Please select your home edition
Henri-Lloyd 2022 December - YY LEADERBOARD

Bembridge Illusion Stratton Memorial Trophy 2023

by Mike Samuelson 27 Feb 06:31 GMT 25-26 February 2023

Another weekend of challenging racing for the Bembridge Illusion Class, this time for the magnificent Stratton Memorial Trophy.

The forecast of cold NE'erly F3-F5 breezes was pretty accurate, so it was certainly not for the faint hearted! Seventeen hardy Illusion sailors gathered in the Illusion Park over lunchtime on Saturday and eventually (too much nattering!) made it down to the start area close to the Houseboats for the first race of the day that started about 10 minutes later than scheduled, but at least the sun was shining!

Start of Race 1

Lots of bumping mid-line (and not many penalties taken!) but at least everyone made it across the line safely. David Peerless, all in one piece after his fortnight's skiing, was first round the windward and spreader marks well ahead of Mark Downer, Mike Toogood, Colin Simonds and Jo Downer. However, he could not get his spinnaker to fill properly and Mark moved into the lead by the time they reached the leeward gate. Although the course was as long as it could be in the harbour, three rounds only took just under 20 minutes, so a fourth round was signalled. In the event it did not change the order at the front, but it certainly kept them working hard to keep warm.

The start of the second race saw a clean start albeit the hooter was somewhat delayed; Roy who was ARO'ing the Illusions for the first time got carried away with all the excitement and had to be reminded that he was in charge of the flag and the sound signal!

Start of Race 2

Mark was first to the windward mark with Mike T, David, Colin and Jo trailing in his wake. On the second round the breeze increased to over 20 knots and although this resulted in a number of broaches, no one filled up and everyone made it safely round the leeward gate. Meanwhile Mark extended his lead and Jo moved up into second ahead of Mike T, David and Colin. Oliver Morgan picked up his second sixth.

Run during Race 2

The start of the third and final race of the day started in about 14 knots but with a host of boats over cooking it at the pin end of the line and none looking as if they were going to come back, a General Recall was signaled. After a prolonged delay while the fleet are gathered back to re-start, the second start, under Flag U in 17 knots was spot on.

Start of Race 3

Re-Start of Race 3

With most people, including the Race Officers beginning to feel cold, it was decided to stick with three rounds. In the event it turned out to be a bit of a family race. Despite her best efforts Jo was unable to stop her husband Mark making it three wins, however she finished well ahead of Colin who just managed to come in ahead of his wife Caroline. Although not yet on the podium, well done to relative newcomer Guy Lawrence who was a very creditable sixth.

Sunday afternoon was another chilly one with the forecast suggesting a slightly stronger breeze from the ENE; certainly not enough to put off sixteen enthusiastic Illusionists! The first race of the day got away smoothly albeit not without a bit of bumping and 'raised voices' prior to the start. Unusually Mark found himself in the mix and had to work hard to extract himself, mind you not without some interesting tactics that you can spot in the video!!

Start of Race 4

The leading group of Colin, Jo, David, Mike T and Jonathan were well placed until the second run when David and Jonathan had an altercation which put them both well back in the fleet. This left Colin and Jo to battle it out for first with the latter just ahead when they finished after 3 rounds. Oliver was third.

Run during Race 4

The start of the second race of the day was not a great success and similar to the previous day, was signaled as a General Recall. Fortunately most heard the hooter so getting back for the re-start did not take too long. Prior to the first start Colin and Owen Pay had an unfortunate incident which put a hole in Colin's boat (well he was actually borrowing Raymond's Illusion) so he headed back to the Quay.

Start of Race 5

Annoyingly the camera failed to record the re-start, however both Mike T and Jonathan were spotted the wrong side of the line so under Flag U rules were disqualified. There were a couple of other white boats who should have joined them, however they could not be identified so got away with it! David was again first round the windward mark with Mike T (who was unaware his race would not count) and Mark close behind. By the second round, Mark had moved into a substantial lead and with both Mike and Jonathan out of it, Jo took second and David was third.

