Start of the 2022-2023 Winter Series

So where an earth did the summer season go?! However its great to see the Illusion’s 2022-2023 winter season starting. As it was the first weekend, there was no trophy to be won and many of top sailors are still involved elsewhere, numbers were on the low side. Nevertheless, those who did venture out had some fun racing.

Sunny with a F4-F5 South Westerly breeze, six helms took to the water on Saturday afternoon; well actually seven did but Jamie Scrimgour sadly had a problem with his boom and had to return back to the Illusion Park, Having agreed that there would be four shortish races to allow plenty of time for buoyancy testing afterwards, the first race got off to a good start in the 16 knot breeze;

Start of Race 1 Saturday –

David Peerless and Mike Issaias were spot on and David had worked up a respectable lead by the time they rounded the windward mark. Mike held in there but had to be content with second. The second race started in 19 knots with Matt Solan well over and Mike missing the pin.

Start of Race 2 Saturday –

Despite also returning, David worked back into the lead ahead of Caroline Simonds and Olly Laughton-Scott. With the breeze continuing to gust around 16 knots, the start of the third race saw David overcooking it and having to return; as did Mike (unnecessarily).

Start of Race 3 Saturday –

It was good to see Oliver Morgan’s black and white spinnaker flying first on both runs to the leeward gate. Matt also did well and finished second ahead of Olly. The final race of the day had a slight twist with the finish on the run back at the Club after two rounds. After some close racing, David and Olly finished within inches of each other with Matt only a boat length ahead of Oliver. Caroline’s spinnaker got snagged so she retired.

The heaven’s opened on Sunday morning, however by early afternoon the sun was drying things out; the only problem was that there were little or no wind! However, with some new faces everyone was very keen to try to get some racing in if at all possible. With the course set so that the leeward marks were quite close to the houseboats, most of the middle of the harbour was open for racing. After a slow start to the first race of the day, Oliver Morgan and David Peerless made best progress to the windward marks and established a good lead over the rest of the fleet. Going into the leeward gate after two rounds barely a boat length apart, Oliver managed to maintain better boat speed and finished at least 30 seconds ahead; Mike Issiais was third.

In the second race of the day, and despite being very stern heavy, Owen Pay, in his recently acquired boat (160) established a considerable lead, however he was caught on the run by Caroline Simonds just before the leeward gate of what turned out to be a one round race. David was third. Although he came last having started long after the rest, it was good to see Justin Biddle joining in the fray.

Between races Owen demonstrated how to re-rig his spinnaker single handed as he swum around the boat!! With the fickle breeze coming and going, there was a large element of luck in the final two races. Caroline and David found the elusive breeze first in the third one round race and finished well ahead. In the final race, Caroline was just too keen at the start and had to return, however despite only being mid-fleet at the windward marks, somehow she managed to pop out in front. Having been well ahead at the start of the run, Oliver was frustrated as the others caught and most overtook him. But well done to Nick in his bright orange boat who managed to pick up a second just pipping Justin as they both made for the pin end of the finish line.

Well done to David whose consistency brought him out on top overall; Caroline was second and Oliver was third.

Another day of ‘normal racing’ next Saturday, and then Invitational Day on Sunday.”

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