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Wessex Resins 2019 - Pro-Set - 728x90

Bembridge Illusion Picnic Hamper 2019

by Mike Samuelson 28 Oct 2019 05:48 GMT 26-27 October 2019

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.

Understandably given the forecast and the England v New Zealand World Cup semi-final on the box, only a few diehards appeared at 09:00 on Saturday to rig their boats and there was certainly no dissent when the Race Officers made the decision to cancel racing for the day!

Conditions on Sunday morning were a whole different ball game so it was decided to set the course outside the harbour off Silver Beach. Although new comers Rory Morrison in 80 and Matt Solan in 131 did not make the start of the first race, the other 14 boats got away after only a short postponement. With a lot of jostling at the pin end, it was touch and go whether to display the First Sub for a General Recall, but in the end three helms were called OCS. All returned quite quickly so they were not disadvantaged too much.

Start of Race 1

Bruce Huber in 101 continued from where he left off last week and was first, by some way, to round the windward mark. Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore in 158 was second just ahead of Mark Downer in 164, David Russell-Jones in 155 and John Raymond in 151. Although Bruce was not for catching, the chasing boats had some close racing with Mark just nudging John into third when the race finished after 2 rounds.

The start of the second race saw Bruce & Mark deciding that the Committee Boat end of the line was the place to be.

Start of Race 2

Mark played the windshifts best and was the first at the top end of the course just ahead of John, Andy Christie in 149 & Bruce. However, having rounded the spreader mark, sadly John's steering peddle broke and he had to retire and limp back into the harbour. On the second round Bruce moved up into second after he took the middle track and found he could point probably 5º higher than Andy who went right. Slightly further back, racing was close with Jonathan just pipping David on the line after three rounds.

The start of the third race was another good one with Bruce & Mark reckoning that mid-line was best!

Start of Race 3

Andy became the boat to beat and was some way ahead of Bruce when he started the third round; the doubters thought that Bruce would reel him in, but he held his concentration and crossed the line safely in front. Mark was third and Jo Downer in 166 was fourth. Mid-fleet, Mike Toogood (142) and Jonathan N-L were within inches at the finish. Alastair Speare-Cole (135) lost his steering early on and although he retired he was able to fix it for the final race.

The fourth and final race saw another clean start, albeit there were quite a few a bit off the pace.

Start of Race 4

Mike was first to reach the windward marks with Bruce hot on his heels, however he managed to hold him off until they started the second round. With the breeze dropping slightly the race was finished after two rounds with Bruce well ahead; Mike picked up a well deserved second well ahead of Andy with Mark in fourth.

With three races to count, Bruce therefore won this year's Picnic Hamper, three points ahead of Mark, with Andy third.

No racing next weekend; it's the Guy Fawkes Trophy the following one (9th & 10th November).

Additional photos at

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4Pts
1Bruce Huber10112214
2Mark Downer16421346
3Andy Christie14963137
4Jo Downer166444612
5Jonathan Nainby‑Luxmoore158558515
6Mike Toogood1421297218
7David Russell‑Jones155765818
8Alastair Speare‑Cole13587R722
9Hugh Doherty1249811926
10Owen Pay105111261027
11Rory Morrison80S1191131
12Robin Ebsworth121010121232
13John Raymond1513RSS37
14John Birchenough1561313101349
15Sue Hampton151414141557
16Matt Solan131SSS1465

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