Flag U worked better for the start of the third and final race and no one was caught out. Mind you, quite how Mark was able to manage it without a watch (he had lent it to Jo for the day) is anybodies guess!!

Start of Race 6

The end result though was very similar to the previous race with Mark ahead of Jo and David third by inches ahead of Oliver.

Run during Race 6

Another excellent afternoon of racing; indeed Oliver reckoned it was the best of the season. So after the six races and allowing for a discard, it was another husband & wife triumph for Mark and Jo. After being awarded average points for the last two races, Colin was third.

Next weekend, racing is for the Prince Philip Cup; the weekend after is the 2023 National Championships.

Additional photos:

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1Mark Downer1641118115
2Jo Downer1665221229
3Colin Simonds13845324417
4David Peerless140248103320
5Mike Toogood1423394D524
6Oliver Morgan16966735424
7Caroline Simonds677R454727
8Mike Issaias1528105761136
9Olly Laughton‑Scott8010710812S47
10John Birchenough37131312127751
11Andy Christie1491211151191356
12Guy Lawrence86996SSS66
13Will Lowe150171616R101069
14Owen Pay105SSS981271
15James Row221613141513S71
16Robin Ebsworth1211811SSS72
17Tim Lyle163SSS1511876
18Jonathan N‑L158SSS14D683
19Matt Solan106141513SSS84
20Sam ChristieR1512SSSS90

Related Articles

Final weekend of the Bembridge Illusion season
St George's Day Trophy & Woodford Long Distance Race Inevitably, being the last weekend of a very busy winter season, the numbers of boats racing for the St George's Day Trophy on Saturday afternoon and the Woodford Long Distance race on Sunday afternoon were slightly down on earlier Regattas. Posted on 24 Apr
Illusion fleet race for Vernon's Easter Egg Cup
Despite light forecast 24 helms decide it might still be worth turning up Despite the forecast of very light airs on Good Friday, 24 Illusionists decided that it might still be worth launching and heading out just beyond the Harbour entrance to where the ROs (Mike and Rob) had set up a course. Posted on 9 Apr
Bembridge Illusion Spring Plate 2023
Not the kindest of forecasts for the fleet Not the kindest of forecasts, certainly for Saturday with a Force 6 gusting 7 WSW'erly, so it was no great surprise to only see a smattering of Illusionists in the Illusion Park. Posted on 27 Mar
Illusion 2023 Nationals at Bembridge
A great fleet of 28 take part in the event Although the rugby, holidays, birthday lunches, illness and injury reduced the numbers sailing over last weekend's National Championship, to have twenty-six boats out each day was testament to the resilience of the Bembridge Illusion fleet. Posted on 13 Mar
Bembridge Illusion Prince Philip Cup 2023
No lie in for the sixteen hardy Illusionists (and the Race Officers!) No lie in for the sixteen hardy Illusionists (and the Race Officers!) who turned up to race on Saturday morning! Posted on 6 Mar
Bembridge Illusion Bill's Barrel 2023
Tongue in cheek mischievousness makes this a popular event! 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 20 Feb
Bembridge Illusion Valentine Trophy 2023
A total of 21 entries despite the very light winds Nice sailing breezes during the week, but then for the second week running they dropped off for the weekend! However, despite the forecast projecting very light airs on Saturday early afternoon, seventeen enthusiastic sailors rigged up and launched. Posted on 13 Feb
Bembridge Illusion Team and Match Racing
A tall order to compress four days racing into two When the annual team racing weekend was cancelled in early January, the decision was made to try to organise a combined team and match racing weekend in early February when the normal two day match racing was programmed. Posted on 6 Feb
Bembridge Illusion Bailey Bowl
23 boats arrived at the start for the first race in glorious sun 23 boats finally arrived at the start for the first race, with 7-9knts from the NE and gloriously sunny. The weather stayed the same for the 3 races completed on the Saturday. Posted on 23 Jan
Bembridge Illusion Fleet Racing
Held in lieu of Team Racing due to the high winds Firstly of course, a very happy New Year! Disappointingly the weather put paid to this year's Team Racing weekend that was programmed to start off 2023 with a flurry of activity. Posted on 8 Jan