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RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show 2023 - LEADERBOARD

Bembridge Illusion fleet sail the January Jacket early

by Mike Samuelson 14 Nov 2022 09:25 GMT 12-13 November 2022

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. Early afternoon tides, light breezes and sunshine provided almost champagne conditions for the twenty four helms racing on Saturday and the twenty two on Sunday.

With BHYC hosting the Bembridge leg of the Isle of Wight Youth and Junior Championships on Saturday, it was certainly busy out on the water. Fortunately the weather Gods were kind and with the Illusions happy to race off Silver Beach everyone managed to find enough water space to allow good courses.

After a clean start to the first race, the leading three to reach the windward mark were, Mark Downer, David-Russell-Jones and Bruce Huber; mind you with Graham Sunderland snapping at their heels. The second and third rounds saw Mark extend his lead and Bruce drop back a few places. Good to see Andy Christie fourth.

Prior to the start of the second race, Mark tacked onto port having not seen Alastair Speare-Cole and ended up with rather a large hole so retired and headed back into the harbour to see if he could do some temporary repairs. This left the way open for Owen Pay, Graham, Mike Toogood, David Peerless and Bruce to fight out the top placings.

After three rounds, Graham crossed the line half a minute ahead of Owen with Bruce third and Monty Irwin fourth.

With the breeze backing more easterly, the swell began to increase so having re-set the course it was decided to have two, rather than three rounds for the final race. Back out sporting a large grey 'gaffer' tape temporary repair, Mark made it clear that it was not going to slow him down so it was not a great surprise to see his grey spinnaker flying first on both of the long runs.

David Russell-Jones had another good race and picked up another second. Bruce was third and Graham was fourth. As always, some very close racing lower down the fleet with six boats finishing within seconds of each other.

Sunday afternoon began a bit overcast with a Force 2 to 3 Easterly, and although it was tempting to race outside the harbour again, it was decided to stay inside in the nice calm water. A good decision particularly as the sun then came out.

After a short postponement, the first race saw four boats over cooking it and having to return. Three pretty quickly but the fourth Andy took rather longer and did well to eventually finish in eight.

Mark lead initially but Graham established an unbeatable lead over the next two rounds. Mid-fleet places changed on a regular basis as the breeze varied between 5 and 10 knots with regular 20 degree shifts. Julia Bailey worked very hard to secure third with Alastair Speare-Cole coming through strongly on the final round. On crossing the line, Mark advised the Race Officers that he was protesting Graham.

Extending the line slightly for the start of the second race proved popular with only Matt Solan possibly OCS but given the benefit of doubt.

VIDEO: Start of Race 2 on Sunday

The first round saw Graham and Mark fighting it out in front, but as the second round developed, Owen got the break he was after and even though he had moved into a substantial lead, he was greatly relieved when the race finished at the end of the second round. And in third, against all the odds it was relative 'newbee' Tim Lyle from Seaview in Illustration; brilliant!

The third and final race was announced as a two and a half rounder with the finish at the windward mark. The start was made more interesting for the Race Officers when the digital clock went blank with thirty seconds to go. Fortunately they were able to do a regain and get the start off on time.

VIDEO: Start of Race 3 on Sunday

Alastair's dark blue spinnaker was the first to show on the run just ahead of Graham and Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore. By the time they got to the second round Graham had taken over in front and was playing cat and mouse with Mark. And that was the order at the finish, with Jonathan third and Alastair fourth.

Back in the bar, David P kindly chaired an Advisory Hearing between Mark and Graham relating to an incident during the first race of the day. After considerable deliberation it was concluded that Mark had failed to make the correct call at a continuing obstruction and therefore was in the wrong when the two boats subsequently collided. Mark therefore retired.

This meant that Graham took home the January Jacket picture, Owen was second and Alastair was third.

There is no racing next weekend as the tides are too early; its then the Picnic Hamper the following one (26th & 27th November).

Overall Results:

PosnSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
121Graham Sunderland3141218
2160Owen Pay122851723
3135Alastair Speare‑Cole566319424
4166Jo Downer911749635
5157Julia Bailey1199213536
6164Mark Downer1RTD1RTD6237
7140David Peerless13511841341
8142Mike Toogood1675157842
9149Andy Christie4816781943
10169Oliver Morgan71818951150
11158Jonathan Nainby‑Luxmoore2014151011353
1280Olly Laughton‑Scott1012136121453
13106Matt Solan1713171110960
14144Tim Lyle2320201231065
15155David Russell‑Jones2102DNSDNSDNS68
16101Bruce Huber833DNSDNSDNS68
17152Mike Issaias61719RTD211275
1812Robin Ebsworth18151414142075
19147Monty Irwin14412DNSDNSDNS84
2091Anna Row21RTD2116151588
2180jJames Row22192317171691
22151John Raymond151610DNSDNSDNS95
2337John Birchenough19212218201896
2427Andrew EddyDNSDNSDNS131821106
25125Crispin Kenyon242224192222109
26172Jamie ScrimgourDNSDNSDNSDNS1617114

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