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Merlin Rockets at the Hamble River Sailing Club Warming Pan

by Ben Archer 21 Mar 2013 07:02 GMT 17 March 2013
Merlin Rockets during the 2013 Hamble Warming Pan regatta © Bertrand Malas

The Hamble Warming Pan at Hamble River SC was, this year, the second open meeting in the Craftinsure Silver Tiller, the Merlin Rocket mega travellers series. 23 boats made the short commute from Chichester Harbour where they had been racing round the cans on the Saturday in a F3-5... They were welcomed by a completely contrasting scene on the Hamble river, gentle rain fell for most of the day and the breeze never went above F1-2 even at its peak. There was, as ever, a warm welcome from this loveliest of sailing clubs and boats were rigged, undaunted.

Race 1 got away cleanly, and the real stars were Jon Turner/Richard Parslow who had a lovely start down at the Ferry hut end of the line, only to run firmly aground and go from heroes to zeroes in seconds, letting Richard Whitworth/Sarah Bines through. Meanwhile, at the club end of the line, Dave Hayes/Johnny Ratcliffe were doing jolly well sailing up the moored boats in clean wind. All was well until Rich Adams/Katie Wright leading the race, missed out a mark of the course on the way out to the windward mark having to go back as the hungry pack sailed past them. This mark was obviously a problem for many of the competitors (ALWAYS listen at the briefing) Hayes/Ratcliffe attempting to go the wrong way around it on the way back with three starboard close hauled boats bearing down on them. The massed fleet then joined the Fireflys/Foxers and N12s which were rafted up around the leeward mark. Hayes/Ratcliffe did the right thing here sailing around the group and going on to win followed by Adams/Wright, then Steve and Sarah Cockerill, going very consistently well with their new mast only tuned the day before!

Race 2 Only began after a general recall. Normally it's the Shoreham open that's a warm up for the champs, but people were very, very keen.

Once we'd got that out of our systems, we went for the real thing. Once again, a good start was possible at both ends of the line; Simon Blake/Jilly Blake showed how slippery the Superfast Jellyfish is, when they, along with Steve Leney/Gill Leney got away from the fleet down at the hut end, whilst Olly Turner/Will Carrol as well as Whitworth/Bines snuck away as close to the club as they were allowed. Others were not so fortunate however, Turner/Parslow were stuck with no way on, on Port tack, with a minute to go to the gun...

Despite Blake/Blake and Whitworth/Bines best efforts, Sam Pascoe/Alex Adams led to the windward mark, only because Leney/Leney sailed to a mark that was not part of the course (ALWAYS listen at the briefing) and let them, and lots of others, through. Gutted. It was Pascoe/Adams who took the gun, followed by Whitworth/Bines in second and Simon blake who did what his Mum said and came third. A jubilant Pascoe came ashore only to become quite ashen-faced when he found that he had been OCS in the first and any hope of a podium place was dashed. Richard Whitworth, who came ashore quite boot faced, without a finish in the second, (or so he thought), had his sackcloth turned to velvet when the results were finally worked out, and he had won the day, with Steve and Sarah Cockerill in second place and Dave Hayes and Johnny Ratcliffe coming in third. The fleet packed away in a northerly F2 and a gentle sun peeped through the clouds.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2Pts
13703FaithlessRichard WhitworthSarah BinesParkstone426
23745Where's WooosterSteve CockerillSarah CockerillHISC347
33734The Black BoatDavid HayesJonny RatcliffsHISC178
43738Superfast JellyfishSimon BlakeJill BlakeCookham Reach SC639
53716Carbonfoot PrintSteve LeneyGill LeneyBlithfield9514
73708WickedJasperGratham Sexton 8614
83693Slippery When WetWill RaineyCaroline CroftShoreham71219
93729ShabazzleJonRichardLyme Regis11819
103656Wild CardOlly TurnerWilliam CarrolStarcross YC101121
113663BronteChris HaworthJo HarveyBlackpool + fleetwood YC121022
123563LeaderSam PascoeAlex AdamsCastle CoveOCS125
133650HeadcaseRich AdamsKatie WrightMidlands2DNS26
143683 Nigel BrookeSozie Booke 131427
153676Hot TottyTim HarrisonFrances GiffordRanelagh SC151328
163448BarbaraSam ThompsonClare ThompsonRNSA161531
173585After HoursMikeClaireHISC181634
183634Ministry Of PleasureBen ArcherJames WarrenParkstone YC191736
193584N/AJ. TownsendB.LangfordESC14DNS38
203692NemoRien ZilvoldJulie NuttallWhitstable YC17DNS41
21=3626Busniss as usualAndy HayNix Middleton‑stewartRYADNFDNS48
22=3744Mylo XylotoChris MartinTom WhiteBlithfieldDNFDNS48
23=3658BernardChris JenningsAlly MartinBurghfield SCOCSDNS48

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