Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Botin Fast40

Bembridge Illusion Icebreaker Trophy

by Mike Samuelson 29 Dec 2018 09:52 GMT 27-28 December 2018

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.

With the first race on Thursday programmed for 13:30 and little or no wind in the harbour, the decision to set a course off Silver Beach was an easy one to make. As an added Christmas bonus, Graham Sunderland had kindly agreed to come along to provide some on-water coaching; it was great to see him back at Bembridge.

After a short postponement, the first race started in 7 knots with Bruce Huber over cooking it and having to return to the pre-start side of the line.

Start of Race 1

It was good to see Mike Toogood & John Raymond rounding the windward marks first; also that Serena Gosling was third just ahead of Mark Downer with Bruce & Jo Downer not far behind. By the time they reached the windward marks again, Bruce had moved up to second and was champing at John's heels. As they closed on the leeward gate, cries of 'protest' could be heard as Bruce powered into the lead and John stalled rounding the other gate mark; indeed by the time he crossed the finish line he missed out coming second by inches to Mark. Serena was fourth, again only by inches. Lower down the fleet, there was also some very close racing with Andy Christie just beating Bill Daniels, and at the back, only inches separated Charlie E-W, Olly L-S and Philip Russell.

The second race saw the 1st Sub having to be displayed as there were too many 'over the line' to make it a fair start.

Start of Race 2 (General Recall)

Flag U was brought into play for the second start; at the pin end Jonathan N-L got his timing spot on and crossed the line with inches to spare, as did Mark who was at the Committee Boat end.

Re-Start of Race 2 (Flag U)

It did not take long for the fleet to separate as they split tacks. John's blue Illusion was the first to reach the windward marks and with Mark not that far away there was no let up on the run back to the leeward gate. Behind them Simon & Bruce traded gybes as they battled for third place with Bruce just taking it on the final tack to the line. There was a similar battle between Serena & Jo for sixth & seventh place just behind Andy who managed to stay ahead of them.

With the breeze looking as though it was going to die off, the length of the windward leg was reduced for the final race of the day. Bruce again over cooked it at the start and having had difficulty getting back, he was last to cross the line. Mind you it did not seem to matter as it did not take him long to get back into contention.

Start of Race 3

Indeed by the start of the third and final round, he had overtaken John and moved into second place behind Mark. Jonathan N-L had a good race and took fourth. Philip Russell and Mike Issiais tied in eighth place.

Still no ice on Sunday! Indeed, as the nineteen Illusions were being readied for the second day of the Icebreaker Trophy, there was hardly a breath of wind! However, as the boats began to launch, a gentle north westerly breeze began to establish itself and it was sensibly agreed that staying in the harbour was likely to offer the best racing.

The first race got away cleanly and it was not long before the fleet split tacks.

Start of Race 5

However, with the lead boats half way down the run, the breeze backed at least 30 degrees which meant that the windward marks would have to be moved if there was going to be a second round. In the event, this was not possible as there were a number of back markers who had still to complete the first leg as the lead boats, Mark, Jo and Mike Issiais were finishing their first round, so the race was cut short after just one round which was obviously a bit of a pity.

With the breeze holding reasonably steady and the course re-set, the second race saw another close but clean start.

Start of Race 5

Mark made it to the windward marks first closely pursued by Jo and Andrew Eddy; they, and the majority of the fleet, kept to the Embankment Road side of the course on the run to the leeward gate in the hopes of picking up the favourable current; meanwhile Bruce's green spinnaker cut a lonely track on the opposite side of the course, however having picked up a better breeze he reached the leeward gate well ahead. He consolidated his lead on the second round with Mark having to be content with second ahead of Alastair Speare-Cole, Mike Toogood and Andrew. Alex Downer & David Peerless had an excellent duel and tied in eighth place.

The start of the third and final race of the day was another example of the quality of the Illusion racing at Bembridge.

Start of Race 6

Although most of the fleet stayed on starboard for as long as they could, a few tacked early in the hopes of finding clear air. Bruce rounded the windward marks in the lead with Alastair, David & Mark not far behind. However as the race continued into a third round, Bruce was able to extend his lead; on the final run Mark moved into third and despite Alastair's best efforts to hold him off, he managed to keep his Illusion moving slightly faster to cross the line in second place.

Although both days could have done with a few more knots of breeze, there was still some excellent close racing. Congratulations to Bruce who won the Trophy on a count back; also to Mark who was second and Jo who was third. And all credit to David who came over from the mainland to race on the second day with his arm in plaster after breaking it on the first day of the Team Racing Championships in early December.

The next Regatta is for the January Jacket over the weekend of 5th & 6th January.

Additional photos can be found at flic.kr/s/aHsmp92pEG

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1Bruce Huber10113211118
2Mark Downer1642211228
3Jo Downer166771126628
4Serena Gosling12246131410538
5Andy Christie14985510111239
6Mike Toogood14261012134941
7Rosie Gosling130118157121153
8Mike Issiais152121583181656
9John Raymond151313SSS57
10Olly Laughton‑Scott801411616171562
11Simon Cooper85547SSS66
12Charlie Egerton‑Warburton8313141415131969
13Jonathan Nainby‑Luxmoore15810124SSS76
14Bill Daniels689910SSS78
15Andrew Eddy27SSS551785
16Alastair Speare‑Cole135SSS83386
17Philip Russell15315138SSS86
18Alex Downer123SSS481087
19David Peerless140SSS69490
20Will Toogood142XSSS971391
21Owen Pay105SSS121514102
22Monty Irwin147SSS17148106
23Patrick Cochran125SSS18167109
24Jos Laughton‑Scott80SSS191918113

Related Articles

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
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 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