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. Having had twenty four boats out for the first two day’s racing for Vernon’s Easter Egg Cup on Friday and Saturday, a reduction on Easter Sunday down to thirteen boats was probably inevitable – mind you with the F2 – F3 breeze being more SE than the previous two days, space in the harbour was more limited and fitting in as long a course as possible without racing in the channel was certainly a challenge for the ROs! It was obviously a pity that the ‘Flying Dutchman’ Rudy Jurg was unable to join us, but next year perhaps!



The first race went to three starts; one under ‘P’, one under ‘U’ and one under the Black Flag!

First start of Race 1 (Sunday) –

Second start of Race 2 (Sunday) –

Third start of Race 1 (Sunday) –




Having eventually got away with only Mike Toogood caught out and dsq’d after crossing the line too soon, the race settled down with Colin Simonds leading the way chased by Mike Issaias, Richard Ambler and Julia Bailey. On the second round Julia moved up into second and Owen Pay into third.

Starting under Flag U, the second race got away cleanly with newby Archie Hinde risking a port tack approach that somehow he got away with it!

Start of Race 2 (Sunday) –


Julia’s blue spinnaker lead the way down the first run ahead of Richard Ambler, Oliver Morgan and Owen but as the race settled down, Colin moved up into second and although he was unable to make much of a dent in Julia’s significant lead. Oliver moved into third place with Owen in fourth.

The final race of the day was spoilt for Richard and Mike T who were both caught out by the Flag U penalty of dsq for crossing the start line prematurely.

Start of Race 3 (Sunday) –


Colin’s consistency meanwhile put him at the front of the fleet with Owen, Mike I, and Oliver facing an uphill struggle to close the gap and Julia a bit off the pace. Finishing ahead at the windward mark after three and a half rounds gave Colin his second win of the day; Owen was second and Mike I was third.

Monday’s forecast was for much the same as Sunday albeit probably less sunshine and the wind getting up later in the day. In the event it was still nice and sunny and the increase in the breeze was indeed not until late afternoon. However, there was enough of a breeze in the harbour at mid-day to certainly persuade twenty keen Illusionists to launch and make their way down towards the houseboats where the Committee launch had set up. As if on cue, no sooner had the fleet assembled then the breeze veered over 100 degrees and meant a complete re-shuffle of the marks and of course the start line. Notwithstanding that the line was less than perfect, and Flag P was used as the preparatory signal, the first race of the day eventually got away to a clean start.

Start of Race 4 (Monday) –

Colin Simonds lead the way round the windward marks closely followed by Justin Biddle, Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore and Mike Toogood. However as the front two got closer to the leeward gate, cries of ‘proper course’ could be heard followed by ‘protest’! Having rounded the leeward gate, Colin decided to play safe and did his turns. In the meantime Jonathan moved into the lead and Rosie Gosling found an amazing lift having rounded the left hand leeward gate mark and moved into up into third. As always some close finishes throughout the fleet includes those at the back.


Start of Race 5 (Monday) –

Having re-set the line it was encouraging that it was another clean start. It was not long before Rosie powered into the lead and proceed to extend it ahead of Colin on each round. Indeed there was such a large gap between the front two and Justin in third that one almost felt that there were two separate races going on! Alastair Speare-Cole had a close race for fourth ahead of Rory Morrison and Oliver Morgan.

Frustratingly the breeze became even more fickle and the course had to be tweaked quite considerably before the start of the third and final race of the day.


Start of Race 6 (Monday) –

Amazingly, it was another clean start and then sight of half the fleet on starboard and half on port suggested that the course was as right as it could be. That said, as the breeze started backing to the South, the ROs decided on a change of course with the spreader being rounded to starboard and the windward mark becoming the spreader and also to be rounded to starboard. Initially it looked as if Rosie was going to notch up a second win, however Justin found the best track to the finish line from the leeward gate and she had to make do with a second ahead of Oliver.


Although eleventh in the fourth race and sixth in the sixth race, Colin’s other results were just too good and so he took home the Flying Dutchman picture to hang on a suitable wall. After her strong results today, Rosie was second and Julia was third.





Another excellent two days with lots of competitive racing. No racing next weekend and then over the early May Bank Holiday it is the final two trophies of the season – on Saturday, its the St George’s Day Trophy and on Sunday the Woodford Long Distance race.






Additional photos:

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