Hamble Warming Pan 2008The 2008 Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller series kicked off in style on the
8th & 9th March with the legendary 46th Hamble Warming Pan.
Saturday saw the Hamble welcome competitors with a warm but rather blustery day, and with the twenty knots of breeze forecast to lift significantly, racing was sensibly confined to an exciting short course in the river.|
The fleet made an almost uncharacteristic clean start in the first race and it was fantastic to see new hopeful Rocketeers such as Jon Gorringe crewed by Dave Durby, and Jon Fish crewed by Harry Pynn, blazing the trail ahead. To their credit, the middle/end of the race saw a number of “the regulars” finding the right gears, consequently showing the newbies a fair lick of boatspeed. The finish saw 2007 Silver Tiller Champion Richard Whitworth, crewed by Chris Robinson, only a few yards ahead of Glen Truswell and Olly Turner, followed by Andy Davis crewed by Ellie Bremer.
As promised, the wind raised the bar a notch or two for the second race making the windward mark bear-aways somewhat of a sleigh ride and memorable for some time to come! Racing was even tighter at the front of the fleet with several lead changes throughout. By the finish, the same three boats emerged on top with Whitworth and Robinson showing very solid teamwork to take the win followed this time by Davis & Bremer ahead of Truswell & Turner.
Saturday’s fun and frolics were concluded watching the afternoons rugby before a black tie “007” night at the Royal Southern with Bond girls, Martini and Aston Martins to boot!
Tom Stewart forgot to eat breakfast that morning
When Sunday dawned, tired bodies were re-fuelled by way of bacon and egg rolls, and racing in much lighter conditions got promptly underway at 10.30am. Despite a course comprising stages in the river and Southampton water, staying in the wind and out of the ebbing tide was largely the order of the race. After a huge amount of place-changing, this was once again mastered to take the meeting title by Whitworth & Robinson followed by 2007 National champions Roger Gilbert & James Stewart ahead of Chris Lewns & Tom Pygall.
The final race of the meeting followed a similar format, this time with a relatively slack tide. Mike & Jane Calvert led out of the river followed by Davis & Bremer, although subsequent small mistakes let the respective teams of Whitworth & Truswell back in to contention. The drag race home saw Whitworth & Robinson ahead leaving the teams of Truswell & Davis to squabble over second and third place in the race and the meeting. At the finishing post Whitworth & Robinson submitted their perfect scorecard for the weekend ahead of Truswell & Turner before Davis & Bremer.
Report: Glen Truswell
Photos: Eddie Mays - www.eddiemays.com
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