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Hamble Warming Pan at Easter - two days of fun!

by Jonty Sherwill 6 Apr 18:42 BST 3-4 April 2021

Hamble River Sailing Club's 2021 Hamble Warming Pan over the Easter weekend featured the Junior Warming Pan on Saturday and the 59th edition of the club's famous dinghy open meeting on Sunday, with a total fleet of 84 locally based boats attracted by good weather and the Easter 'staycation'.

With two fleets of Optimists, one for the more experienced racers and the Regatta class for beginners, plus Fevas and Toppers and a mix of other junior classes under PY, the brisk north-easterly breeze delivered thrills and spills for the 50 entrants, all under the watchful eye of PRO Mike Foster and the many assistants aboard the committee and safety boats.

William Fletcher won the main Optimist class with three firsts, discarding an OCS, from Hennie Burlton and Joe Armstrong-Rowland. Henry Ross achieved three wins and a third to win the Oppie Regatta class from Phileas Rousselle and Sophie Le Grice, with racing for this class run by Alice Ryan on a separate course. Freddie Callaghan and Thomas Roy won the Feva class with three wins ahead of helms Monty Ross and Elsa Kelly, and in the fleet of 12 Toppers, Alfie Noel was first overall with 3 points ahead of Immi Rees and Thomas Peace. In the PY class Laser Radials took the first three spots, and won by Archie Wright on equal points with Xavier Dunn ahead of Ewan Cameron with Finlay Craigen 4th sailing an RS Aero 5.

With more sunshine and a building breeze from the south-west on Sunday the fleet of 34 boats (RS400, Finn, Foxer and PY) enjoyed some close racing with Paul Howard as the PRO. In the RS400 class with four boats entered, the RYA's Director of Racing Ian Walker won with three wins from David Swift on 9 points, with Bruce Mills and PlanetSail America's Cup commentator Matt Sheahan crewed by his daughter Ellie on equal 10 points.

A fine fleet of five Finns saw a very close tussle for top spot between Martin Hughes (1st overall on 5 points) and John Heyes, with Kieron Holt snatching a win in the final of the three races. Roger Cerrato and Chris Barbery were never far behind with some compact finishing times in this competitive group.

The 14-strong PY fleet had a good mix of single and two-handers (ILCA/Lasers, Solo, Firefly, RS Feva XL, RS200, RS Aero5, Wayfarer, and RS Feva) with Andy Le Grice taking first place overall in his ILCA Laser (standard rig) from Ian Campbell in a Solo and Roger Morris is the nicely varnished Firefly. Some of the junior sailors joined in the senior event; Archie Wright, Ewan Cameron, Freddie Callaghan and Thomas Roy, and with Gabriella and Hennie Burlton in fourth place overall and no doubt all gaining valuable experience.

In the Foxer fleet of 11 boats Peter Greenhalgh ripped up the form book with two wins and a second with Ian Southworth second on 2,3,1, and Shaun Barber on 3,4,3. Darren Baker was 4th overall with John Langdown 5th including a 2nd place in Race 2.

After the enjoyable sailing there was plenty of good feedback on the HRSC Facebook page and WhatsApp:

From Ian Walker: "Thanks to HRSC from the Warsash, massive. A great day sailing." and from Matt Sheahan: "Thanks to all at Hamble River Sailing Club for laying on the Warming Pan, a perfect day for it. A great day out on the water, great fun getting back into our beloved RS400 and a great downhill slide in the third race - I wasn't expecting to be aching at the end of the day given the forecast."

Ian Campbell sailing his Solo is the PY class is a veteran of HRSC having first raced at the club against Southampton University in Merlins in 1968 and crewed a Merlin in the 1980s. He worked on America's Cup boats at the Wolfson Unit until he retired and said he particularly enjoyed sailing against Roger Morris in his Firefly, a former Spinnaker club sailor and past champion.

Commenting after the event the Warming Pan Race Director and HRSC Commodore Steph Merry said: "Just like last year HRSC has again been first on the water after lockdown eased, alongside much bigger players like RORC and JOG. I am very proud to be Commodore of such an active Club and a big thank you to those who took part and all those who helped run the event".

Full results at www.hrsc.org.uk/hrsc-results/open-results

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