Please select your home edition
Edition
Sailing Chandlery 2019 - Leaderboard

Bembridge Illusion St George's Day Trophy & Woodford Long Distance Race

by Mike Samuelson 1 May 2017 07:10 BST 29-30 April 2017

Traditionally the number of boats for the final weekend's racing of the Illusion Winter season is on the low side. Falling on the early May Bank Holiday and a pretty dismal forecast especially for Sunday, this year was no different. However those who did make it enjoyed themselves and with the top helms sailing elsewhere, racing was very competitive.

St George's Day Trophy

Saturday's four races were for the St George's Day Trophy; although tempted to have the course outside, the Race Officers decided that there was still enough room in the harbour and that it would safer to keep boats away from the narrow entrance channel as a lot of visiting rallies were due to entering. The first race got off to a not very impressive start, albeit conditions were not easy as the F2 SSE'erly breeze was flicking around. Andy Blundell took an early lead but on the second round David Russell-Jones found the better wind shift and overtook him and on the third round Bill Daniels did even better and took over the lead.

The start of the second race was much closer although Philip Russell's port flyer did not pay off and he found himself at the back of the fleet. With frequent wind shifts of 15 + degrees, the beat to the windward mark was particularly testing. Andy was again out in front with Bill, Richard Ambler and Mike Toogood initially not far away, however as the race progressed he found the best way to go and ended up well ahead. Second & third were very tight with Mike inches ahead of Bill at the finish.

Race 3 saw another very close start with David R-J leading the way, chased by the new helm on the block Alastair Hill, Bill & Andy. Sadly Alastair dropped back as the race progressed but it was very encouraging to see him starting to get the hang of racing an Illusion - a very positive sign for the future. It was also good to see Mike Toogood finishing fourth.

The breeze picked up slightly for the final race of the day and although he dropped back after the first round, Philip Russell was just in front at the leeward gate, hotly pursued by another nearly new comer Rob Lee, Alastair & David followed by Richard, Andy & Bill with Mike at the back after sailing into hole at the tricky windward mark. In the second round, David & Philip were well matched out front, but by the finish the latter had been overtaken by Bill & Andy and had to be satisfied with fourth.

Although the overall results were initially worked out based on all four races counting, instructions on the back of the trophy made it clear that a discard should be included! This meant that the overall winner was David Russell-Jones, with Bill Daniels second & Andy Blundell third.

Overall Results:

PosnHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4Pts
1David Russell‑Jones15525114
2Bill Daniels6812225
3Andy Blundell88831337
4Philip Russell153465413
5Mike Toogood142634813
6Richard Ambler158547615
7Alastair Hill8776720
8Rob Lee26888521

Videos:

Start of Race 2 on Saturday:

Start of Race 3 on Saturday:

Start of Race 4 on Saturday:

Woodford Long Distance Race

In keeping with past practice, the course for Sunday's Woodford Long Distance race was not decided until the numbers competing on the day and of course the conditions were known. Unfortunately the strong overnight winds and forecast rain put a lot of people off and the only shows were Mike Toogood & Bill Daniels. Having agreed that the format would be the best of three "rather different" races, the first started opposite the Club pontoons on the run down to a mark laid off Fisherman's Pontoon. Bill was a boat length ahead but on the beat back to the line Mike somehow just managed to inch ahead at the finish.

After a very short downwind leg, the second race took them out of the harbour into the NE'erly swell; initially to Old Church but then as they were clearing enjoying it to the Tide Gauge and back into the harbour. Closely monitored by Mike Sam in a RIB and although Bill had to do a bit of pumping, the little Illusions showed what amazing boats they are as they happily rode the swell. Mike was just ahead at the Tide Gauge and despite Bill surfing up very close on a couple of occasions, he crossed the finish line back at the Club four boat lengths in front and therefore secured the last trophy of the season.

Video:

Heading back from the Tide Gauge on Sunday:

Related Articles

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
Bembridge Illusion Flying Dutchman Trophy
No sign of the 'Flying Dutchman' defending his trophy Although we had seen Rudy for a fleeting outing over Christmas, sadly there was no sign of the 'Flying Dutchman' defending his trophy this year! Posted on 14 Jan
Bembridge Illusion January Jacket 2019
Light northerly breeze meant jackets were definitely needed Although still no ice, the light northerly breeze meant jackets were definitely needed by the Race Officers for the first day of this year's 'January Jacket' Regatta on Saturday morning! Posted on 7 Jan
Bembridge Illusion Icebreaker Trophy
Reasonably warm with lots of sunshine Breaking the ice off the boats before launching for the oldest trophy of the Illusion Class - the Icebreaker - has often been necessary, however this year, conditions were reasonably warm with lots of sunshine and only light N/NNE breezes. Posted on 29 Dec 2018
Bembridge Illusion Christmas Cracker
A lot nicer than expected with sunshine and a reasonably warm breeze Earlier in the week it was looking as if the annual pre-Christmas Illusion Regatta at Bembridge was going to be 'crackered'. Posted on 24 Dec 2018
Bembridge Illusion Inter Club Team Racing
High wind racing for the event! Strong winds were forecast for the annual Illusion Team Racing Championships held at Bembridge over last weekend (8th & 9th December) and first thing on Saturday it looked very much as if they would have to be postponed. Posted on 10 Dec 2018
Illusion Bailey Bowl at Bembridge
Straightforward course setting with the boats off the moorings The forecast on Saturday morning was wet and a F3 Easterly - it did not disappoint! That said, its only the Race Officers who tend to suffer when its wet, so it did not put off the 17 helms who launched for the first day of the weekend's 'Bailey Bowl'. Posted on 26 Nov 2018