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Bembridge Week 2021

by Mike Samuelson 14 Aug 2021 07:47 BST 9-12 August 2021

Monday 9th August (SW F5 gusting F6)

No racing

Tuesday 10th August (variable SW F3-F4, sunny)

Redwings - Race 1 - from Inflatable to #, R, JJ, R finishing on the Inflatable

Nine Redwings made a good start from a laid line 200 metres south of JJ. Tara, helmed by Mike Toogood and Tarpon, helmed by Dominic Samuelson were both OCS but came back. Toucan, helmed by Colin Samuelson also thought they were over so came back to be safe.

Start of Race 1

A testing beat to Pepe saw the fleet split tacks with those going inshore coming out best. Enigma, helmed by Mark Downer and Toucan were the leading boats on the long run to Ruthven. Blue Jay, helmed by Richard Jessel, and Vera, helmed by David Swinstead in his first race of the season, were not far behind. Toucan remained in the lead for the rest of the race, but only just and at the finish Enigma was less than two seconds behind. Blue Jay and Tara were neck and neck with the former crossing the line a second ahead. Sadly for David, after a promising first half of the race, he had gear failure which put him to the back of the fleet. Champagne conditions at last!

Redwings - Race 2 (Crew Race) from Inflatable to G, JJ, G, F(S), E

While four Redwings headed back to the moorings, the other five limbered up for the Crew race. After an excellent start they made rapid progress to Garland.

Start of the Crew race:

Enigma, helmed by Jo Downer was first to round and remained ahead for the rest of the race. Although never in contention, Katharine Toogood in Tara surprised herself by rounding G second and then holding onto it to the finish at E.

One-Designs - Race 1 - from Inflatable to G, R, JJ, R finishing on the Inflatable

Five One-Designs had two excellent races in champagne conditions - certainly a nice change from the no wind or too windy conditions over the last 10 days or so. In the first race, Susie Beart in No 5 made an inch perfect start as she crossed the start line fully powered up. Definitely the boat to beat at the moment, it was No 1 helmed by Russ Fowler that got closest but had to content with finishing second about 30 seconds adrift. Jacs Cottrell in No 11 was third.

One-Designs - Race 2 - from Inflatable, G, JJ, G, F(S), E

Excellent start in the slightly increasing breeze with No 5 last to cross the line but able to claw up to windward quickly.


Split tacks as they made there way to Garland which D Orange helming No 12 rounded first ahead of Simon Allocca helming No 1 with Susie third. No 5 pulled ahead on the beat back from JJ and remained there for the rest of the race. Although a minute behind, No 1 and No 11 had a close tussell with Jacs missing out by only just over a second.

Wednesday 11th August - Zanen Trophy

The Zanen Trophy is traditionally a joint start long distance race. Although many years ago the course included the Nab Tower, this was abandoned after it was decided that racing Redwings & One-Designs round the Nab was not very sensible! This year the Start was based on the old under Tyne line with E as the pin end and Sea Breeze positioned inshore. The SW'erly F4 gusting F5 breeze offered a number of course options, but in the end, it was set as T, I (Nab East), R(S), X (St Helens), B, F(S) and finishing at E to starboard.

After some interesting calls from Tara (Mike Toogood) the joint fleet (eleven Redwings and four One-Designs) were all clear at the start.

Start of the Zanen Trophy race:

With little opportunity to shake out before they reached T, it was a bit of a bun fight; the long run to Nab East saw the fleet spread out left and right as they tried to find the best route to offset the westerly going tide. Snowgoose (Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore), Rosetta (George Greenwood) and Enigma (Mark Downer) were the lead three boats with a sizeable bunch not far behind.

Redwings rounding Nab East:

The next leg to Ruthven was not made easy as the wind strength increased and wind against tide made for quite a lumpy sea. Plover (Andrew Eddy), Toucan and Snowgoose had the best navigators onboard and were the first round. Conditions were not quite so tricky at St Helens and the beat to Britten saw the fleet split tacks and Toucan move into a commanding lead. With the breeze backing more southerly, the final beat from F to E was more of a close reach which was a pity. Toucan was first across the line with Plover and Snowgoose mere inches apart. Enigma was fourth a couple of seconds later.

Conditions suited the One-Designs who although they obviously could not keep up with the Redwings, they faired well on handicap. Alexander Ross in No 8, sailing single handed, had a storming race and was only 19 minutes behind Toucan at the finish; good enough to be the overall winner of the Zanen Trophy. Simon Allocca in No 1, after a delayed start having been shut out on the Committee Boat and a few problems after rounding Nab East, made up a lot on the beat in from St Helens was the second One-Design to finish (third overall). Sarah Marshall with her sister Katharine Toogood was third (fourth overall) and Penny Stanley in No 9 having been third for the first half of the race, was fourth (ninth overall). An excellent afternoon's racing.

Thursday 12th August

Redwings - Princessa Trophy

Using a similar start line off E as the previous day, the fleet of 10 Redwings were over zealous and the first start was called back on a General Recall. The second start under Flag U was much better behaved although the Class Commodore was perhaps generously given the benefit of doubt!

Redwing Start (1)

Once they had rounded Cochrane, it was a dead beat to West Princessa and certainly not for the faint hearted as the wind (S F4 gusting F5) over tide made for a lumpy sea. Exhilerating sailing and with the tide under them, they did not take that long to reach it! Fortunately there were no gear failures and everyone made it round safely. Mark Downer in Enigma was first just ahead of Colin Samuelson in Toucan. Jonathan N-L in Snow Goose and Robin Ebsworth in Quintessence led the chasing fleet on the long run via Cochrane to Janson. Then it was a beat back to E, a final run to Janson and a beat to the finish at E.

Although well ahead of Rosie in Gosling and the rest of the fleet, Mark & Colin were rarely more than half a dozen boat lengths apart, however victory went to Enigma by over 30 seconds. Snow Goose was fourth.


Race 1 - from E to T, JJ, E, JJ, E

Rather than following the Redwings off to the West Princessa, the One-Designs were programmed for two shorter races, the second included the Hubert Prize (helm & crew under 30). After a clean reaching start, the seven boats turned left at T and then ran to JJ before beating back to E and then a second run to JJ and finishing at E. Russ Fowler in No 1 established a good lead by the time they rounded E for the first time and was just over a minute ahead of D Orange in No 12 by the time they finished; D and Penny Stanley in No 9 had a very close race with D a mere second ahead on the line.


Race 2 - from E to T, JJ, E, JJ, E

Clever juggling by the Race Officers saw the start of the second race go ahead despite the Redwings rounding E at the same time. After a good start, Susie Beart in No 5 made up for her uncharacteristic fourth in the first race and had established a substantial lead by the end of the run from T to JJ ahead of Russ Fowler in No 1. Although the course was set the same as the first one, after considerable deliberation (and no cries of disagreement from the competitors) it was decided to shorten after one round. Russ Fowler in No 1 was second just over a minute behind Susie. Charles Abel Smith in No 7 was third and D Orange was fourth. Great to see Oliver Perry and a guest in No 8 picking up a fifth place. Although they were the only Under 30 helm & crew, it was decided that they had shown so much initiative and enthusiasm to come and race that they should be awarded the Hulbert Prize despite no competition!

Friday 13th & Saturday 14th August is the BSC (EWCC) Annual Regatta; Sunday 15th & Mpnday 16th August is the SVYC (EWCC) Regatta.

Additional photos at

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