Please select your home edition
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club LEADERBOARD

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

Related Articles

Bembridge Illusion Trafalgar & Guy Fawkes Trophies
No shortage of water with big spring tides Mid-morning Saturday, Chimet was recording 0 knots so on the face of it things were not looking too good for the Trafalgar Trophy that this year was programmed for just 4 races on Saturday afternoon. Posted on 25 Oct
Bembridge Illusion Picnic Hamper & Invitational
October sunshine and a fickle breeze in the harbour After the strong NE breeze earlier in the week, the forecast for the first weekend of the Bembridge Illusion fleet's 2021-2022 winter season looked much more promising with a steady F2/3 NE'erly and bright sunshine. Posted on 11 Oct
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