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Bembridge Illusion Easter Egg Cup 2021

by Mike Samuelson 5 Apr 2021 05:32 PDT 2-3 April 2021

Although entry was restricted to Island sailors only and we used a RIB as the Committee boat rather than Sea Breeze, it was great to be able to get back on the water again.

On Saturday 18 'local' boats took advantage of the almost perfect conditions - a cloudless sky and a steady F3/4 ENE'erly. With quite lumpy conditions outside the harbour, it was wisely decided to keep inside and enjoy the smooth waters. After three months of no sailing, it was not surprising that the first start saw a number of boats OCS, however all went back and then played catch up.

Start of Race 1

Julia Bailey was first round the windward marks with Raymond Simonds and Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore no far behind. On the second round she extended her lead but interestingly lost quite a bit on the third round so by the finish it was by no means a walk over. The second race saw a clean start and this time it was Colin Simonds who was the front runner ahead of Alex Downer (helming his father's boat; Mark was helping in the safety RIB) and brother Raymond.

Start of Race 2

Start of Race 2 from the pin end

Despite their best efforts they never got very close and so he took an easy win. After a good start, Owen Pay managed to hold onto fourth place ahead of Jonathan N-L. The third and final race of the day saw another clean start and then some excellent close racing.

Start of Race 3

Raymond and Julia lead the way and were not that far apart when they finished at the windward mark after three and a half rounds. Another excellent race for Jonathan N-L who took third and Justin Biddle who was fourth. And a particularly delighted Caroline Simonds when she finished inches ahead of her husband Colin to take seventh place! Sunday morning did not look too promising, but by mid-afternoon, the sun had come out and although the breeze was down a bit from the previous day, conditions were still almost perfect for the 17 'local' helms who eagerly went afloat. A clean start for the first race and once out in front Alex Downer held his nerve and built on his lead to finish ahead of Raymond and his mother Jo.

Start of Race 4

Owen Pay had an excellent race and finished in fourth just ahead of Jonathan, Caroline and Mike T. There were too many boats OCS for the first start of second race of the day. The second, under Flag U was spot on and again showed the amazingly high skill level of most of the fleet.

First start of Race 5

Second start of Race 5

Raymond and brother Colin were first round the windward mark and as the race progressed extended their lead over the chasing boats. Although unable to reel the front two in, Jonathan held onto a very good third ahead of Mike Issaias and Jo. Despite it being impossible to see from the results, there was some very close racing lower down the fleet with a number of boats finishing within inches of each other. The sixth and final race for this year's Easter Egg Club was also started under Flag U and although not quite as impressive as the previous race, it was still pretty impressive.

Start of Race 6

Whilst another 'Simond's' brother demonstration of sailing expertise, it was Colin's turn to be the lead boat and despite pressure from Raymond, he held his nerve and finished at the windward mark after three and a half rounds a couple of boat lengths ahead. Jonathan had another good race to pick up third ahead of Julia. As in the previous race, there some also very close racing lower down the fleet with a number of extremely close finishes.

An excellent couple of days racing; well done to Raymond who was the overall winner on 8 points; Colin was second (on count back) with 11 points and Jonathan was third, also with 11 points. NB: Caroline stood in for Colin in the 'winners' photo as he left early to go back to Seaview as his hand had become very painful.

Next weekend (10th & 11th April) its the Spring Plate; again only for Island helms. In expectation of the 'return to boating' remaining on course, the weekend after (17th & 18th April) will see the Stratton Memorial Trophy open to all.

Additional photos at

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1Raymond Simonds1652312128
2Colin Simonds138518102117
3Jonathan N‑L15835353317
4Julia Bailey15718287422
5Alex Downer164925116623
6Jo Downer166611636728
7Caroline Simonds384157651234
8Owen Pay1051641248836
9Mike Toogood14211715712542
10Serena Gosling12281014910946
11Philip Russell153146912131353
12Richard Ambler15610121011111153
13Mike Issaias1521214111441555
14Justin Biddle125794SSS58
15Oliver Morgan18613131317141063
16Robin Ebsworth12151616139S69
17John Birchenough3717171716151479
18Chris Osborne1441818181517R86

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