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52nd Hamble Warming Pan at Hamble River Sailing Club

by Barney Smith 17 Mar 2014 15:13 GMT 15-16 March 2014
Merlin racing on Saturday afternoon during the Hamble Warming Pan 2014 © Bertrand Malas

The weather gods were most definitely smiling for the Warming Pan, held for the 52nd year at Hamble River Sailing Club on the 3rd weekend in March. 62 boats enjoyed a classic combination of close river racing and Solent shenanigans under bright sunshine with a capricious north westerly breeze.

On both days the six fleets – Merlins, Fireflys, National 12s, Foxers, Fireflys and Lasers – raced from the HRSC startline, with everyone except the Foxers completing the majority of the racing on a windward/leeward track outside the river entrance, prior to a challenging return up river to the finish, especially in the afternoon races when the infamous 'Hamble' ebb had properly kicked in.

Several regulars from the mainly local Foxer fleet had other commitments over the weekend – Extreme 40 sailing, Volvo campaigns etc. – so the fleet size was limited to just 20 boats. The first four boats overall finished within eight points of each other after a packed schedule of eight races within the river with the 'Badgers' nailing first and second overall. Paul Lovejoy was the overall winner in 'Badger' and Peter Cook, visiting from Salcombe, sailed a great series to come 2nd overall in 'The Fat Badger'. The Foxers were especially grateful to the race management team for organising a schedule that allowed them to spend maximum time in the HRSC bar on Saturday afternoon drinking beer and watching rugby!

The largest fleet, the Merlins, was won by Andy Davis and Tom Pygall with a consistent 4, 2, 2 scoreline. Jasper Barnham and Graham Sexton were second winning two races but failing on the consistency front with their other scores being an 8th and a DNF. Last year's winners Richard Whitworth and Emma Norris were 3rd overall after a steady improvement through the weekend culminating in a last race victory.

Paul and Laura Kameen took three race wins in the Firefly fleet, only being denied a clean sweep by Barney Smith and Sam Flint who rolled the dice with great success visiting the Warsash Shore during the last race to record a close victory. Lucy Boreham and Rachel Crebbin were 2nd overall with Chris and Ewan Vines, visiting from Papercourt, 3rd.

Jon Cotgreave from Weston SC took overall honours in the newly formed Hamble Laser fleet. HRSC club junior Harry Cowell won a race finishing 2nd overall. Callum Weston, also from HRSC, was 3rd overall.

Ann Jackson and Alan Skeens from Burghfield SC dominated the Enterprise Class with four race wins and the National 12 fleet came down to a last race showdown, with Nick Copsey and Andrew Clarke taking home the traditional Warming Pan prize.

Full marks should be awarded to the dozens of volunteers from Hamble River Sailing Club who persevered all weekend to provide food, drink, top quality race management and a warm welcome to all competitors.

Next year Hamble River SC plan to run the Warming Pan on either the 2nd or 3rd weekend of March. The invited class list and dates will be released in the Autumn.

Full results can be found at www.hambleriversc.org.uk/open-results

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