Mid-morning on Friday, Chimet was showing saying no wind at all! However, in the harbour there were encouraging signs that it was going to be possible to get some racing in after all. With the One-Designs due out for their first race of the season, it was back to one of the Club launches Zeta as the Committee Boat for the Illusions – fortunately a cloudless sky made it a pleasure to be out on the water.

Start of Race 1 – Friday – https://youtu.be/9q7LC_tvkQg

After a number of 45 degree windshifts, the first race got away to a slow start, but at least most of the 21 boats racing were at least moving forwards. Initially it looked as if there was more progress to be made at the pin end of the line, but with the incoming tide stronger than at the Committee Boat end, it was the wrong choice! Anna Row found herself on the wrong side of the line and found it no easy task to return, but for Raymond Simonds and Ed Peel another windshift played into their hands and put them a long way out in front. Indeed they completed the first round before the back markers had rounded the windward mark (that needed moving urgently!). Although once moved the beat to the windward mark was better, it was decided to finish the race after two rounds. Mike Toogood was third and Colin Simonds was fourth

Having re-set the course, the second race proved to be closer, certainly at the front with the lead changing a number of times.

Start of Race 2 – Friday – https://youtu.be/qT7B-QQlCzg

Having rounded the windward marks first, Ed Peel lost his lead when his spinnaker halyard came undone and he stopped off at a moored boat to recover it. Meanwhile it was John Raymond who found himself in the lead but having to stave off challenges from Raymond Simonds and Justin Biddle. Somewhat bizarrely at least four boats forgot about having to cross the line at the end of each round so dropped places as they made good their their error. Having moved back into the lead on the third beat, John held his nerve to finish ahead of Raymond, Justin and Colin. Hopefully lower down the fleet the positions are about right as it was impossible to see the sail numbers of those finishing at the pin end of the line (especially the white hulled ones!)

With the light breeze offering some lovely sailing conditions, and an eagerness to find the best position on the start line, it was probably inevitable that it took three starts to get the third race away, The second attempt saw a General Recall under Flag U, but the Black Flag for the third start did the trick and everyone got away successfully.

Second Start (Flag U) to Race 3 – Friday – https://youtu.be/_ZB2ghS-yas

Third Start (Black Flag) to Race 3 – Friday – https://youtu.be/fTcMz0WEnSI



Ed Peel, Colin, Raymond and Justin played cat and mouse at the front and even on the fourth beat to the finish at the windward mark, it could have been anyone of them to cross the line first. In the event, it was Colin inches ahead of Ed with Justin being pushed into third with a gap to fourth place John.

Mid-morning Sunday, Chimet was recording a F3 easterly breeze and so it was great to see even more boats than the day before being rigged. A big welcome to Guy Lawrence who had recently bought Jack Groggan’s championship winning boat (Jack is we understand having a new Illusion built so he can go even faster!); and John Plaxon who was borrowing Matt Solan’s boat. The ESE’erly breeze meant it was possible to set up quite a long course in the harbour over the middle sandbank. After a 30 minute postponement waiting for the last half dozen boats to launch, the first race of the day got off first time (just!). David Russell-Jones’ white spinnaker was the first to show after the windward spreader with Ed Peel, Justin Biddle and Colin Simonds in hot pursuit.

However David held his nerve and finish a safe margin ahead of Ed and Justin. Lower down the fleet there was as always some very close racing and with some boats finishing at the pin end of the line, recording the right order was challenging!

The second race of the day was an interesting one certainly initially! There was a General Recall with Flag U in use for the second start.

Second Start of Race 5 – Saturday – https://youtu.be/H3lGM7FjDHg



Then as the fleet beat up towards the windward marks it became clear that at least half had not spotted that they had been moved quite a long way right after the breeze had veered more SE’erly between races. As this had not been signalled, the ROs decided that the only fair thing to do was to abandon the race. Inevitably not a popular decision by those who had spotted the change, but warmly received by those who hadn’t!

Third Start of Race 5 – Saturday – https://youtu.be/M0ogFdv25Yw



The third start (still under Flag U) got away cleanly, albeit only by a whisker for David R-J! Mike Toogood was first round the windward marks by a long way and remained well ahead of Ed, Mike Issaias, Justin and Colin for the rest of the race.

Not to be out done, Ed established a huge lead in the third and final race of the day. Initially the chasing pack was lead by Mike Toogood with Raymond and Richard Ambler close behind, however as the race progressed Raymond took over second and Alastair Speare-Cole moved up into third.

Start of Race 6 – Saturday – https://youtu.be/56Q5kHKwVJQ


All in all, a great day’s racing and for some an excellent way to finish their Illusion season. Congratulations to Ed Peel who won the Easter Cup with 9 points; second was Raymond with 14, and third was Colin with 16 points.




Four more days of racing left; tomorrow and Monday for the Flying Dutchman Trophy and then at the end of te month we have St George’s Day Trophy on the Saturday and Woodford Long Distance on the Sunday.



















Additional photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjzKVwX

Photos and write up courtesy of Mike Samuelson

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