Please select your home edition
Rooster GETSEASMART 728x90

Bembridge Illusion Bailey Bowl 2019

by Mike Samuelson 2 Dec 2019 02:51 PST 30 November - 1 December 2019

Twenty three Illusions (20 on Saturday & 16 on Sunday) had some great racing over the weekend for this season's Bailey Bowl. However, despite best efforts, not even his wife Jo could stop Class Captain Mark Downer retaining the Trophy by winning all six races!

The F4-5 Easterly on Saturday afternoon meant that conditions outside Bembridge harbour were unsuitable for Illusions, so as soon as there was enough water, the standard Illusion windward-leeward course was set up inside the harbour. After a rather longer postponement (15 minutes) than normal (too much nattering before launching!) the first race got away to a clean start. The positioning of the line meant that some early decisions had to be made as the fleet negotiated the floating pontoons.

Start of Race 1 Saturday

Mark Downer led through the gap and was well ahead by the windward mark; Mike Toogood was second with Robin Ebsworth and Jo Downer not far behind. Mark extended his lead over the next two rounds leaving the chasing fleet to battle for places. Bill Daniels, out for his first race of the season, found some extra pace and took second, ahead of Jo with Mike fourth & Serena Gosling fifth.

The second race started with two boats very clearly OCS (Olly Laughton-Scott & Robin); both eventually came back, as did a few others, including Bill, who played safe and returned as well.

Start of Race 2 Saturday

Making the most of the 15-20 knot breeze, Mark again powered himself into the lead by the windward mark and never looked under any pressure as he extended his lead over the next two rounds. Mike Toogood was second after the first round and despite pressure from Jo and Colin Simonds (also out for the first time this season), he held his nerve to finish second. Jo was third, Colin was fourth and John Raymond picked up fifth.

It was gusting around 19 knots at the start of the third race so all credit to the fleet; the front runners were on the money and well done to the beginners at the back of the fleet, who all managed to get over the line safely. Mind you there was an interesting incident at the pin end when Serena was 'taken out' by Will Mumby (see pin end start Youtube clip)!

Start of Race 3 Saturday

Pin end Start of Race 3 Saturday

Mark again led the way throughout with Bill closest behind. For the first two rounds Mike and Colin were vying for third and fourth however on the third round Mike broached and after a bit of 'submarining' filled up and with his electric pump out of action he was towed back to the quay. Rosie Gosling had a good race and was fifth. As always, there were some fierce battles for places lower down in the fleet; a good example was John Raymond who just pipped Olly L-S for sixth place.

Sunday afternoon saw mostly clear skies with plenty of sunshine and a brisk NEasterly breeze which again ruled out racing outside the harbour. The start of the first race of the day was delayed after the Committee Boat dragged her anchor twice and ended up rather close to the houseboats! Having eventually found better holding ground, the fleet got away first time; albeit with Olly Laughton-Scott and Mark Downer both initially missing the pin and having to circle back.

Start of Race 4 Sunday

However, this clearly didn't phase Mark who rapidly climbed up to second at the windward mark and began to hunt down his wife Jo who had established a comfortable lead. David Peerless, who had been umpiring elsewhere the previous day was third. Sadly for Owen Pay and before he had even crossed the line, his genoa halyard broke so his mast fell down and he had to be towed back to the quay. Jo was still ahead after two and a half rounds but Mark was just too strong on the final short beat and finished half a boat length ahead. Despite getting his spinnaker halyard wrapped round his rudder, Hugh Doherty was fourth and Serena was fifth.

Even though it was gusting 15 knots, the fifth race got away to a clean start. Perhaps not surprisingly, it was Mark's white spinnaker that was the first to appear on the run down to the leeward gate.

Start of Race 5 Sunday

The chasing fleet led by Bill, with Mike, David and Jo who were all quite close behind thought that they might be in with a chance when it became clear that Mark had a problem with his spinnaker and was going to be limited to his using his genoa for the second and third runs. However, it was not to be and Mark took his fifth win; Bill was second well ahead of Jo and Mike.

After another good start, the sixth and final race of the day followed a similar pattern to the previous races, with Mark rounding the windward mark ahead, and having sorted out his spinnaker between races, he soon established an unbeatable lead.

