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Bembridge Illusion Stratton Memorial Trophy 2021

by Mike Samuelson 26 Apr 2021 06:13 BST 24-25 April 2021

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! Vernon would have been delighted to see such enthusiasm and that the fleet continues to go from strength to strength.

On Saturday morning the cold Easterly F4 gusting F5 breeze and a cloudless sky provided almost perfect racing conditions in the harbour and with the One-Designs wisely staying on their moorings, Sea Breeze was freed up and provided the Race Officers with a warm base. Owen Pay almost over-cooked the start of the first race but just managed to correct himself in time.

Start of Race 1 (Saturday)

After the long beat to the windward mark, Ed Peel was first round and although Owen and Mike Toogood were close on his heels, he extended his lead over the next two rounds to finish ahead of Julia Bailey and Mike, with Raymond Simonds fourth.

The start of the second race was inch perfect for the top third of the fleet.

Start of Race 2 (Saturday)

Ed was again the first to round the windward mark and together with Julia and Raymond had developed a substantial lead by the time they finished after 3 rounds. Although not in any contention for podium places there was some very close racing among the rest of the fleet with a number of very close finishes.

With the tide beginning to drop, it was always going to touch and go as to whether the final race of the day could stretch to 3 rounds. In the event, a General Recall did not help (and resulted in the Black Flag appearing for the re-start) and although the leaders managed to complete two rounds, a number of the back markers ground to a halt close to the windward mark and sensibly headed back to the Illusion Quay once they had refloated.

Start of Race 3 (Saturday)

Re-Start of Race 3 on Saturday

Ed picked up his third win of the day and Julia her third second place. Rory Morrison and John Raymond were neck and neck on the final leg with Rory taking third by an inch or so.

Sunday was initially not as sunny as the previous day, but as the morning progressed the clouds cleared and along with the F4 ENE'erly breeze ensured that the 22 helms enjoyed another excellent morning's racing in the harbour. With the previous day's leader Edmund absent, the smart money was on either Raymond or Julia winning the trophy. The first race of the day started with a General Recall and perhaps a fortunate Julia who was nearly called OCS on the Flag U re-start.

Start of Race 4 - (Sunday)

Start of Race 4 - (Sunday - pin end by Crispin Kenyon

Re-Start of Race 4 (Sunday)

Although Julia was one of the first to round the windward mark, her spinnaker halyard came undone so she had to sail the downwind legs with her genoa goose winged so could do no better than sixth. Mike Toogood lead the first round with Owen Pay, but on the second round Raymond Simonds took over the lead and finished ahead of Mike with Caroline Simonds not far behind.

After a clean start to the second race of the day, Rory Morrison was the early leader but come the second round was overtaken by Raymond and then on the final leg was pipped to the post by Julia with David Peerless in fourth.

Start of Race 5 (Sunday)

After a short postponement to allow the Committee Boat to adjust its location after the breeze went a bit more northerly, the sixth and final race got away (again under Flag U) to a clean start. With the tide an hour later than the day before and therefore with no risk of running out of water, a three and a half rounder was very much the order of the day.

Start of Race 6 (Sunday)

Raymond was soon out in front with Mike, Julia and David P s try to play catch up, however he was too consistent and finished comfortably ahead of a delighted David with Julia third. At the bottom end, Matt Solan and new boy Graham Wilkinson helming Vernon's old boat, Illustration, tied for seventeenth place.

With a final score of 10 points, Raymond was the overall winner of the Stratton Memorial Trophy, one point ahead of Julia. Mike T was third and David P was fourth.

Next Saturday (1st May) its the St George's Day Trophy (best of four races no discard) with the Woodford Long distance race as the fourth race; the season finishes off on Sunday with Bill's Barrel.

Additional photos and videos at

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1Raymond Simonds16543711110
2Julia Bailey15722262311
3Mike Toogood14236625521
4David Peerless1401541054225
5Rory Morrison12057377325
6Alastair Speare‑Cole135751746931
7Caroline Simonds98610101237636
8David Russell‑Jones1556959101039
9Oliver Morgan18611129109847
10Owen Pay10581488141452
11John Raymond1511218411161255
12Ed Peel161111SSS57
13Philip Russell153141118S8758
14Mike Issaias15220161413151371
15Colin Simonds138138R1513R76
15Robin Ebsworth1219171114181676
17Richard Ambler15618211618171584
18Serena Gosling122SSS12111188
19Monty Irwin14791315SSS91
20Simon Birchenough136171513SSS99
20Matt Solan1062122R19191899
20Rosie Gosling130RSR16121799
23John Birchenough37222020212020101
24Olly Laughton‑Scott80161919SSS108
25Graham Wilkinson1442323R20R18111
26Justin Biddle85SSS17RS125

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