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Bembridge Illusion Spring Plate 2021

by Mark Downer 12 Apr 2021 06:07 BST 10-11 April 2021

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.

Saturday saw 17 Illusions out racing in a 10 to 12 knot North Easterly breeze; the first race got off to a great start with the fleet spread fairly across the square line, No surprise to see Raymond Simonds at the pin end, punching the left hand side of the race course and by the windward mark he had a good lead followed by sister-in-law Caroline and brother Colin who all held these positions to the finish.

In the second race it was Jo Downer who bounced out of a mid line start with Raymond close behind. The first mark saw a very close fleet and a flurry of red and white spinnakers all went up together making it hard to identify who had the lead at the top mark; however, as they closed the leeward mark it was Jo by a whisker with the choice of left or right buoys. Having chosen left, leaving Raymond to the right she extended her lead which she held to the finish.

Race 3 saw some argy-bargy at the committee boat and with two boats crossing the line early for the individual recall while further down the line Jo again bounced a perfect start and extended an unchallengeable lead. At the finish it was Jo first followed by Raymond and BSC Commodore Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore with Serena Gosling looking to place a comfortable fourth until Mike Toogood hocked her backstay feet from the line allowing a further four boats through before untangling.

Sunday the wind had eased a couple of knots and backed more to the north making for interesting shifts across the course all day and an interesting and entertaining day to be a race officer. The first start got off well, but more like a game of snakes and ladders with a different leader on each of the 3 windward legs of the course but at the finish it was Mike Toogood who prevailed ahead of Raymond and Julia.

Start of Race 4:

Race 5 the wind was starting to clock left for longer phases and it was Julia who took advantage by staying hard left on every beat to take the gun chased by Raymond and Mike Toogood.

Start of Race 5:

With the longer left phases, the course was reset for the last race although still a shifty course to sail with more snakes than ladders the game was on and the pack stayed so close again that no one could definitively escape the elastic net surrounding the fleet. The lead changed several times in the first three legs of the course before Jonathan struck left on the final tack to the windward mark on the second beat to a lead which he held to the finish, closely followed by Raymond and Julia.

Start of Race 6:

Congratulations to Raymond who wins the Spring Plate with Julia second and Jo third.

Additional photos can be seen at

Following confirmation that the Duke of Edinburgh's Funeral will take place on Saturday 17th April 2021 at 3pm, as a mark of respect the Flag Officers of Bembridge SC have decided to close the Club from 2:30pm and cancel all sailing that afternoon.

As a result and after agreement with BSC to extend the Illusion season to 1st & 2nd May, the new plan is for racing next Sunday (18th April) to be for the Flying Dutchman Trophy in conjunction with a new trophy (Prince Philip's Memorial Trophy) for the over 65s. The Stratton Memorial Trophy will then be the weekend after (24th & 25th April). The St George's Day Trophy finishing off with the Woodford Long Distance will be on Saturday 1st May and racing on Sunday 2nd May will be for Bill's Barrel.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1Raymond Simonds16512223310
2Julia Bailey15756431215
3Jo Downer16641156717
4Colin Simonds13833R44519
5Mike Toogood1421312512424
6Caroline Simonds986251175625
7Jonathan N‑L158610388126
8Oliver Morgan18677767834
9Owen Pay10584610111139
10Mike Issaias1529119991046
11Richard Ambler1561016141112956
12Serena Gosling1221488SSS66
13John Birchenough3715151313131266
14Hugh Doherty12412910SSS67
15Robin Ebsworth12SSS12101371
16Philip Russell153111312SSS72
17Chris Osborne14416141514RS77

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