Please select your home edition
Edition
Sailingfast 2018 2 728x90
Product Feature
Teach Dinghy Sailing by Gaz Harrison
Teach Dinghy Sailing by Gaz Harrison
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine


Full racing risks
New for old cover
www.noblemarine.co.uk

Bembridge Illusions opening weekend of the new winter season

by Mike Samuelson 14 Oct 16:18 BST 12-13 October 2019

Although the opening weekend of the 2019-2020 Illusion season saw no wind on Saturday and nearly too much on Sunday, overall it was a great success!

Although one boat went for a drift around the harbour on Saturday morning, the rest decided that the best thing to do was to get their annual buoyancy tests done & dusted. Although there was a fair bit of water in some of the tanks, and there was a steady stream of people heading off to the Chandlery to get new seals for their inspection hatches, all passed!

Twenty 'new' or 'newish' helms had signed up for this year's "Invitation Day" on Sunday morning masterminded for the second year running by Olly Laughton-Scott. Given the pretty dismal wet & windy forecast it was hopefully the sign of great things to come that most of them even turned up and brimming with enthusiasm and saying that they were still game to give it a try!

After a briefing by the Class Captain, Mark Downer & Race Officer Mike Samuelson, sixteen Illusions were launched and made their was down to opposite Bembridge Outboards in the pretty breezy conditions (SSWesterly gusting F5!). After a period getting used to the boats, there were then a couple of practice starts, before the start of first of three races that it was hoped would be possible. Disappointingly Nick Rowton-Lee, out for his first sail in 73, his very smart refurbished Orange Illusion, had to return to the shore when he found that his steering bar was set too far away to allow him to control where he wanted to go!

Start of Race 1 (Sunday)

Giles Peckham in 80 and Rory Morrison in 163 were the first to round the windward mark with Simon Birchenough in 123 close behind. Sadly for Rory however, his steering bar came adrift so he had to retire. It was nip & tuck for third & fourth with Alex Locke in 501 (White) crossing the finish line after two rounds only inches ahead of Martyn Davis in 12. In view of the conditions and to keep things simple, it had been agreed that spinnakers would be left ashore, so whilst it certainly made life easier, it did reduce some of the challenge to sailing an Illusion!

Having sorted out his steering, Rory powered away from the line at the start of the second race hotly pursued by Giles, Martyn & Simon.

Start of Race 2 (Sunday)

With Giles ready to pounce if he made a mistake, Rory just managed to hold onto the lead and finished (after two rounds) a couple of boat lengths in front with Martyn in third. As is invariably the case in Illusion racing, there was plenty of close racing lower down the field. Indeed full credit to everyone racing - conditions were not easy, especially during the first round.

Things became a bit more manageable for the third and final race of the day; the rain stopped and although still quite gusty, the breeze dropped to around 12 knots. After another excellent start, 80 again became the boat to beat, however despite best efforts, the chasing fleet were unable to put Giles under much pressure over the three round race.

However, well done to Tim Haslam in 167 who settled into second place ahead of Simon in 123 and Rory in 163. As always with the Illusions its not all about being in the top three; there was some very close racing further down the fleet.

A great morning's sailing that amply rewarded all the hard work by the organiser, Olly. It was certainly encouraging to hear so many say "loved it, we will definitely be back".

Next weekend sees the first Regatta of the season - The 'Trafalgar Trophy'.

Overall Results: (top five)

1. Giles Peckham (80)
2. Simon Birchenough (123)
3. Martyn Davis (12)
4. Tim Haslam (167)
5. Alex Locke (501(W))
6. Rory Morrison (163)

Additional photos at flic.kr/s/aHsmHFhAc1

Related Articles

Bembridge Illusion Guy Fawkes Trophy 2019
A new name on the trophy With the Downers away for the weekend, the way looked open for Bruce Huber to add another trophy to his cabinet. However, despite two first and a second on Saturday, there is a new name on the trophy as he had family commitments on Sunday so didn't race. Posted on 10 Nov
Bembridge Illusion Picnic Hamper 2019
What a difference 24 hours makes! What a difference 24 hours makes! Saturday morning it was overcast and blowing 25+ knots from the South West and on Sunday morning it was sunny with a light Northerly breeze. Posted on 28 Oct
Bembridge Illusion Trafalgar Trophy 2019
Racing outside the harbour on Saturday With a F4 initially gusting F5 West South Westerly breeze, bright sunshine and still a few moored yachts in the middle of the harbour, it was decided to set the course on Saturday outside the harbour for the 13 Illusions wanting to race. Posted on 21 Oct
Illusion Inlands at Middle Nene
Very competitve racing at Thrapston, East Midlands Last weekend (7th/8th September) saw the second Inland Championship for the Illusion class with very competitive racing held at Middle Nene SC in Thrapston, East Midlands. Posted on 9 Sep
Vernon's Easter Egg Cup for Illusions
Video evidence for start line policing 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! Posted on 21 Apr
St George's Day Trophy & Woodford Distance Race
Bembridge Illusion events earlier in April than normal This weekend's St George's Day Trophy and the Woodford Long Distance race were rather earlier in April than normal, but with a very late Easter it was what it was! Posted on 8 Apr
Bembridge Illusion Spring Plate
Black flag used for the first time in the season! After the strong winds over the last couple of weekends, the calmer weather of the last few days helped draw sixteen 'Illusionists' to Bembridge on Saturday morning for the opening day of this year's Spring Plate. Posted on 25 Mar
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