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Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Illusion fleet race for Vernon's Easter Egg Cup at Bembridge Sailing Club

by Mike Samuelson 9 Apr 2023 12:37 BST 7-8 April 2023

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.

Although the light northerly breeze meant that it took quite a long time for the fleet to assemble, the delay was fairly academic as there was not really enough of a breeze for a meaningful race. However after a prolonged postponement it was decided to give it a go. The first start (under the P Flag) did not go well and so everyone was called back to start again but this time under Flag U rules. It worked and everyone took a punt as to where the zephyrs were going to help them most.

Start of Race 1:

Colin Simonds read them best and as it turned out only had to tack a couple of times as what little breeze there was veered to the east. Close behind was Ian Southworth, making his first guest appearance for a number of years. Ian moved into the lead on the run but Colin was back in front as the two round race moved slowly towards the finish. It was good to see Matt Solan come in third, with Nigel Grogan fourth.

One had to feel sorry for poor Julia Bailey who was second round the windward mark on the first road and stopped dead in a hole, never to see the front end of the fleet again!

By the time everyone had finished the first race, the light breeze that had started to develop, veered to the South East so required the re-jig of the course mid way through the second race. Mark Downer dominated throughout and was a country mile ahead of the rest of the fleet. David Peerless had a good race with Owen Pay and Nigel to keep him company. Robin Ebsworth and Andy Christie proved that you just need a bit of luck and before you know it you are in the top half of the fleet!

Start of Race 2:

With the Southerly breeze at last kicking in and after the course was again re-set, conditions in the hot sunshine were almost perfect. Started under Flag U again, Tim Lyle over cooked it and so his race did not score.

Start of Race 3:

Mark carried on his dominance albeit Colin gave him a good run for his money during the three and a half round race that finished at the windward mark. David Russell-Jones, Richard Ambler and Mike Issaias finished close behind. As always some very close finishes throughout the fleet.

Day 2 (Easter Saturday) was another lovely day and so although a F2-3 Easterly that veered to the SSEast as racing progressed, and varied in strength, overall the 20 Illusionists out racing off Silver Beach certainly enjoyed themselves. With Mark Downer handing his boat over to his son Alex, he obviously ruled himself out of the prizes so the field was wide open. The first race of the day saw a General Recall and then the closest of close starts under Flag U.

Start (1) of Race 4:

Start (2) of Race 4:

Ian was soon ahead but with Alex and Nigel Grogan hot on his heels, it was by no means a one horse race. After a re-set of the course, the start of the second race of the day did not go quite as planned and after a Flag U General Recall, it was time for the Black Flag to be aired. Fortunately it had the desired affect and the race got away without any disqualifications.

Start (1) of Race 5:

After the first round Ian and David Russell-Jones were well ahead of the rest of the fleet, but over the next two rounds, David dropped back into third as Tim Lyle caught and overtook him. Nigel was fourth.

After yet another re-jig of the course, the final race, again starting under Flag U saw Rolly Wilson, unable to slow down enough next to the Committee Boat fall foul of the penalty rules and being disqualified. As can be seen in the video, if anyone else crossed early they got away with it!

Start of Race 6:

Ian was first to round the windward marks with Alex and David R-J not far behind. Rounding different leeward gate marks it was nip and tuck throughout the remainder of the two and a half round race with Alex moving ahead about half way up the final leg to the finish line at the windward mark. Nigel was again fourth.

Two satisfying (particularly for the winners!) days racing. And a joy to see so much sun. Good to see the two ‘Hyde’ boats in the top two with Ian taking first with 16 points and Nigel second on 19 points. David R-J was third with 22 points.

No racing next weekend and then the one after that (22nd & 23rd April) is the final weekend of Illusion racing. St Georges Day (4 races all to count) on the Saturday and the Woodford Long Distance on the Sunday.

Additional Photos: flic.kr/s/aHBqjAyVoj

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
197Ian Southworth210RET11216
2168Nigel Grogan441334419
3155David Russell‑Jones522383322
4140David Peerless7210105630
5138Colin Simonds1192912731
6160Owen Pay6794131238
7152Mike Issaias82351261041
8142Mike Toogood1181759841
9130Rosie Gosling101276161751
10163Tim Lyle1521OCS112554
1112Robin Ebsworth185161410954
12156Richard Ambler1417416111156
13149Andy Christie216181571561
14164Alex DownerDNSDNSDNS28163
15166Jo Downer191587171663
16164Mark Downer1211DNSDNSDNS66
1780Olly Laughton‑Scott9201913141368
18106Matt Solan379DNSDNSDNS71
1938Caroline Simonds16141117181472
20RedRolly Wilson2316151815OCS87
2191Anna Row20202020191897
22157Julia Bailey221114DNSDNSDNS99
23147Monty Irwin171812DNSDNSDNS99
24150Will Lowe242421192019103
25151John Raymond1313RETDNSDNSDNS104

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