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Ovington 2021 - ILCA 2 - LEADERBOARD

Bembridge Illusion 2023-24 Season opening weekend

by Mike Samuelson 16 Oct 2023 08:10 BST 14-15 October 2023

What a great way to start the new Illusion winter season. Lots of sunshine, a reasonably steady NW'erly breeze and twenty boats on Saturday; not so many on Sunday (eleven) but as planned as it was the annual 'Invitation Day' that is aimed at encouraging beginners to have a 'go'! We could not have asked for more.

With quite a few boats still moored in the harbour and the forecast looking good, it was decided to head outside for Saturday's racing based on a course to the north of Silver Beach. BHYC were also racing and although there was potential for a clash when they were on the leg to Spence Willard, it was decided to leave things as set as it was only likely to occur once.

After a half hour postponement (obviously too much chatting in the Illusion Park!) the start of the first of four planned races was pretty tight.

Start of Race 1 Saturday

Ed Peel, Bruce Huber and Mike Issaias emerged ahead of the rest of the fleet after rounding the windward marks. The second round did not change the order at the top, so first scalp went to Ed. David Peerless was fourth and John Raymond was fifth. At the bottom end, Andrew Eddy and Anna Row tied.

The second race saw Bruce leading from the start and finishing well ahead of Ed, Mike & David with Oliver Morgan in fifth. Having been up in second place nearing the leeward gate on the first round, Caroline Simonds retired after her steering failed. Fortunately she was able to get it working again in time for the third race.

With five seconds to the start it was obvious that most had overcooked it and that there would have to be a General Recall.

Start of Race 3 Saturday

In the absence of Flag U onboard the Committee boat, it was a Black flag re-start!

Re-Start of Race 3 Saturday

Andy Christie and Will Lowe crossed the line early so were disqualified. Although not as far ahead as the previous race, it was Bruce in his recently re-painted 101 who lead the way. However Ed was never far away and in fact took the lead only to loose out as they rounded the leeward gate for the final time. It was good to see Hugh Doherty initially in third, but obviously disappointing that he dropped back after taking a penalty for a port and starboard incident. David was third and Monty Irwin was fourth.

With Hugh having to return back into the harbour with a hole in his stern, the other nineteen boats set off on the fourth and final race of the morning. Although fortunately there were no collisions, sods law saw the start of the race coinciding with the lead boats of BHYC's fast handicap sailing downwind through the line!

Start of Race 4 on Saturday

No change at the front with Bruce and Ed leading the way but it was good to see John Raymond and Matt Solan not far behind. Indeed on the second round Matt moved up into second place, however on the third round he was overtaken by Ed, David, Monty and John.

An excellent morning's racing and everyone was back in time for a number of them completing their annual buoyancy test.

Sunday morning was sunny and warm and by remaining in the harbour as the breeze was more northerly than the day before, conditions were perfect for the eleven 'newbies' to see what fun sailing an Illusion can be. After a short briefing and half an hour of 'practice', the start of the first race of the day was actually pretty impressive.

Start of Race 1 on Sunday

Malcolm Lofts was first to round the windward mark with Ian Prideaux initially reasonably close behind. Although it had been agreed that spinnakers would not be used, these two powered away from the rest of the fleet. By the end of the second round, Malcolm had extended his lead; Simon Adler was third. The start of the second race was even closer and although Ian and Simon were again at the front end, the winner was Pete Hunt.

Start of Race 2 on Sunday

With the breeze flicking 20 plus degrees on a regular basis, the start of the third race proved to be quite testing with at least two boats (including race winner Ian) pulling off port tack flyers at the pin end of the line.

Start of Race 3 on Sunday

Ian held his lead and finished safely ahead of Malcolm with Simon picking up his third third of the day.

Although the original plan had been for three races, conditions were so perfect everyone signed up for a fourth race. Ian and Malcolm pulled off another port tack flyer at the pin end which put them into an unassailable lead ahead of Simon. Initially in third, John Claxon had to be content with fourth.

Start of Race 4 on Sunday

An excellent morning and well done to all those who 'had a go'; we certainly hope that we will see some of you back joining-in future Illusion events. Well done to the overall winner Ian Prideaux, second was Malcolm Lofts and third was Simon Adler. A big thank you to the organiser, Olly Laughton-Scott.

No racing next weekend as the tides are early/late and the one after (the 28th & 29th October) is for the Trafalgar Trophy.

Additional photos at

Saturday Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4Pts
1Bruce Huber10121113
2Ed Peel16112225
3David Peerless140443310
4Mike Issaias15233101616
5Monty Irwin1478104416
6John Raymond1515147517
7Oliver Morgan1691055818
8Mike Toogood142688721
9Caroline Simonds679R6924
10Matt Solan10612912627
11Simon Birchenough136116141229
12Hugh Doherty12471211S30
13Andy Christie149137D1535
14Robin Ebsworth12141313935
15Anna Row911811151137
16Olly Laughton‑Scott80151591839
17Andrew Eddy271816171346
18Sam ChristieRed1717181448
19Ian Prideaux1651618161749
20William Lowe1502019D1958


PosnHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4Pts
1Ian Prideaux16522114
2Malcolm Lofts8016225
3Simon Adler16933339
4Paul Gould161446614
5Mike Neill136654514
6John Glaxon106775416
7Pete Hunt679110717
8Myles Uren1505871020
9Jonathan Spencer15810108826
10Jonny KingRed899926
11Graham Pountney1211RSS35

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