Please select your home edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Bembridge Illusion 2022 Valentine Trophy & Prince Philip Memorial Cup

by Mike Samuelson 7 Feb 06:17 GMT 5-6 February 2022

Despite a windy forecast for the two trophy weekend (Valentine Trophy on Saturday and Prince Phillip Cup on Sunday), twenty four boats launched on Saturday afternoon to do 'battle' in the SW'erly F4 to F6 breeze.

Although a little tedious for those who launched first, the half hour postponement so that everyone was able to reach the start area two thirds of the way up the harbour actually worked in everyone's favour as the wind over tide chop in the middle of the harbour had smoothed off a bit.

Too many boats overcooked the first start so it was back for a second go after a General Recall. As usual, Flag U was displayed as the preparatory signal for the second start which got away cleanly albeit new girl Anna Row had to be reminded after the race what Flag U meant!

Re-start of Race 1

After a shortish first beat, Raymond Simonds led the way round the windward marks, chased by Mike Toogood, Mark Downer and Bruce Huber. By the third round Bruce and Mark were well ahead of the rest of the fleet, many of whom decided to play safe and not fly a spinnaker in the gusty conditions; a wise decision as at one stage the anemometer on the Committee Boat registered 25 knots! Raymond was third and Rory Morrison was fourth. As usual there were a number of close finishes; and there were also a few retirements! The most spectacular was Owen Pay who filled up and had to be towed by James Row who was manning the safety RIB to Attrills Point beach to bail out; no easy task!

The start to the second race, again under Flag U was called clear save for visitor James in the red loaner boat, however Raymond who was the pin side of him (and therefore shielded from view) owned up to being OCS and retired. Mark & Bruce took up their usual positions at the front of the fleet with Jo Downer and Mike Toogood playing cat and mouse as the race progressed.

Start of Race 2

Although on the runs Jo went for no spinnaker, she was not that much slower than Mike who did use his, albeit with some difficulty at times! Out front, Mark and Bruce match raced against each other with Mark coming out just ahead at the finish. The 'old man of the fleet' Robin Ebsworth had a great first round but sadly was unable to keep up with the front group so finished mid fleet. Mike was third and Jo was fourth, but only by the narrowest of margins. It was good to see Caroline Simonds in fifth place.

It was gusting 22 knots as they came up to the line for the third race. Again the Flag U worked and it was another clean start.

Start of Race 3

Mark and Bruce, again dominated at the front until the former took on too much water on the second beat and unusually had to stop to pump out. This left Bruce a long way ahead of Caroline Simonds, Raymond and a jubilant Serena Gosling who took fourth.

Although the breezy conditions (it gusted 27 knots half way through the third race) saw a number of boats head back to the Illusion Quay prior to the start of the fourth and final race, competition was as keen as ever for those who stayed on. Bruce and Mark took up their usual positions as the front of the fleet with Raymond, Jo and Mike always playing catch up.

Start of Race 4

For the front two it was always going to be close and having taken different sides of the gate for the final time, it was to close to call until the final tack close to the Committee saw Mark cross the line a boat length ahead. Jo was third and Mike was fourth.

On count back as both Mark & Bruce were on equal points, Bruce was initially placed first with two firsts and two seconds and awarded the Valentine Trophy. However after a re-read of RRS A8.1 & 8.2 this had to be reversed and the Trophy was re-awarded to Mark! Raymond was third, Mike was fourth and Jo was fifth and also picked up the 'Ladies' Trophy (the original Valentine Trophy picture).

Sunday's forecast for rain & winds in excess of 30 knots (& Sunday lunch) sadly decimated the fleet and in the end there were only six 'brave' souls who launched and made their way up the harbour to the start area. With so few boats jostling for prime position on the line, Mark and Raymond decided to do some pre-start match race practice! Mark ended up in front and never looked back for the rest of the three round race. Jo held onto second despite no spinnaker and Caroline, who also stuck with her genoa, pipped Raymond into third.

There was more match racing practice prior to the start of the second race! However the only person to end up taking a penalty was Jo!

