Please select your home edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90
Product Feature
Crewsaver Crewfit 150N Junior (NEW)
Crewsaver Crewfit 150N Junior (NEW)

Bembridge Illusion Guy Fawkes Trophy & Picnic Hamper

by Mike Samuelson 7 Dec 2020 05:43 GMT 5-6 December 2020

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. Saturday for the Guy Fawkes Trophy and Sunday for the Picnic Hamper; both four races with a discard.

After a four week enforced break, it was great to see 23 boats being rigged up in the Illusion Park on Saturday late morning. Mind you there were a few doubts as to the wisdom with grey skies, waves breaking over the Duver Wall and gusts of 25 knots whistling down the harbour. However, as it was a SE'erly, conditions in the harbour were not in fact too bad. After a short postponement to allow everyone to reach the start area close to Fisherman's Pontoon, the first start was pretty impressive for most, particularly as it was gusting 20 knots!

Start of Race 1 Saturday

Mark Downer was soon in the lead but it was great to see Julia Bailey, racing for the first time this winter, not far behind. Rory Morrison and Bruce Huber lead the chasing group. Although Mark extended his lead on the second round, Julia held onto second and Bruce just pipped Rory by inches on the line to take third.

The start of the second race kept everyone on their toes and ended up with a general recall followed by the AP flag half way through the second sequence when the breeze backed to the east.

First Start of Race 2 Saturday

In trying to re-set the course the Committee Boat picked up a mooring chain however having set a tripping line was able to extract the anchor and re-set the line. And when they did eventually get away under the Flag U, the Committee Boat was holding position using her engine after she started drifting with a minute to go! The re-set course provided much longer legs and it was not long before Bruce established a substantial lead, however Mark caught up during the second round and they entered the leeward gate together. In the final short leg to the finish line it looked as if Mark was going to finish ahead, however Bruce ended up crossing the line inches ahead. Raymond Simonds was third and Colin Simmonds was fourth.

After further anchoring difficulties the third race, again under Flag U, got away smoothly.

Start of Race 3 Saturday

Although it was another Mark & Bruce dual at the front, there were a number of very close battles mid-fleet with David Russell-Jones just beating Jo Downer, Philip Russell just ahead of Bill Daniels and Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore just finishing in front of Olly Laughton-Scott.

The fourth and final race of the day, started again under Flag U, was a two and a half rounder with the finish at the windward mark close to the Illusion dock.

Start of Race 4 Saturday

Mark established a good lead ahead of Bruce with Colin, Rory and Bill vying for third. Fortunately Mark was far enough ahead on the second run to remain in front despite having a problem with his spinnaker and only using a goose winged genoa. As in the previous race, some close finishes mid-fleet.

A challenging afternoon's racing for competitors and race officers! Overall, Mark was first with 3 points; Bruce was second with 5 points and Julia third on a tie break with Colin and Jo.

What a difference 24 hours makes! Bright blue skies and a gentle Northerly breeze greeted the 24 entries for Sunday's four race Picnic Hamper. With so many entries and the need to maintain social distancing while launching, the start of the first race was over fifteeen minutes later than planned. Starting straight under under Flag U, it was not long before Mark and Bruce gained an unbeatable lead ahead of Alastair Speare-Cole and the Simond's brothers.

Start of Race 1 Sunday

With the breeze backing and constraints where the windward marks could be laid, it was decided that the simplest solution was for the Committee Boat to move a hundred meters or so to the east. After another good start, Mark dominated the second race with Bruce, Julia and Raymond fighting for second and third places. Mid-fleet again saw some excellent close racing with only seconds separating 12th to 15th places. Determined to finish without assistance after he had problems with his genoa furler, Owen Pay showed everyone that 'going for a swim' was one way of trying to sort it out!

Start of Race 2 Sunday

The third race got away to a clean start and even though he was close to the line at the pin end when the hooter sounded, Mark found himself mid-fleet at the windward marks and had to make do with 8th place. Meanwhile it was nip and tuck for the race leaders Julia, Raymond, Colin, Bruce and David Peerless; however after a number of place changes, Bruce took first with Raymond and Colin picking up second and third.

Start of Race 3 Sunday

At least ten boats breathed a sigh of relief when the start (under Flag U) of the fourth and final race went to a General Recall. Sadly for Mark & Colin, they were disqualified when they over cooked the second start under Black Flag rules!

Start of Race 4 Sunday

There was no holding back as far as Raymond was concerned and after the first (of three) rounds he was a long way ahead of Bruce; Jo picked up a well deserved third and well done to Caroline Simonds who came in fourth. Despite the slightly longer race, mere seconds separated 5th to 8th places.

Overall, this meant that Bruce retained the Picnic Hamper with a final total of 5 points; Raymond was second with 7 points and Mark was third with 10 points.

