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56th Hamble Warming Pan

by Trevor Pountain 27 Mar 2018 21:14 BST 24-25 March 2018

Race Officer, Kathy Smalley, informed the fleet at the briefing for the 56th Warming Pan that "This is river racing; if the wind shifts I cannot move the river!". What she failed to mention was that she would also be unable to move any 50 foot motor cruisers that had yet to work out where astern was on the throttle lever.

The relatively mild weather and light breezes saw an unusual number of motor and sailing cruisers desperate to go to sea after a disappointing winter. The great majority of these vessels timed their departure for 10.30 am which of course was start time for the Warming Pan. Even Paul Heys, of Key Yachting, arrived with a very large block of flats (Catamaran), just before the warning signal. Clearly, he had not read the memo banning yacht sales between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm on Warming Pan days!

Despite these additional little challenges, the start sequence was completed just about on time and the fleet proceeded to beat and fetch down the river before looping between two laid marks in Southampton Water. The quicker Merlins looped 3 times and the slower Aeros and Finns looped twice before running back to a mark off the Hamble Public Jetty and thence to the start and finish line. The crews, who were not as cold as they thought they would be, then came ashore for baked potatoes and hot drinks at Hamble River Sailing Club.

So balmy were the conditions that, during the afternoon start sequence, the Aero's could be heard discussing how hot they were. The second race followed the same course as the first and at the end of day one Chris Gould and Chris Kilsby in Peer Pressure, led the Merlin Silver Tiller fleet with two bullets. Toby Schofield in the Aero 7, named Aero 7, was leading that fleet. Ian Southworth, in Giggles, was leading the Foxers, who as usual were operating in the pool on the other side of the river.

Day two saw similar weather to day one, with grey clouds and the odd bit of sun breaking through. The wind however, had conveniently moved to the North allowing Race Officer Smalley to lay a windward mark off the Chinese Bridge one mile north of the club line and a leeward mark in the pool just south of the "School of Nav" and its pier. Once again cruising boats timed their arrival to perfection, and to the delight of all on the starting platform, one unlucky owner was spotted in full astern trying to stay ahead of the sixteen Merlin Rockets. This was a race he was not going to win.

As the Merlins completed the beat to the Chinese Bridge it became clear that the big decision was where to go after rounding the mark. The first ten or twelve boats headed back down the Fairway or off to the West bank. The Oldie, Caroline Croft and Matt Lullham-Robinson, had other ideas and went for clear air and no tide on the East side. In doing so, they took out eight of their competitors in less than half a mile and it was no surprise when there was a mass gybe eastwards as a gap in the pontoons became available.

At the end of day two, as you would expect, things were very close in the Merlin results. Night Fury Stuart Bithell and Tom Pygall, had pipped Gould and Kilsby in Peer Pressure by one point. Kayser Soze, Andy Davis and Alex Warren, was separated from Peer Pressure on countback. The battle in the Foxer fleet was no less keen. Chris Hamel managed to squeeze Booby Sparkler ahead of Giggles Ian Southworth, on countback in the fifteen strong Foxer fleet. Snow Fox, Shaun Barber was third. An honourable mention must go Georgie Vintner in Bonkers, a very creditable 8th in only her second outing. Toby Schofield in Aero 7 hung on to his day one lead with Gareth Griffiths, G on an Aero Sting, second and Minty, Karen Main in third.

The raffle in aid of Sail for Cancer, which preceded the prize giving, raised £355.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat Name/TypeHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
Merlin Rocket
13775Night FuryStuart BithellTom Pygall1‑4212   5
23778Peer PressureChris GouldChris Kilsby111‑54   6
33684Keyser SozeAndy DavisAlex Warren123‑41   6
43673The OldieCaroline CroftMatt Lullham‑Robinson134‑66   13
53726ArwenWill Henderson 1‑10825   15
63736MetachrosisRoger PhillipsWill Crocker1657‑9   18
73764Fancy LiquorTim FellsFrances Gifford177‑97   21
83791Didley SquatJoe GorringePete Gray156‑1311   22
93788 Christian BirrellMatt Mee1(DNC)DNC33   23
103709Wild at HeartRob HendersonAlice Markham199‑1010   28
113742Speed MachinePeter BallantineRob Allen181111‑12   30
123703 Richard WhitworthEdward Scroggie1(DNC)DNC88   33
133769MerlinGraham Cranford SmithFiona Smith1111212‑15   35
143695Shiny Happy PeoplePeter SlackEmma Pearson11310‑1413   36
153165PanatellaJeremy DeaconMike Janowicz1121315(DNS)   40
163449Wizard in BlueCarl WhitehillJulian Webb11414‑1614   42
RS Aero
11562RS Aero 7Toby Schofield 1068‑3111   3
22148RS Aero 9Gareth Griffiths 10191‑623   6
32198RS Aero 7Karen Main 10682‑332   7
41792RS Aero 7Andy Hill 1068‑5255   12
51232RS Aero 7Tim Norris 1068‑4444   12
61637RS Aero 9Greg Bartlett 1019‑6566   17
71336RS Aero 7Joe Gallivan 1068‑7777   21
81175RS Aero 5Natasha Sion 11298(DNC)88   24
170Bobby SparklerChris Hamel 21‑61141313
234GigglesIan Southworth 123231‑4113
3700Snow FoxShaun Barber 3313232‑417
462Franky FoxOliver Love 655‑10523531
590 Hedley Bewes 582645‑9232
6118 Russell Mead (RET)989865752
764 Mark Cam (RET)79116781159
892BonkersGeorgie Vitner 1011‑12598111064
920VixenSacha Kemp 7‑12101211107966
109BadgerPaul Lovejoy 4647(DNC)DNCDNCDNC69
1193TedMat Girling 8‑131313101110873
12600Mad FoxDarren Baker 9478(DNC)DNCDNCDNC76
13157 Leyton King (DNC)DNCDNCDNC796676
1456 Martin Banbury 1110114(DNC)DNCDNCDNC84
15500Bat FoxBill Blain (RET)1414DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC108
1729Pure MagicNick Creak 111     2
1GBR564MaggiePeter Vinton 121DNF    6
2GBR33FBGKieron Holt 11DNCRET    7

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