Start of Race 2

Mike Toogood was first to reach the windward mark with Mark a few boat lengths behind. With Mike still ahead on the second run, it was decided to finish the race after two rounds in the hopes that he would remain ahead to the finish line! However it was not to be and Mark overtook on the short beat back from the leeward gate. Raymond, Jo and Caroline finished within inches of each other.

A similar start to Race 3 and another overwhelming win for Mark after two rounds; Raymond was second and Jo third.

Start of Race 3

For the fourth and final race, the course was changed to twice round the windward marks and then a running finish opposite the Club pontoon. Despite not flying her spinnaker, Jo lead for three quarters of the race but was unable to hold off Mark whose vast experience meant he could keep his spinnaker under control in the stronger gusts. Caroline did well to take third and it was a very close finish between Mike & Raymond.

Start of Race 4

It did not need a spreadsheet to work out that Mark was the clear winner of the Trophy, presented so generously by John Raymond last year. Jo was second two points ahead of Raymond.

Additional photos at

No racing next weekend; the weekend after (19th & 20th February) is Match racing. All sixteen slots are currently filled but we do need a couple of reserves. Please contact Raymond if interested.

Valentine Trophy Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4Pts
1Mark Downer164211114
2Bruce Huber10112124
3Raymond Simonds1653R3612
4Mike Toogood142636413
5Jo Downer166748314
6Caroline Simonds381252815
7Rosie Gosling130567516
8Justin Biddle858851121
9David Russell‑Jones1558713722
10John Raymond151161110930
11Serena Gosling12214174S35
12Robin Ebsworth121712121236
13Monty Irwin14713169R38
14Rory Morrison120410RS39
15Matt Solan1311915141342
16Mike Issiais1522013R1043
17Alastair Speare‑Cole135119RS45
18John Birchenough371819151447
19Oliver Morgan1691514RS54
20Hugh Doherty12410RSS60
21Anna Row802118RS64
22James Froy222220RS67
23Owen Pay105RSSS75
23Richard Ambler158RSSS75

Prince Philip Memorial Cup Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4Pts
1Mark Downer16411113
2Jo Downer16624327
3Raymond Simonds16543259
4Caroline Simonds38354310
5Mike Toogood142626513
6Mike Issiais152565616

Related Articles

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
Bembridge Illusion Flying Dutchman Trophy 2022
Two more days of sailing in a packed Easter schedule for the class Four days of Illusion racing over Easter is unusual but with favourable tides and trophies to be won, that's how the programme panned out. Posted on 19 Apr
Bembridge Illusion Vernon's Easter Egg Cup
A much better breeze than expected in the harbour Mid-morning on Friday, Chimet was showing saying no wind at all! However, in the harbour there were encouraging signs that it was going to be possible to get some racing in after all. Posted on 17 Apr
Bembridge Illusion Spring Plate 2022
Fickle winds after a bitterly cold week After a cold week with biting easterly breezes, the weekend forecast looked far more promising with a 9 knot NNEasterly predicted for Saturday and a bit less on Sunday. Posted on 3 Apr
Bembridge Illusion Stratton Memorial Trophy 2022
A cloudless sky and brisk but gusty wind for the 21 sailors A cloudless sky and brisk but gusty E/ENE F4 breeze greeted eighteen Illusionist early on Saturday morning as they rigged their boats up ready to do battle for this season's Stratton Memorial Trophy. Posted on 21 Mar
Illusion 2022 Nationals at Bembridge
Some excellent racing in the harbour for the 30 boat fleet Mid-week the forecast was looking very promising for the weekend's 2022 Nationals, and although it was certainly not champagne conditions, the cold NNE F4-5 breeze on Saturday and ENE F4-5 breeze on Sunday actually provided some excellent racing. Posted on 7 Mar
Bembridge Illusions Match Racing 2022 cancelled
Amazing video of the conditions inside Bembridge Harbour Storm Eunice and its aftermath sadly put paid to this winter season's Illusion Match Racing. Posted on 21 Feb
Bembridge Illusion Bill's Barrel 2022
Post racing quiz decides any tied placings The Notice of Race for the annual Bill's Barrell sponsored by Bill Daniels with support from Goddards Brewery with its tongue in cheek mischievousness is always awaited with baited breath and this year's version was no exception! Posted on 24 Jan