Bembridge Illusions – Guy Fawkes Trophy 2019  – 9th & 10th November

With the Downers away for the weekend, the way looked open for Bruce Huber to add another trophy to his cabinet. However despite two first and a second on Saturday there is a new name on the Trophy as he had family commitments on Sunday so didn’t race.

The forecast for Saturday morning was for a Southerly F4-5, so it was a bit of a surprise when the fifteen illusionists started rigging and the harbour was a flat calm! With a 09:30 high tide and a 10:00 first race, the Race Officers urged that boats were launched as quickly as possible and the usual nattering in the Illusion Park was minimised! In the event, the first race got away only a few minutes late, mind you not helped by the Committee Boat’s anchor not wanting to work properly so it was a matter of finding a useable mooring roughly in the right place. It was also decided to stay in the harbour rather than risk having to struggle back in against the tide.

Start of Race 1 –

Out for the first time this season, it was good to see Julia Bailey win the first race, albeit it was not too surprising that Bruce was never far behind her. David Peerless, Hugh Doherty and Andy Christie were always close and although in the running for a place in the first two rounds, Serena Gosling had to make do with coming sixth.

The first start of the second race saw the 1st sub displayed and the fleet come back to start again under the U Flag. With seconds to go to the re-start, the breeze increased to around 20 knots which caught out Julia and David Russell-Jones who were OCS and therefore both disqualified.

Start of Race 2 (under Flag U) –

With Julia out of the running (and retiring back to the Club with rigging issues), the way was open for Bruce to establish a big lead ahead of Andy and David P. Slightly lower down the order, 5th to 8th places all finished with seconds of each other after three rounds.

The third and final race of the day (it was quite cold and the tide was dropping quickly) again saw the U Flag in play, but unlike the previous race, no one was caught out and everyone started cleanly.

Start of Race 3 (under Flag U) –

Bruce’s green spinnaker was again the first to appear with Andy, Robin and David P in close order behind. However as the race progressed and the breeze dropped down to 14 knots, David R-J moved up into third and Robin (who had decided to stick with his genoa on the downwind legs) dropped to sixth.

It was a much reduced fleet on Sunday morning, but those who were able to make it were treated to an excellent morning’s racing in the bright sunshine and NE’erly F3-4 breeze. The first race got away rather later than originally planned, but as it turned out it was no bad thing as it meant there was not too long a gap after it had finished to the minutes silence at 11:00 that had been agreed would be observed.

Start of Race 4 –

David Peerless was the first round the windward mark close to the entrance of the harbour with Serena Gosling, Mike Toogood and Hugh Doherty close behind. As the three round race unfolded, David increased his lead, Mike and Hugh moved into second & third places and Serena dropped back to do battle with Owen Pay and Mike Issiais after she had a problem recovering her spinnaker.

After a minutes ‘silence’ and with the breeze dropping to 14 knots the second race of the day got away to another clean start.

Start of Race 5 –

After the first round it looked as though Mike T was going to win relatively easily, however Owen was having nothing of it and took the lead in the second round. They were neck and neck as they went through the leeward gate for the last time and it looked as if Owen was going to win, however he tacked with a boat length to go to the line which let Mike in to win by inches. David was third and Hugh was fourth.

Not the best of starts (hence no video!) and there was a bit of bumping around the stern of the Committee Boat in the final race which saw Mike T and David as the early leaders with Owen and Hugh hot on their heels. However as it progressed, Owen moved up into second for what then became a bit of a procession for the remainder of the three and a half round race which finished at the windward mark. 

With a first, four thirds and a fourth over the two days many congratulations to David who won his first Regatta since he started racing Illusions a few years ago. Mike Toogood was second and Hugh Doherty was third.

Additional photos:

Photos by Mike Samuelson


It’s the annual Team racing next weekend; fingers crossed for some nice team racing weather!

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