An excellent weekend's racing. It's the Christmas Cracker in a fortnight.

Additional photos at

Guy Fawkes Trophy Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4Pts
1Mark Downer16412113
2Bruce Huber10131225
3Julia Bailey1572106614
4Colin Simonds1381045514
5Jo Downer1665541814
6David Russell‑Jones155683917
7Bill Daniels68978318
8Rory Morrison12041115419
9Raymond Simonds165R39820
10Philip Russell15311671424
11Robin Ebsworth12813101129
12Jonathan Nainby‑L158151212731
13Serena Gosling122139181234
14Monty Irwin1471618111037
15David Peerless14071621R44
16Owen Pay11711162044
17Olly Laughton‑Scott801219132144
18Hugh Doherty1241814171344
19Mike Issaias1521915141645
20Andy Christie1491617191548
21John Birchenough372020201959
22Caroline Simonds38RR221762

Picnic Hamper Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4Pts
1Bruce Huber10122125
2Raymond Simonds16544217
3Mark Downer164118D10
4Colin Simonds138563D14
5Julia Bailey157635714
6Alastair Speare‑Cole13535141018
7Caroline Simonds3812117422
8David Peerless14010941123
9David Russell‑Jones15511761224
9Bill Daniels687129824
11Jo Downer16616815326
12Rory Morrison12091010928
13Serena Gosling122131512530
14Oliver Morgan186813201637
15Mike Issaias152171818641
16Olly Laughton‑Scott801516111742
17Simon Birchenough1362117131343
18Hugh Doherty1241914191548
19Owen Pay10514R231451
20Andy Christie1492021171956
21John Birchenough372323161857
22Robin Ebsworth121822212160
23Matt Solan1062219222061
24Chris Osborne144242024R68

Related Articles

Bembridge Illusion Picnic Hamper 2022
A number of 'first timers' join in the racing Not really picnicking weather, however at least it did not rain on Saturday and it was great to see so many boats out for this season's Picnic Hamper Regatta; well done to Bruce and Ed who brought along a number of 'first timers'. Posted on 28 Nov
Bembridge Illusion fleet sail January Jacket early
Next year's event moved forward to accomodate Inter-Club Team Racing Sailing for the 'January Jacket' in mid-November seemed slightly odd, however it was slipped in to fill the void when the Inter-Club Team Racing was moved to early January. Light breezes and sunshine provided almost champagne conditions. Posted on 14 Nov
Bembridge Illusion Guy Fawkes Trophy 2022
Better than expected conditions for the 19 helms The forecast for the weekend was pretty dire, and with 09:00 starts both days, we were not expecting too many boats out for this year's Guy Fawkes Trophy. Posted on 6 Nov
Bembridge Illusion Flying Dutchman Trophy
Sadly there was no guest appearance by Rudy Sadly there was no guest appearance by Rudy, our Flying Dutchman, but then it's a long way to come from Finland to Bembridge to race for 'his' trophy! Posted on 31 Oct
Bembridge Illusion Trafalgar Trophy
Initially the RO thought the chances of getting any racing were slim With the racing for this year's Trafalgar Trophy programmed for Saturday afternoon and a 35 knot squall hitting the harbour at about midday, the Race Officer thought that the chances of getting any racing were slim. Posted on 16 Oct
Invitation Day for Illusion class at Bembridge
13 newcomers try their hand at solo sailing a 12 Metre After a breezy couple of days, there was barely a breath at times on Saturday morning for the ten Illusions who took to the water for three 'normal' races. There was a quarter of an hour postponement mostly due to too much nattering in the Dinghy Park. Posted on 10 Oct
Illusion 2022-23 Winter Series starts
A cracking breeze on Saturday for the fleet So where an earth did the summer season go?! However it's great to see the Illusion's 2022-23 winter season starting. As it was the first weekend, there was no trophy to be won and many of top sailors are still involved elsewhere. Posted on 3 Oct
Illusion Inlands at Middle Nene
Matt Yallop holds trophy for the second year For the third time Middle Nene SC held the Illusion Open Meeting and Inland Championship. A small fleet of six boats joined in the racing which comprised two triangle and two windward/leeward courses, sailed in light to moderate winds. Posted on 3 Sep
8-hour race at Middle Nene Sailing Club
Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the club To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Middle Nene SC on Saturday, 16th July the club re-introduced a long-distance team race, a trophy which was last contested in 2008. Posted on 20 Jul
Long Distance Race for Bembridge Illusions
Plus St George's Day Trophy awarded as season closes Traditionally numbers racing on the last weekend in the Illusion Winter Series are a bit thin, however this year after such amazing numbers for all the other Regattas, it was a bit disappointing that only seven boats raced on Saturday. Posted on 1 May