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54th Annual Warming Pan Sponsored by McCarthy & Stone

by Trevor Pountain 15 Mar 2016 11:54 GMT 12-13 March 2016

The 54th Annual Warming Pan, sponsored by McCarthy & Stone, took place at HRSC over the weekend of 12th and 13th of March. The 53 competing boats and crews, prepared for the normal March weather, were pleasantly surprised when the sun shone all weekend.

The only issue left to be concerned about was the wind, or lack of it. This too ended up being of no concern, when, after a short postponement on Saturday morning, PRO Kathy Smalley was able to complete the two programmed races.

The breeze, forecast to be very light from the east turned out to be very light from the south. This allowed a windward/leeward course to be set with a windward mark off the pool by the School of Navigation (Southampton Solent University) and a leeward mark just South of the Royal Southern YC.

In the Merlin Rocket Class, Caroline Croft and Becka Jones, in "The Oldie", showed how to win in light airs by recording two firsts for the day. The same result was achieved in the Firefly Class by Alex Davey and Sally Wilson in "Mustard". Jonty Yonge 6038 crewed by his father William also completed two bullets on Saturday, as did Martin Frary 5583 in the Solo class. This recurring theme of a clean sweep on Saturday was upset a little in the Foxer Fleet where four races were the order of the day. Rob Greenhalgh managed to win three of them but crashed to fourth in race three. Everyone returned to the clubhouse to watch England v Wales at 4.00 pm.

Sunday brought a little more breeze and from the forecast E-NE direction. Confident that a longer race could be completed Kathy Smalley sent all the fleets, except the Foxers, out of the river and round a windward/leeward loop from Pile No 1 out towards the main channel in Southampton Water. Solent sailors will tell you that with that with the wind in the E-NE it can move about and turn beats into fetches. This proved to be the case but when it happened the fetch back up the river became a beat. So, everyone got the course they were expecting, but just not in the order they were expecting it.

Results in these new windier and fickle conditions were less predictable than the day before. Caroline Croft and Becka Jones did enough to win the weekend with a 3rd and a discarded 5th place, though they were chased hard by 3778, Chris Gould and Chris Kilsby. Both teams ended on 5 points with "The Oldie" winning on count back. There was considerable chatter on FaceBook afterwards because Caroline and Becka called for water on a green post - answers on a post card please.

In the Solo Class Martin Frary, 5583, also did enough to hang on with a 1st and a 4th, despite being chased hard by HRSC's Nick Bonner. 5461 Guy Mayger was 3rd. "Mustard" Alex Davey and Sally Wilson, continued their domination of the Firefly fleet but could only manage one bullet. The tie for 2nd was determined by count back with "Flo" Nigel Wakefield and Emilly Sanderson just pipping "Biscuit Buffalo" Paul Kameen and Clare Jones.

Jonty Yonge in Feva 6038 had his Saturday crew (his Dad) to contend with in another Feva "Shambles" on the Sunday. But with Cameron Yates as crew he managed to hang on in the fluky conditions. 6019 Robert and Andrew McFarlane came third overall. Over in the Warsash Pool the Foxer's completed their four races and Rob Greenhalgh in "Bank" with three more 1st's won the event relegating Ian Southworth, the HRSC club Yachtsman of the Year, to second place. Paul Lovejoy came third in Badger in the 17 strong and very competitive fleet.

Sue Perry, from McCarthy & Stone presented the prizes and Warming Pan's as Scotland were demolishing France in the Rugby.

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

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