Virtual Junior Warming Pan Race Report
Published 20:51 on 11 May 2020
The second annual Hamble River Sailing Club Junior Warming Pan was held on Saturday the 9th of May 2020 with an online twist. Sailors from Hamble River Sailing Club, Netley Sailing Club, Royal Southern Yacht club and Warsash Sailing Club competed on the virtual waters for the coveted early season honours. This year's event was kindly sponsored by Rooster Sailing and the River Hamble Combined Clubs. Race officers Alice Ryan and Richard Foulkes prepared for this year's event not with the usual donning of wetsuits but with the opening of laptops.
At 10:00 sharp the first racers took to the virtual water. 32 sailors took part in 49ers, a new boat for most of the youth sailors. The qualifying fleets began with fleet 1 and 2. The top 5 sailors were to qualify for gold fleet whilst the rest would race in silver. Interesting techniques were used with half the racers in fleet 1 having to serve prestart penalties for collisions. Ben Proctor (HRSC) hoped that fewer penalties would be conceded using his creative technique, circling around the committee boat. Remarkably, little damage was incurred considering the high frequency of crashes. If damage was removed from nonvirtual racing, I'd fear the amount of collisions that may occur. At 11:00, fleet 3 joined the excitement. This fleet was particularly competitive, with all racers consistently finishing within 10 seconds of each other.
After a short lunch break to organise results, silver fleet were back out on the virtual water at 13:00. In his pursuit of gold, Henry Ross (NSC) gave a very consistent performance across the afternoon never falling outside the top 3. The next 6 places were extremely tightly fought, a connection issue for Thomas Saunders (WSC) in the final race lost him the chance of a medal. Whilst Sabine Potter (WSC) almost forced her way onto the podium with a win. Ben proctor (HRSC) finished 3rd with varied results due to his persistence in always taking a port hand flier despite crashing into several boats. Harvey Marchbank (HRSC) scored a very impressive 2nd place with consistent results. Gold fleet took racing to the next level, with tightly packed start lines racers were using all their skills and wits to gain a good start and propel themselves into first. Hugo Fletcher (HRSC) consistently performed well and came away with 3 first places to win the Junior warming pan. Xavier Dunn (WSC) consistently at the top end of the fleet even taking a win, placed Second overall. With a brilliant final race leading the entire fleet by quite a way, Andrew Proctor (HRSC) propelled himself into 3rd .
Slightly different this year the sailors were also set some challenges outside of the racing. The first, to send us a photo of their sailing locations. In 3rd was Robert Proctor (HRSC) with his action shot of playing two games at once, in 2nd was Lillian McPherson (RSYC) dressed up in her dads sailing gear. Taking 1st place in the photo competition was Isla Fletcher (HRSC) who was virtual sailing whilst sat in her Oppie in the pool, the dog even tagged along too! The sailors were also set the challenge of creating their Big Plastic pledge. This year HRSC are spreading awareness of the effect plastic pollution has on our river and oceans, and the impact changing our habits can have. Our pledge competition was won by Zachary Edwards (WSC) who pledges to "Use his water bottle when out this year and has pledged that his mum will have less milky coffee to save milk bottles!".
The prize giving was held not in the club house with coke and pizza but over Zoom, to congratulate all the sailors for their amazing racing, and to virtually give the winners their prizes. The prize giving also saw the Best Club on the River Junior Warming Pan Trophy presented (sponsored by River Hamble Combined Clubs). After some very close results and only 1 point between Hamble and Warsash, it was won this year by Hamble River Sailing Club. Congratulations to all your sailors. Thank you to all involved in the racing and we hope to see you at our Junior Warming Pan next year, fingers crossed this time on the non-virtual water.
Written by Samuel Spencer
Last updated 21:11 on 11 May 2020