Weekend Race Report 15-16 October 2016
Fifteen Illusions headed out of the harbour to just off Silver Beach on a sunny Saturday morning for the first of this winter’s Regattas. After a ten minute postponement to allow everyone to get afloat and in the hopes that the gentle SW’erly breeze would stop flicking through 25 degrees. Aside from Ed Eddy who was OCS but came back, the first race got off well and the fleet quickly split tacks as they headed to the first windward mark. Bruce Huber was first round, followed closely by Raymond Simonds and James Meaning, however Raymond managed to find better boat speed on the run to the leeward gate and built up a substantial lead by the end of the third round. Despite pressure from Mark Downer, Bruce was held onto second and James had to make do with fourth. Racing was tight and Robin Ebsworth, Alastair Speare-Cole & John Raymond were within seconds of each other, as were Jo Downer & Xander Shaw.
The second race got off to an excellent start with the majority within feet of the line when the hooter sounded. The fleet again split on the first beat to the windward mark with Raymond, Bruce, James & Julia Bailey the first to round. As in the previous race Mark began the reel the leaders in and by the end of the second round had taken the lead from Raymond with Bruce in third & Julia in fourth.
The third and final race of the day saw another excellent start and split tacks to the windward mark. On the first run to the leeward gate, Julia got away from the rest of the fleet and although there were a few occasions when it looked as if Mark & Bruce might have found a better breeze, she hung on to finish well ahead; Raymond was fourth. Although not far off the pace, James retired and headed in after two rounds. Again some very close racing mid-fleet with four boats finishing within seconds of each other after three and a half rounds.
An excellent morning of racing and everyone was back well before the rain set in!
After some strong overnight winds, there was a considerable swell outside the harbour so Sunday’s racing was kept in the harbour. Although quite a few moorings are still occupied, fortunately there was just enough space for some excellent racing in the SSW’erly F3-4 breeze. The first race got away to a clean start and the thirteen Illusions quickly split tacks on their way to the windward mark just off Bembridge Outboards. Despite lots of calls for water as they converged on the buoy, the first three round were again Bruce, Mark & Raymond. Spinnaker handling was tested on the run to the leeward gate with gusts of 18-19 knots, so well done to relative newcomer David Peerless who was not far behind the leaders until it all went wrong as he negotiated the gate! Mike Toogood had some bad luck when he had to retire with steering problems after also being in the top half of the fleet. On the second beat Mark overhauled Bruce and was a safe first at the finish of the three round race. Julia managed to overtake Raymond to take third place.
Another clean start for the second race of the day, despite gusts of nearly 20 knots just before the hooter sounded. Mark was first round the windward mark with Mike snapping at his heels until his steering went again forcing him to retire for a second time whilst doing so well. Despite best efforts by Raymond, Bruce & Julia, Mark’s lead increased on each round and although it looked at one time as if Julia was going to come in ahead of Bruce, it was not to be.
Another excellent start to the final race of the day with the majority at the pin end of the line. No changes to the top group with Bruce out in front at the windward mark, with Mark, Julia, Raymond following in his wake. Good to also see David Peerless initially up with the leaders for most of the first round. As the race progressed, Bruce, Mark & Julia established a commanding lead, Raymond was fourth and Xander Shaw picked up his third fifth place of the day.
Congratulations to Mark Downer who won the Trafalgar Trophy with 7 points; Bruce Huber was second with eleven points and Raymond Simonds was third with thirteen points.
The next Regatta (Picnic Hamper) is in a fortnight’s time (29th & 30th October)
Start of Race 2 (Saturday)
Start of Race 3 (Saturday)
Start of Race 4 (Sunday)
Start of Race 6 (Sunday)