Please select your home edition
Edition
GJW 2018 728x90
Product Feature
Gill Pro Hikers (DG4923)
Gill Pro Hikers (DG4923)

Illusion Valentines Trophy at Bembridge Sailing Club

by Rudy Jurg 15 Feb 2010 11:36 GMT 13-14 February 2010
Illusion Valentines Trophy (l to r) Bruce Huber, the Ilusion Class Commodore, Rudi Jorg (3rd), Heather Kruk, the Artist of the new Trophy and Graham Sunderland (the winner). Graham Bailey (2nd) not shown © Vernon Stratton

A historic weekend in the sailing world was made in Valencia by BMW-Oracle winning the America’s Cup for the Golden Gate Yacht Club - an awesome show of technology and sailing talent. The battle between sailing talents in Bembridge Harbour was however no less; in all 18 of some the best Solent sailors braved freezing air and water temperatures for the Illusion Valentines Trophy. The wind was from a northerly direction blowing between 10-14 knots and whilst rigging up many sailors already complained of frozen hands and cold bodies.

After a short delay racing got underway, the pin was favoured and Graham Sunderland and Piers Thomas nailed it and finished in that order. The course was relatively short which produced interesting situations around the top mark which such an evenly matched fleet. Class Commodore Bruce Huber, who is normally in front of the fleet, had missed a few weekends racing and was among this middle group struggling to break-away - there is no substitute for practice on the water...

Veteran Illusion sailor Philip Bown was consistent finishing 4th in first and second race, but lost it in the third race of the day. In race 3 Sue Thomas showed the boys perfect control of her 3rd place which she held all the way round in hot pursuit by Rudy Jurg and Graham Bailey. Well known marine author and professional sailor Graham Sunderland booked his 3rd first place on Saturday by being spot on in every start. Bruce Huber finally found some form in the last race and finished 2nd. 3 races were over in an hour and 40 minutes, which considering the cold weather was not a bad thing as some people started developing early signs of hypothermia. Luckily the club house was warm and allowed people the thaw out and go through the post race analysis.

On Sunday and after many people had their romantic Valentines dinners and morning breakfasts it was all smiles on the dock side as the sun was out, moderate 4-8 breeze and less cold. Talk on the dock was about the big match in Valencia and if we would get back on time to watch it! Some Illusionists added an Iphone or Blackberry to their inventory allowing people to keep abreast with developments in Valencia between races.

The race officer started on time, a short course which a favoured the pin end and pushed a few people over the line but Piers Thomas got it right at full speed and left over the horizon, this left Rudy Jurg, Graham Bailey and Graham Sunderland battling for the next few places and they opened a large gap between the rest of the fleet. However in the end it was Graham Sunderland who came second and Rudy Jurg 3rd very closely followed by Graham Bailey in 4th . For the second race the wind had shifted to the left so the marks were moved and the course lengthened. With the wind coming out of the North Westerly corner of the harbour it became very shifty and it was a game of snakes and ladders with lots of place changing. Raymond Simmonds went off on his own to the right of the course and build up a huge lead which won him the race. The battle behind him was fiercely fought and close but it was Jockey Wilson who came 2nd and Graham Sunderland 3rd. Further back Colin Simmonds (the brother of Raymond) finished 7th (again) and would also finish like that for the weekend overall, something he already predicted the previous day!

Before the last race it was clear that Graham Sunderland would take home the beautiful painting by Heather Kruk as the overall prize but there was still a battle between Graham Bailey, Rudy Jurg and Piers Thomas. Although Piers Thomas had a great start he lost a few places in the shifty conditions, Rudy Jurg too lost the plot on the first beat and had to fight back from mid fleet. After a close race with lots of place changing Graham Bailey finished 2nd and Rudy Jurg 3rd, this is also how they finished overall.

Everybody made it quickly back to the dock in the hope of seeing something of the Americas Cup, in the end that was much delayed and gave you ample time to put on a Sunday roast prior to this match started.

Overall Results:

1st Graham Sunderland, 6pts
2nd Graham Bailey, 16pts
3rd Rudy Jurg, 19pts
4th Piers Thomas, 25pts
5th Bruce Huber, 35pts

Next event is the Illusion Nationals, 27/28 February in which we will hopefully see 25+ boats.

Photos from the event are on Facebook.

Related Articles

Vernon's Easter Egg Cup for Illusions
Video evidence for start line policing Easter 2019 Illusion racing for Vernon's Easter Egg Cup will be remembered for the blissfully warm spring like weather. Although we could have done with a few more knots of breeze, it was difficult to find fault with the wall to wall sunshine! Posted on 21 Apr
St George's Day Trophy & Woodford Distance Race
Bembridge Illusion events earlier in April than normal This weekend's St George's Day Trophy and the Woodford Long Distance race were rather earlier in April than normal, but with a very late Easter it was what it was! Posted on 8 Apr
Bembridge Illusion Spring Plate
Black flag used for the first time in the season! After the strong winds over the last couple of weekends, the calmer weather of the last few days helped draw sixteen 'Illusionists' to Bembridge on Saturday morning for the opening day of this year's Spring Plate. Posted on 25 Mar
Illusion Nationals at Bembridge
A weekend of big winds on the island With another windy weekend forecast, it was always going to be touch and go as to whether the planned Bembridge Illusion National Championships were going to be possible. Posted on 10 Mar
Hyde Sails at the RYA Dinghy Show 2019
We speak to Nigel Grogan and Richard Lovering We speak to Hyde Sails Managing Director Nigel Grogan and Sail Designer Richard Lovering about some of the classes they are concentrating on for the 2019 season and the refinements they are making to keep them at the top of the fleets. Posted on 3 Mar
Illusion Vernon Stratton Trophy
The fleet mutinied when offered an extra race Another excellent turnout for the Bembridge Illusions over the weekend with 26 competitors over the two days (22 on Saturday & 20 on Sunday) competing for Vernon's Memorial Trophy in memory of Vernon Stratton. Posted on 25 Feb
Bembridge Illusion Match Racing Championship
Plan B put in place during Saturday's high winds The big question throughout most of last week was whether the strong winds were going to abate enough over the weekend to allow this year's Illusion Match Racing to be run. Posted on 11 Feb
Bembridge Illusion Valentine Trophy
Mark Downer wins for the fifth time in a row After the last two days of snow, all the travel disruption that came with it and an early start, to have 15 Illusions racing on Saturday morning was pretty impressive! Monty Irwin left his home in Somerset at 5am to make it in time. Posted on 3 Feb
Bembridge Illusion Team Racing Final
Finishing an event that had to be aborted in December After the final race on Sunday morning for Bill's Barrel, the course was re-set and umpire RIBs manned ready for the final of the team racing that had had to be aborted in early December after Raymond Simonds's Illusion was damaged. Posted on 21 Jan
Bembridge Illusion Bill's Barrel
There is no rule 9! It was great to see 18 Illusions out on Saturday for the first day of this season's Bill's Barrel which was again generously sponsored by Bill Daniels with support from Goddards Brewery. As usual Bill had written up some special rules for the Regatta. Posted on 20 Jan