny Ratcliffe3113915
63671Shakey 'B' Tim Fells & Chris Downham66221022
73702General Lee Andy Dalby & Phil Dalby22154524
83577Nostradormouse Derek Davies & Helen Hilditch81351124
93707Monkey Business Simon Blake & Alex Jackson22122326
103653 Artemis Judith Massey & C Whitehouse/E Bremer101422630
113634Ministry of Pleasure Ben Archer & A Brewer111222831
123583Back to Future Chris Martin & Matt Metcalfe-Smith141081632
133693(none) Will Rainey & Kelly Miller57222234
143652Time and Tide Hector Gisneros & Graham Williamson94222235
153555Light Fantastic Tim Harridge & Maria Gray161961335
163643Moist Alistair Glen & Moira Glen129222243
173710Paradigm ShiftAndrea Ralph & John Rees1316221443
183697Too Dark & Stormy Richard & Peter Page222271544
193400Dangerbat James Middleton-Stewart & Andy Young2217221251
203683Bluebird Mark Barwell & Louise Johnson1718222257
213645Blue Velvet Jeremy & Joanne Deacon1522222259

Saturday Video from Malcolm Donald

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