Hamble Warming Pan 2006
Merlin Rockets were once again the dominant class at this year's start of season Warming Pan regatta at Hamble River Sailing Club. There was a full mix of wind, from very light at times on Saturday, to fully raked, hard-hiking beats on Sunday. No one boat had it all their own way, although Mike Calvert & Alex Jackson's pair of bullets on Saturday could give that impression, in the final analysis the top five boats of the weekend were separated by just 2 points.|
Many boats led races without scoring bullets; Chris Lewns & Jane Beaumont, David Sayce (guest helm of the Chairman) sailing his first Merlin regatta, William Warren & Chris Robinson, Judith Massey & Phil Dalby, and last year's winner Steve Tyler & Frances Lovell, all had their moments of glory, but after Mike Calvert had evacuated the premises to steward a running event at home, the remaining wins were taken by Pat Blake & Chris Downham, and Dan Alsop & Paul Gilbert.
Having taken the decision to revert to the 'old' format of traditional style river racing rather than blasting around the Solent, the club provided a grandstand view of some classic boat on boat manoeuvring with much place changing, and the occasional swim to liven things up. There was some trawling of the moorings, and on Saturday as the tide reached more or less rock bottom, there was a fair bit of dredging going on as well, which reminds me, I must get the centreboard out.
All in all a superb, if cold, weekend's yotting, and thanks go to Phil Meakins (ex Merlin man) and his race crew for an imaginative and varied regatta.
Report: Graham Williamson
Photos: Eddie Mays - www.eddiemays.com