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Illusion class Flying Dutchman Trophy at Bembridge Sailing Club

by Mike Samuelson 2 Mar 00:01 PST 29 February - 1 March 2020

Some extraordinary weather again over the weekend with Storm Jorge putting paid to any racing on Saturday, but fortunately conditions were considerably more friendly (12 - 25 knots from the WSW with sunny periods) on Sunday and we managed to get four races completed before the water disappeared.

The first race got away to a clean start in about 15 knots and bright sunshine.

Bruce Huber's green spinnaker was the first to fly on run back to the leeward gate with Mark Downer's white one not far behind. David Peerless was third and Mike Toogood was fourth. Positions remained the same on the second round and so with four races to get completed, the race was finished in a 22 knot squall as they crossed the line for the second time. Mid fleet, Hugh Doherty & Jo Downer were never far apart and were scored as equal seventh. Monty Irwin had a problem before the start and had headed back to the club to sort it out.

The sun came back out and the breeze dropped down to 10 knots or so in time for the start of the second race.

Mark Downer was first round the windward marks, with, not unsurprisingly Bruce Huber hot on his heels. As the race progressed, Mark extended his lead over Bruce who was comfortably ahead of Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore and Hugh Doherty. With places looking pretty set, the race was again finished at the end of the second round.

The course was tweaked slightly before the start of the third race to cater for the 15 - 20 knot breeze that had veered to become more westerly. After another clean start, Mark and Bruce played cat and mouse and were never far apart.

As they came back through the line on their way to the leeward gate, Mark was a boat length behind but held onto a strong gust and 'submarined' his way into a narrow lead that he extended on the second round. With little chance of over taking Bruce, Jo Downer finished in third after a close race with Mike Toogood. Lower down the fleet, David Peerless & Mike Issaias tied in ninth place.

The fourth and final race started in 22 knots but then initially moderated as the three round race developed only to go back up to 25 knots for a bit towards the end of the race.

As in the previous races, the lead was dominated by Mark and Bruce, with the latter taking first place by a few boat lengths, however it was good to see the Class Admiral Robin Ebsworth managing to hold onto third place ahead of Jonathan Nanby-Luxmoore. Having taken a penalty at the start after an incident with Bruce, Jo could do no better than ninth.

With Bruce and Mark both having two firsts and two seconds, his win in the final race meant that Bruce won this year's Flying Dutchman Trophy. Mark was the runner up and Jonathan N-L was third, three points ahead of Mike Toogood.

Next weekend (7th & 8th March) has been rescheduled for the Stratton Trophy that was 'winded' out by Storm Brian last weekend. Early starts (10:00 on both days) and already talk about yet another storm in the offing, but if they are right then hopefully conditions will still allow some racing.

Overall Results:

PosnHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4Final Total
1Bruce Huber10112214
2Mark Downer16421124
3Jonathan Nainby‑Luxmoore158537412
4Mike Toogood142484715
5Hugh Doherty124748617
6Jo Downer1667103919
7Robin Ebsworth1211116320
8David Peerless1403129820
9Monty Irwin147R551121
10Alastair Speare‑Cole13566RS27
11Mike Issiais1529991227
12Owen Pay105101313528
13Olly Laughton‑Scott80137121029
14John Birchenough371214111336

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