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Bembridge Illusion Trafalgar Trophy 2018

by Mike Samuelson 15 Oct 2018 06:04 BST 13-14 October 2018

Traditionally the opening Regatta of the Bembridge Illusions winter programme is the Trafalgar Trophy and this year was no exception. The forecast was not brilliant with Storms Callum still hanging around, however in the event, the worst of the weather missed the Island.

On Saturday there were blue skies and a Southerly F3-4 breeze and on Sunday, occasional drops of rain with a NNEasterly F4 breeze gusting F5 towards the end of the final race.

With a total of sixteen boats (thirteen on Saturday and thirteen on Sunday) and racing in the harbour on both days, the courses were quite constrained, however there was just enough space for some close and challenging races. The first two races on Saturday saw Mark Downer leading the way with Bruce Huber working hard to stay in second ahead of George Downer. Fourth in the first race was David Russell-Jones who was just pipped by Jo Downer in the second race. In the third & final race of the day, although she could not get ahead of husband Mark, Jo had an excellent race and came second ahead of Bruce with son George close behind.

The course on Sunday was almost exactly the opposite to the day before. That said, having been successfully trialled the previous weekend, the spreader mark was position about four boat lengths to windward of the windward mark. In the first race, Mark was again first at the end of the first round, however in the second round Bruce closed right up and it looked as if he was going to get ahead, but Mark powered away on the run and took his fourth first of the weekend. Young Alex Downer, who had taken over No 163 from brother George, was a very close third. Further down the fleet, there were some equally close finishes.

Bruce got the better start in the second race of the day and although Mark made up a lot of ground in what became a four round race, he had to be content with second. Alex and Mike Toogood had a very close race for third & fourth. Sadly for her, Jo's steering broke and by the time she had sorted it out, she was a long way behind so retired.

Start of Race 5

The start of the third and final race of the day was close, indeed too close for Jo who although called OCS failed to come back which was a pity as otherwise she had an excellent race and would have finished third. As it was, Mark was first after the first round and with the breeze strengthening somewhat he extended his lead over Bruce on virtually every leg of the four round course. Despite having a problem with his spinnaker which meant that he had to sail the runs just on his genoa, Mike ended up third just ahead of Robin Ebsworth & David Peerless.

Start of the final race

An excellent way to open the 2018-2019 winter season. Congratulations to Mark who won the Trafalgar Trophy; also to Bruce who was second and Mike who was third.

No racing next weekend, the tides are wrong. The next Regatta is the 'Picnic Hamper' over the weekend of 27th & 28th October.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1Mark Downer1641111215
2Bruce Huber1012232129
3Mike Toogood1429N544325
4David Russell‑Jones15545677829
5Serena Gosling122117765732
6David Peerless14058988635
7Robin Ebsworth126108129437
8Jo Downer16610425RN38
9Andrew Christie149791196940
10George Downer163334SSS44
11Alex Downer163SSS33646
12Mike Issaias15212121013101054
13 12486RSSS65
14 147131312SSS72
15Olly Laughton‑Scott80SSS10SS78
16Jonathan Nainby‑Luxmoore158SSS11SS79

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