The weather gods were most definitely smiling for the 52nd Warming Pan, 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 and gusty north westerly breeze.
The Merlins were the biggest fleet by far with 22 boats lining up to start the 64th year of the iconic Silver Tiller national racing circuit, sponsored by Craftinsure.
On both days all the six fleets including the Merlins, raced from the HRSC startline, with everyone except the Foxers completing the majority of the racing on a windward/leeward racetrack 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.
The Merlin fleet was won by Andy Davis and Tom Pygall with a consistent 4, 2, 2 scoreline. Jasper Burnham 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 winner Richard Whitworth sailing with his new crew Emma Norris were 3rd overall after a steady improvement through the weekend culminating in a last race victory.
The volunteers from Hamble River Sailing Club worked so hard all weekend to provide a top quality series - food, drink, excellent race management and a warm welcome to all competitors.
The invited class list and dates for the 53rd Hamble Warming Pan will be released in the Autumn.