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Bembridge Illusion Prince Philip Memorial Trophy & Flying Dutchman Trophy

by Mike Samuelson 18 Apr 2021 21:51 PDT 18 April 2021

As the tides on Saturday did not allow racing to be moved to the morning, the decision was made to cancel the afternoon racing as a mark of respect to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. However, following agreement by the Illusion Committee earlier in the week to sponsor a new Trophy for Sunday linked to HRH's love of sailing, a four race no discard Regatta was set up for Sunday afternoon.

In the event Illusion sailor John Raymond very generously presented two trophies that he had inherited from his father who had been a top Dragon sailor in the late 1940's and mid 1950's. One was a small silver replica cup for having come fourth in the inaugural Edinburgh Cup in 1949, and the other was a silver ashtray for winning the Edinburgh Cup in 1955. After some discussion the Committee decided that the former would be for over 65 helms, and the latter for Under 30 helms. The four races also counted for the Flying Dutchman Trophy that had originally been programmed for early March.

Inevitably it took quite a long time to get all 27 Illusions launched and in the start area outside the harbour but conditions were almost perfect with a Force 3 SSW breeze and bright sunshine. Although the Race Officers were perhaps a bit generous, particularly as Flag U was used for the preparatory signal, the first race got away to a storming start.

Start of Race 1

Much to her delight, Caroline Simonds found herself rounding the windward mark well ahead and then never looked back, extending her lead over the second round. Mike Toogood also had an excellent race to take ahead of Mark Downer. Jo Downer was fourth. Further down the fleet there were a number of very close finishes The start of the second race was similar to the first, but this time it was Ed Peel, Raymond Simonds, Julia Bailey and David Pearless who were initially the front runners.

Start of Race 2

In the second round Mark Downer moved up to second and then took the lead in the third. Ed held onto second with Julia finishing just ahead of Raymond to take third place.

After a General Recall at the start of the third race, there was lots of very close racing which again saw Mark, Julia, Ed, Raymond and Jo leading the rest of the fleet in what turned out to be a two round race after the sun disappeared behind some clouds and the temperature dropped.

Start of Race 3 (1)

Start of Race 3 (2)

Another win for Mark who finished ahead of Julia and Ed.

The start of fourth and final race, again under Flag U, saw the front runners pushing their luck to the extreme particularly those starting mid-line. However the General Recall flag remain down as the twenty six boats (Ed Eddy had gone back to the harbour after the second race) headed in towards Silver Beach.

Start of Race 4

Mark again led the way round the windward marks and never looked like being overtaken by the chasing pack of Raymond, Julia, Alastair Speare-Cole & Jo. Finishing at the windward marks after two and a half rounds, it was in fact Jo who took second with Raymond third and Justin Biddle fourth.

With three firsts and a third, the winner of the Flying Dutchman Trophy was of course Class Captain Mark Downer. Raymond Simonds was second and also won the new 'Prince Philip's Memorial Trophy as the top placed Over 65 helm. Julia Bailey was third. As the only Under 30 entry, the Prince Philip's Memorial Junior Trophy goes to Ed Eddy.

More photos at

Racing next weekend will be for the Stratton Memorial Trophy; earlyish starts but hopefully we will see another good entry for what will be the penultimate Regatta of the 2020 - 2021 Illusion season.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4Pts
1Mark Downer16431116
2Raymond Simonds165544316
3Julia Bailey157632617
4Jo Downer1664165227
5Alastair Speare‑Cole135869528
6Caroline Simonds98615131130
7Colin Simonds138786930
8Justin Biddle859911433
9Mike Toogood14221471437
10Ed Peel161D231043
11David Russell‑Jones155131015745
12David Peerless140R781255
13John Raymond1511211102356
14Rory Morrison120221314857
15Simon Birchenough1361020161662
16Simon Irwin1472312121966
17Andy Christie1491417181867
18Mike Issaias1521622171570
19Owen Pay1051119222274
20Oliver Morgan1861714202374
21Olly Laughton‑Scott801918192076
22Serena Gosling1221523231677
23Robin Ebsworth121824212184
24Richard Ambler1562025242493
25Ed Eddy272121SS98
26John Birchenough3724262626102
27Alexander Ross144RR2525106

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