Bembridge Sailing Club hosted four events last weekend; two nautical, one superbly social and the fourth with a nautically social conscience. The Illusion Woodford Long Distance Race (Saturday):
A strong, bitter wind; a cold choppy sea and a concrete grey sky. Sixteen sailors are acutely aware that they are not in the West Indies.
The calamity at the windward mark quickly raises temperatures as collisions with each other (and numerous moored boats) are deftly avoided.
Fierce mid-fleet battles keep the Race Officers entertained as the leaders jostle through shifty winds and strong tidal currents. The fleet finish within seven minutes of each other after an exciting fifty-minute race. Final positions
1st Mark Downer
2nd Bruce Huber
3rd Rudy Jurg
4th Jo Downer
5th Sue Farquhar
6th Philip Bown Illusion St. George's Day Trophy (Sunday):
Sunday felt far more Caribbean. Twenty tourists donned their shades and let the three-to-nine knot breezes pull them round a long square course. Seriously easy-going.
Rupert Holmes bounced from the bottom to the top of the fleet with erratic flair. Bruce Huber and Mark Downer both made use of their fourth race discard after sharing the podium professionally with Justin Biddle.
Nick Foden Pattinson displayed some consistent new-found form with all finishes in the top five of twenty boats. Philip Bown podiumed in a well-sailed third race. Final positions
1st Bruce Huber
2nd Mark Downer
3rd Justin Biddle
4th Rupert Holmes
5th Piers Thomas
6th Nick Foden Pattinson