Please select your home edition
Typhoon 2021 - FOOTER
Product Feature
Ocean Safety Coastal Flare Pack
Ocean Safety Coastal Flare Pack

Vernon's Easter Egg Cup for Illusions at Bembridge

by Mike Samuelson 21 Apr 2019 22:03 BST 20-21 April 2019

Easter 2019 Illusion racing for Vernon's Easter Egg Cup will be remembered for the blissfully warm spring like weather. Although we could have done with a few more knots of breeze, it was difficult to find fault with the wall to wall sunshine!

With the harbour filling up with moored boats and initially a light North Easterly breeze forecast for Saturday, the decision was made for the sixteen Illusions to head out of the harbour and race off Silver Beach. Probably the right decision although being close to the channel, it became quite bumpy with the wash from all the boats entering and leaving the harbour.

After a twenty minute postponement, probably too much chatting on the Quay and a paucity of wind to get through the harbour entrance, the first race was started under Flag U so as to minimise the risk of further delays with General Recalls! Mark Downer nearly over-cooked it at the pin end and had to duck down below the line and circle round onto port tack to avoid picking up a disqualification.

First to round the windward mark was Philip Russell with his sister Jo Downer and David Russell-Jones not far behind. There was little movement in the order on the slow run down to the leeward gate and with the windward marks brought closer for the second round, it was very much a matter of the lead boats holding their nerve as Mark Downer applied the pressure from mid-fleet. In the end, he had to make do with fourth. Bill Daniels, who had been very late starting did well to work his way up to eleventh.

With Mark & Jo returning to the harbour as they had to meet their eldest son who was coming over to the Island for Easter, the score sheet looked promising for the rest of the fleet! Race 2, again started under Flag U, was very nearly the end of the road for David R-J who was so close to being OCS (and thus disqualified) that the video had to be reviewed and account taken that it was taken on the course side of the line.

Meanwhile unperturbed he rounded the windward mark in the lead and despite best efforts by Bill Daniel & John Raymond, he remained in front for the rest of the two round race. Mike Toogood was fourth.

Except that David kept well clear of the line, the final race of the day saw a similar pattern emerge.

After split tacks on the initial beat to the windward mark, David was again first to head back down the course towards the leeward gate with Bill and Philip in hot pursuit. On the second run, what little breeze there was disappeared, so at the last minute it was decided to finish the race at the leeward gate using the RIB. This resulted in some very close finishes with only inches separating Philip and Mike for third & fourth; and John Raymond and Jamie Scrimgeour for seventh & eighth.

Commitments on Easter Day inevitably saw a reduced number of boats getting ready to race on a beautifully warm sunny morning. With reports of minimal wind outside the harbour, a strong incoming spring tide and glimpses of the occasional puff of wind in the centre of the harbour, the decision was made to set the course up inside.

Although progress was certainly not very fast, the first race got away to a clean start and with most boats just managing to make headway, it did not in fact take David Russell-Jones that long to reach the windward marks.

What was quite surprising was the extent of his lead ahead of Mike Toogood, Julia Bailey (who was certainly going better having, unlike the day before, brought the right sails) and John Raymond. With the back of the fleet struggling to make progress, and the order looking fairly set, it was decided to finish after only one round so as to get one race 'in the bag'. Although David held his lead, Julia caught up a lot on the final beat to the line when the light breeze backed a good 10 degrees in her favour. Mike was third and John was 4th just ahead of Owen Pay.

The breeze increased slightly for the start of the second race; everyone got away cleanly and there was little doubt that staying on starboard and heading towards the St Helens shore paid off.

Bill Daniels was first to the windward marks with Julia not far behind and then a considerable gap to the rest of the fleet. With enough breeze for two rounds it was then a bit disappointing when it veered to the South/South East so the beat and the run became reaches. The leaders, Bill and Julia initially tried to fly spinnakers but soon realised that broad reaching with genoas was considerably faster; indeed on the way down to the leeward gate, Philip Russell having not worried about trying to fly his spinnaker, overtook Julia and moved into second place.

Having re-set the course and the breeze looking to have settled for a bit, the start of the third and final race of the day saw Julia just over cooking it and being called OCS. Although she managed to extract herself quite quickly and swing back to re-start, it still put her at the back of the fleet.

