Please select your home edition
Edition
Ocean Elements 2018

Vernon's Easter Egg Cup for Illusions at Bembridge

by Mike Samuelson 1 Apr 08:30 BST 31 March 2018

Unlike the previous day (Good Friday) when it rained non stop for all the five races to complete the Nationals, the rain held off for the second oldest Regatta in the Bembridge Illusion season, Vernon's Easter Egg Cup, which had, unusually, been compressed into one day on Easter Saturday.

With a NW'erly F3 breeze forecast, the decision to set the course up outside the harbour off Silver Beach worked out pretty well for the fleet of 18 Illusions once they had stemmed the spring tide as they left the harbour. With the breeze rarely holding true for long, there was an element of luck in each of the 6 races that were completed.

After a short postponement, the first race got away to a clean start with Mark Downer crossing the line at the pin end less than a second after the start. However Bruce Huber was just ahead round the windward mark with the father and son boats of Nigel & Jack Groggan not far behind. Bruce and Mark were neck and neck for the rest of the race with Bruce crossing the line less than half a boat length in front. Jack was third ahead of Raymond Simonds. Lower down the fleet, Justin Biddle and Jo Downer had a very close race with inches separating them at the finish. Although he headed back to the harbour after just one race it was great to see Piers Thomas back racing in a loaner boat particularly as he had his young daughter crewing!

Race 2 got away to another pretty impressive start, albeit Justin and Jack nearly over cooked it and were only inches away from being called OCS. Raymond was first at the windward mark with Bruce and Justin close behind. With, the occasional 20 degree windshift to contend with, choosing the right side of the course was paramount. Bruce selected well and finished ahead of Raymond and Justin.

Although Mark timed his run the line at the pin end on port tack perfectly, unusually the rest of the fleet appeared to be playing safe and were at least a foot behind the line at the start. Bill Daniels was first round the windward mark but then had a few spinnaker issues so was overtaken by Bruce and Mark on the run to the leeward gate. Having chosen the better gate mark on the first round, Bruce got it wrong on the second and Mark took first place. Young Alex Downer had a great second round and came in third ahead of Alastair Speare-Cole.

Flush with success, Alex looked as if he had badly mistimed the start of the fourth race, but in the event somehow managed to slot into the middle of the fleet without fouling anybody. This left Richard Ambler as the only other boat who was called OCS to came back. Nigel was first to the windward mark, with Bruce and Raymond breathing down his neck. Unusually Mark was mid-fleet just behind Jo! Raymond chose well and established an unbeatable lead, and with Nigel slowed by problems with his spinnaker, he had to grit his teeth as both Justin and Mark overtook him on the final short leg to the finish.

It was another excellent start to the fifth race; Jack was first to the windward mark, with Bruce, Mark, Raymond and Justin a few boat lengths behind. Despite it looking as if he might be overtaken on the first run, he held his nerve and ended up the clear winner ahead of Justin and Raymond. Although inevitably the write-ups tend to concentrate on the leaders, racing lower down the fleet is always just as keen. Indeed 9th to 14th places in this race all finished within seconds of each other.

With the drizzle just holding off, the start of the sixth and final race got away to probably the best start of the day and yet again demonstrated the amazingly high quality racing enjoyed by the Illusion fleet. Raymond's red spinnaker was the first to go up as they headed back towards the leeward gate; close behind him were Mark, Jack, Bruce, Justin and Nigel, however as they settled down it became a two boat race between Raymond and Bruce with the later winning out in the final stages of the race. Justin was third and Mark was fourth. Lower down the fleet, Rosie Gosling and Andy Christie were so close that they shared equal twelfth.

An excellent day's racing and a well deserved win for Bruce; Raymond was second and Mark was third.

Normal (i.e no prize) racing on Easter Day; the Stratton Memorial Regatta is on Saturday & Sunday 14th - 15th April at 10:00 & 10:30 respectively.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1Bruce Huber10111255110
2Raymond Simonds16542913212
3Mark Downer16424134414
4Justin Biddle131931022319
5Jack Groggan86310781524
6Alastair Speare-Cole1355941681036
7Mike Toogood142711696836
8Nigel Groggan676812410937
9Bill Daniels688751112738
10Alex Downer123111231071443
11Jo Downer166106117111145
12Richard Ambler156155141214651
13Mike Issaias152171381591661
14Serena Gosling1221314136161561
15Andrew Christie14912151614131266
16Rosie Gosling12R14171713151271
17Simon Irwin1471816151717S83
18Piers Thomas816SSSSS92

Start of Race 1

Start of Race 2

Start of Race 3

Start of Race 4

Start of Race 5

Start of Race 6

Related Articles

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
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
Illusion Guy Fawkes Trophy at Bembridge
Plenty of video evidence for those judged OCS Earlier in the week, the forecast for the weekend looked so gloomy that there was talk of the Guy Fawkes Trophy having to be abandoned, however, after a very wet & windy Friday night, conditions on Saturday morning were actually not bad at all. Posted on 12 Nov
Illusion Picnic Hamper at Bembridge
Winter shows its teeth After a summer's day on Tuesday, winter showed its teeth over the weekend with a cold NNW'erly breeze on Saturday, and an even colder ENE'erly breeze on Sunday. That said, at least the sun was shining on both days. Posted on 29 Oct
Bembridge Illusion Trafalgar Trophy 2018
The traditional opening regatta of the Illusion season on the Isle of Wight Traditionally the opening Regatta of the Bembridge Illusions winter programme is the Trafalgar Trophy and this year was no exception. Posted on 15 Oct
Illusion season opener at Bembridge
New faces and buoyancy checks Predictably a bit of a slow start on Saturday morning for the first session of the Bembridge Illusion 2018/19 Winter programme, particularly as it was quite an early start. Posted on 8 Oct
Illusion Inlands at Middle Nene
Club fleet rapidly expanding over the past three years On Saturday, 1st September 2018 an enthusiastic group of sailors competed at the combined Open Meeting and Inland Championship for the Illusion class at MNSC in Thrapston, Northants, East Midlands. Posted on 5 Sep
West Kirby Sailing Club Regatta
Three days of racing at West Kirby and Dee Sailing Clubs The annual regatta started on the Friday 13th July with racing for the Illusion class followed by an evening of fun sailing and entertainment ashore. Dee SC regatta was held on Saturday 14th, with West Kirby SC taking over once again on Sunday 15th. Posted on 28 Jul
Bembridge Illusion double-header season finale
St George's Day Trophy & Woodford Long Distance Race Fifteen Illusions for the penultimate day of 2017-2018 season was pretty amazing and just goes to show how strong the fleet is at Bembridge. Posted on 30 Apr
Bembridge Illusion Stratton Memorial Trophy
Thick mist and no wind greets the twelve helms on Saturday Thick mist and no wind greeted the twelve Illusion sailors as they gathered on the Illusion Park on Saturday for the first day of the Stratton Memorial Trophy. Posted on 15 Apr