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Illusion Trafalgar Trophy at Bembridge Sailing Club

by Mike Samuelson 23 Oct 2017 08:14 BST 21-22 October 2017

Storm Brian put paid to any racing on Saturday; Winds of Force 7 and above combined with heavy rain squalls put off even the hardiest of Illusion sailors! However, conditions on Sunday were considerably kinder and, although still marginal in the harbour with the wind against tide kicking up a nasty chop, it was quite sailable tucked behind St Helens Duver off the Baywatch Cafe.

After a short postponement to allow the 14 Illusions to reach the race area, the first race saw only 13 actually starting. Sadly new comer Oli Laughton-Scott's jib halyard broke on him just before the AP was removed so he limped back into the harbour with his spinnaker halyard as a forestay. Philip Russell was OCS and came back, as did his brother-in-law Mark Downer who was at the pin end and thought that the individual recall was probably for him.

Bill Daniels was first round the windward mark with Bruce Huber, David Peerless, Jo Downer and Mike Toogood in hot pursuit; Bill extended his lead on the second round and although Bruce was initially a boat length or two behind after the second beat, he caught David out on the run after David had to take a penalty; on the third round Bruce made up a bit on Bill but not enough to overtake him. Jo was third and David was fourth.

Mark got his own back in the second race and built a significant lead ahead of the following pack who all finished very close together. Indeed only seconds separated Bruce, Jo, Bill and Steve. Lower down the fleet Andy Christie and David Russell-Jones were nip and tuck for most of the race and only inches separated them at the finish.

The reflections of the sun dead in line with the start line made it hard for the helms and the race officers to see if anyone was OCS at the start of the third race; that said, there was no stopping Bill who made a perfect port tack flyer and took an early lead.

With occasional gusts around 27 knots and keen to make up for lost races the day before, the race was shortened to two rounds - a move that certainly suited Bill who took his second win of the day. Although there was very little in it, Bruce was second, Steve was third and Mark was fourth.

The breeze had dropped off a bit for the start of the fourth race which Mark again dominated from the front. Bill and Bruce were always close and David Russell-Jones just pipped Steve Warren-Smith on the final leg from the leeward gate.

The sun's reflections again made spotting OCS at the start quite difficult for the fifth and final race so it was all credit to them that both Mark and Bruce, who were down at the pin end of the line, came back. Mind you neither were seriously disadvantaged with Bruce and Mark trading tacks on the final beat to the finish at the windward mark after two and a half rounds to take first and second places. Steve was third inches ahead of Jo.

The conditions over the weekend, again certainly demonstrated the versatility of the Illusion. Congratulations to Bruce Huber who won the Trafalgar Trophy; also to Bill Daniels who was second by the narrowest of margins with Mark Downer coming third.

No racing next weekend; we are back on the water for the Guy Fawkes Trophy the following one (4th & 5th November).

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1Bruce Huber101222317
1Bill Daniels68141258
3Mark Downer123614128
4Steve Warren‑Smith1465535316
5Jo Downer1233310R420
6David Peerless14046810624
7Mike Toogood1429759728
8Andrew Christie149101067831
8Philip Bown13089961032
8Robin Ebsworth1278118932
11David Russell‑Jones1551111741133
12Sam Prime73141212111247
13Philip Ruesell15312RSSS54
14Hugh Doherty12413SSSS55

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