In the meantime, Bill got it all right and was soon well ahead of Mike Toogood and David R-J. Although the breeze dropped off a bit during the second round, it soon picked up again so it was decided to finish off the season with a three round race. Bill took his second first of the day and Mike managed to get comfortably ahead of David. The next three places had only inches separating them with Mike Issaias sneaking through to take fourth ahead of John and Julia.

Congratulations to David whose consistency over two tricky days of racing meant that he won the final trophy of the 2018-2019 season pretty convincingly. Indeed even if the 'VAR' decision at the start of Saturday's second race was wrong, he would still have won! Bill was second and Philip, on a count back with Mike T was third.

It has certainly been a great season with record fleets. Indeed there can't be many classes that have enjoyed such close racing and camaraderie over the last six months. Undeterred by the strong winds, particularly over the Team Racing, Match Racing and the Nationals weekends, and the light airs this weekend, we look forward to welcoming old and new faces to Bembridge in early October for the start of the 2019-2020 season.

Additional photos from this weekend:

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1David Russell‑Jones1553111439
2Bill Daniels68112271113
3Philip Russell15316362718
4Mike Toogood14254438218
5John Raymond15163745523
6Julia Bailey157159523625
7Mike Issaias152751189433
8Owen Pay11310956838
9Jamie Scrimgeour50188810101044
10Olly Laughton‑Scott801076SSS59
11Robin Ebsworth12SSS97961
12Archie Hinde101161110SSS73
13Jo Downer1662SSSSS74
14Mark Downer1644SSSSS76
15Joss Laughton‑Scott281212RSSS78
17Andrew Eddy271413RSSS81

Related Articles

Final 2020-21 weekend for the Bembridge Illusions
St George's Day, Woodford Long Distance Race and Bill's Barrel Saturday, the penultimate day of racing of the 2020-2021 Illusion season was a frustrating one! The forecast was for light cyclonic conditions and that was exactly what was delivered! Posted on 3 May
Bembridge Illusion Stratton Memorial Trophy
Another excellent turnout for the penultimate weekend's racing Another excellent turnout for the penultimate weekend's racing for the Bembridge Illusion fleet with 24 boats on Saturday and 22 on Sunday, and that was without the Downers or some of the other regular helms! Posted on 26 Apr
Bembridge Illusion Prince Philip Memorial Trophy
A four race no discard regatta sailed on Sunday afternoon As the tides on Saturday did not allow racing to be moved to the morning, the decision was made to cancel the afternoon racing as a mark of respect to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. Posted on 19 Apr
Bembridge Illusion Spring Plate 2021
Another good turnout for the Island-based helms Another good turnout for the weekend's Spring Plate especially as it was again restricted to Island helms only to be on the safe side particularly shore side. Posted on 12 Apr
Explore. Dream. Discover.
The Easter weekend was a time to get on the water around the globe for many The Easter weekend was a time to get on the water around the globe for many. Lockdown restrictions in the UK have eased somewhat, allowing the return of grassroots sports, and the fine weather resulted in sailors heading to their local clubs. Posted on 6 Apr
Bembridge Illusion Easter Egg Cup 2021
Great to be able to get back on the water again! Although entry was restricted to Island sailors only and we used a RIB as the Committee boat rather than Sea Breeze, it was great to be able to get back on the water again. Posted on 5 Apr
Bembridge Illusion Christmas Cracker 2020
A superb 19 entries race in the harbour Last year there were 10 entries for the Christmas Cracker, this year there were 19 racing on Saturday and 18 on Sunday, which, given current circumstances, again shows the strength and resilience of the fleet. Posted on 21 Dec 2020
Illusion Guy Fawkes Trophy & Picnic Hamper
Bembridge sailors back on the water after the 4 week enforced break Although the weekend was originally scheduled for the annual team racing championships, the uncertainty over lockdown saw these being postponed to late February and fleet racing programmed in lieu. Posted on 7 Dec 2020
Illusion Nationals at Bembridge
Fantastic entry of 29 boats despite the forecast of strong winds and heavy rain The lockdown last March put paid to last season's Illusion Nationals, however, by some careful programming it was reschedule to this year's Halloween weekend. Posted on 2 Nov 2020
Illusion Trafalgar Trophy at Bembridge
A record fleet for the event What extraordinary times we live in! Despite all the doom and gloom, the Bembridge Illusions saw a record fleet, certainly for this long standing Regatta, racing over the weekend for the Trafalgar Trophy. Posted on 19 Oct 2020