Start of Race 6 Sunday

This left Jo, David, Mike and Bill to battle it out for the next four places. By the time they reached the windward mark for the fourth time to finish, Jo took second, Bill was third and Mike was fourth.

After two excellent days racing, it was Downer one/two. Bill Daniels was third and Mike Toogood was fourth.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1Mark Downer1641111115
2Jo Downer16633423213
3Bill Daniels68282122317
4Mike Toogood14242R134427
5Hugh Doherty12487946631
6Serena Gosling12256115101237
7Rosie Gosling1301211578738
8Andy Christie1499128107842
9Robin Ebsworth1261310612943
10Monty Irwin147109129111451
11Olly Laughton‑Scott80151471591156
12Mike Issiais15213101311161360
13David Peerless140SSS35561
14Colin Simonds138743SSS62
15John Raymond1511156SSS70
16 Will Mumby122r16151516141575
17Jonathan Nainby‑Luxmoore158SSS8131079
18Tim Haslam167SSS14151693
19Matt Solan131141617SSS95
20John Birchenough130l171716SSS98
21Andrew Neil27191814SSS99
22Sue Hampton15181919SSS104
23Jamie Scrimgeour501RS18SSS114

No racing next weekend; but its the Christmas Cracker the weekend after (14th & 15th December).

Additional photos at

Related Articles

Bembridge Illusion January Jacket 2020
A windy weekend! A windy weekend! Indeed an hour or so before the programmed start times in both Saturday & Sunday it had looked dubious whether racing was going to be possible. Posted on 13 Jan
Bembridge Illusion Icebreaker Trophy
Unusually mild and certainly no sign of any ice It was unusually mild and there was certainly no sign of any ice over the weekend for this year's Icebreaker Trophy; the oldest trophy in the Bembridge Illusion winter programme. Posted on 30 Dec 2019
Bembridge Illusion Christmas Cracker 2019
A fleet of submarines in the harbour Sadly not as many entries this year for the Christmas Cracker - mind you with it forecasting a severe gale for Saturday, it was perhaps understandable! In the event, the decision on whether to go ahead with Saturday's racing was pretty touch and go. Posted on 16 Dec 2019
Illusion Team Racing Championships at Bembridge
Locals Jo and Mark Downer only just hold off the visiting competition Sunday afternoon saw the closest team racing final for many years with Jo & Mark Downer beating Julia & Graham Bailey by inches in the fifth and final race. Posted on 18 Nov 2019
Bembridge Illusion Guy Fawkes Trophy 2019
A new name on the trophy 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. Posted on 10 Nov 2019
Bembridge Illusion Picnic Hamper 2019
What a difference 24 hours makes! What a difference 24 hours makes! Saturday morning it was overcast and blowing 25+ knots from the South West and on Sunday morning it was sunny with a light Northerly breeze. Posted on 28 Oct 2019
Bembridge Illusion Trafalgar Trophy 2019
Racing outside the harbour on Saturday With a F4 initially gusting F5 West South Westerly breeze, bright sunshine and still a few moored yachts in the middle of the harbour, it was decided to set the course on Saturday outside the harbour for the 13 Illusions wanting to race. Posted on 21 Oct 2019
Bembridge Illusions opening weekend
Taking to the water for the new winter season Although the opening weekend of the 2019-2020 Illusion season saw no wind on Saturday and nearly too much on Sunday, overall it was a great success! Posted on 14 Oct 2019
Illusion Inlands at Middle Nene
Very competitve racing at Thrapston, East Midlands Last weekend (7th/8th September) saw the second Inland Championship for the Illusion class with very competitive racing held at Middle Nene SC in Thrapston, East Midlands. Posted on 9 Sep 2019
Vernon's Easter Egg Cup for Illusions
Video evidence for start line policing Easter 2019 Illusion racing for Vernon's Easter Egg Cup will be remembered for the blissfully warm spring like weather. Although we could have done with a few more knots of breeze, it was difficult to find fault with the wall to wall sunshine! Posted on 21 Apr 2019
Marine Resources 2019 - FooterGul 2019 Carrier FOOTERPandB 2019 Autumn Sale - Footer