Please select your home edition
Crewsaver 2015 Lifejackets

Merlin Rockets at the 50th Hamble Warming Pan

by Steve Storey 13 Mar 2012 11:52 GMT 10-11 March 2012

With Craftinsure again kindly sponsoring the 2012 Merlin Rocket traveller series, the Silver Tiller, the season’s first event took place at Hamble River Sailing Club and coincided with the clubs 50th anniversary Warming Pan celebrations.

Out on the water difficult conditions prevailed all weekend and made life challenging, not only for the competitors who had to battle tide with very light and changing wind directions, but also for the race team in setting realistic courses to cope!

After an over enthusiastic rush at the line resulted in a general recall the first race finally started in a light north westerly. Richard Adams and Chris Gould in 3650 led the fleet on a reaching start down river for 3 laps around the windward leeward course in Southampton water.

As the breeze slowly died away and the tidal effect became dominant it was the risky strategy of Jon Abbotson & John Gifford in 3707 who, by taking a long tack out through the ebbing tide towards the west shore, found themselves back in contention for a well-deserved win on the shortened course. Dan Alsop & Jennie King were a close second in 3539 followed by Will Rainey and Will Carroll in 3693.

With less than 5 minutes ashore the fleet launched again for race two and in the resurgent force 1 breeze and bright sunshine tested the race team with their second general recall of the event. After a short postponement Richard Whitworth and Chris Winters pulled away to lead the race in almost identical conditions to those prevailing earlier. Tim Fells and Chris Downham in 3727 made an early challenge though not consistent enough to hold off the pressure from the ever wily Dan Alsop and Jennie King. “Gangsta Paradise” took second place and the prize for Saturdays overall best Merlin Rocket result.

Sunday morning for race number 3 provided little more in the way of wind with the Race Officer electing to confine all boats to the river with a short beat off the start line and a broad reach down to the bottom mark.

As the race progressed and notwithstanding some of the closely fought racing amongst the fleet – notably Dave Dobrijevic and Jeremy Williamson in 3708 who came through to finish in a fine 5th place – undoubtedly the win of the weekend must go to Frances Gifford and Sophie Mackley. From the gun they steered Alan Warren’s “Tiger Tiger” 3696 through every slight puff of breeze and wind shift to finish a clear 27 minutes ahead of the second placed boat of Ben Archer and Andy Brewer, both of whom sailed well throughout and especially in covering their own position in the major 180 degree wind shift on the last leg of the course.

Event Videos: (by Malcolm Donald,

Jon Turner explains the Genii design features

More pictures in the 'Photo Gallery' tab below the results.

Overall Results:

PosSailBoatHelm & CrewResultsPoints
13707Monkey BusinessJon Abbotson & Michael John Gifford1, 9, 313
23650HeadcaseRich Adams & Chris Gould6, 3, 413
3373FaithlessRichard Whitworth & Chris Winters4, 1, 1520
43684Keyser SozeAndy Davis and Tom Pygall9, 4, 720
53539Gangsta ParadiseDan Alsop and Jennie King7, 2, 1322
63696Tiger TigerFrances Gifford & Sophie Mackley5, 17, 123
73732Dave Wade & Ben Rayner7, 8, 924
83634Ministry of PleasureBen Archer & Andy Brewer19, 5, 226
93693Slippery When WetWill Rainey and Will Carroll3, 14, 1431
101097FlinkidinkMike Stephens & Jodok Gerber8, 11, 1231
113685The Black PearlWilliam Warren and Chris Robinson14, 10, 832
123730Blood Sweat & BeersBen Hollis & James Dawes10, 15, 1035
133658Re‑EntryChris Jennings & Roger Gilbert16, 17, 639
143727FragileTim Fells & Chris Downham12, 7, 2544
153734Sam Pascoe & Tim Rusk10, 13, 2548
163712Oakey DokeyJon Gorringe & Nick Bass17, 16, 1649
173708WickedDave Dobrijevic & Jeremy Williamson25, 25, 555
183718Miss AigletingerDavid & Fiona Sayce25, 6, 2556
193719Fluffbum BabyloveMike Partridge & Claire Davis12, 20, 2557
203661Schmoozy BlueGraham and Ben Scroggie15, 19, 2559
213579Mango TangoJoe Mclaughlin & Charlie Morgan25, 25, 1161
223698Graham Cranford‑Smith & Tim Powell18, 18, 2561
233556Make it SoAlex Jones & Jack Oeund25, 25, 1767
243729ShabazzleJon Turner & Alan Tylor25, 25, 2575

Related Articles

Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller Round 17
Lymington famously delivers whatever the weather The Craftinsure Merlin Rocket non-flying Silver Tiller circus landed at Lymington Town Sailing Club over the weekend of the 7th-8th September. Posted on 10 Sep
Minima Yacht Club Annual Regatta 2019
A good turnout of 24 boats enjoy some classic river sailing A good turnout of 24 boats, including half a dozen visitors from nearby clubs enjoyed some classic river sailing at Kingston over a weekend with conditions varying from warm sunshine and light airs to lashing rain squalls. Posted on 3 Sep
Aspire Merlin Rocket Nationals at Looe day 5
Another glamorous day on the water The penultimate day of the Aspire Merlin Rocket Championships saw another two races and was again a glamorous day on the water. Winds from the SW around 8-12 knots with five degree shifts under mainly sunny skies was the order of the day. Posted on 22 Aug
Aspire Merlin Rocket Nationals at Looe day 4
Proving to be one the best events for many a year The Aspire Merlin Rocket Championships at Looe is proving to be one the best events your correspondent has attended for many a year. Posted on 21 Aug
Aspire Merlin Rocket Nationals at Looe day 3
Can there be advantageous spinnaker rips? It was another sunny morning in Looe with the forecast for a force 3-4 from the South South West. Another glamorous day was in store and so it proved with the first race for the West Country Trophy followed by the main event of the week, the crew's race. Posted on 20 Aug
9th Classic Boat Revival preview
5 races over the 7-8 September in Chichester Harbour This year's Bosham Classic Boat Revival which will be held 7-8 September and hosted by Bosham SC. Last year, the CBR celebrated legendary boat designer Ian Proctor's centenary with over 90 boats participating, across 34 classes from 22 clubs. Posted on 20 Aug
Aspire Merlin Rocket Nationals at Looe day 2
A superb day with sunshine and waves Looe turned on the style for the second day of the Aspire Merlin Rocket Championships. A force 3-5 from 240 deg with sunshine and waves meant that everyone in the fleet could enjoy a superb day on the water. Posted on 19 Aug
Aspire Merlin Rocket Nationals at Looe day 1
Great sea sailing with a full social programme at a picturesque venue For their 2019 National Championships the Merlin Rocket's have returned to one of their most popular venues, picturesque Looe on the south Cornwall coast. Posted on 18 Aug
Fantastic diversity in 2019
At the Aspire Merlin Rocket Nationals Nearly there. Prize glassware received and checked. Sponsors awards safely received and sorted. Social programme printed and published. Dinghy park pristine and ready for our 65 entrants. Race Management primped and preened ready for the fray. Posted on 14 Aug
Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller Round 16
'Real Sea Sailing' at Shoreham for the fleet The amazing circus that is the Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller Series turned up at Shoreham for some 'Real Sea Sailing' on the weekend of August 3rd and 4th. Posted on 6 Aug