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Bembridge Illusion Spring Plate 2024

by Mike Samuelson 24 Mar 23:06 PDT 23-24 March 2024

Fourteen boats rigged up to race on Saturday, however sadly Tim Lyle had a problem with his steering and never left the pontoon but the other thirteen eventually got their acts together and made it to Sea Breeze located to the north of the Redwing Quay.

The first start which was 20 minutes later than scheduled, was clear, albeit there was a bit of bumping close to the Committee Boat between Raymond Simonds and Jo Downer.

Start of Race 1 Saturday

With the Westerly breeze varying between 12 to 20 knots and a bit of wind against tide, conditions made for some interesting racing. First round the windward marks was Bruce Huber with Raymond, Jo, Mike Toogood and Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore (no spinnaker) not far behind. Mark Downer did not have a good start so was very much in catch up mode.

Run Race 1 Saturday

As the race unfolded, Bruce, Raymond, Jo and Alastair Speare-Cole looked pretty set, however Raymond got his spinnaker sheet caught on a mooring buoy close to the leeward gate and ground to a halt and only just avoided swamping. This was manna from heaven for Mark who moved into third ahead of Mike and Alastair. After a very early start from his house in Salisbury, David Peerless unfortunately had steering problems and had to retire, heading back to the dock in the hopes that he could effect a repair and get back for the next race, In the event wishful thinking!

The second race coincided with a few drops of rain and the breeze picking up. After another clean start, Mark lead the way round the windward marks with Bruce, Jo, Raymond, Oliver Morgan and Alastair initially not far behind.

Start Race 2 Saturday

However he extended his lead over the next two rounds and had already finished when a squall came in with the anemometer showed gusts of 29 knots. Fortunately the majority of the fleet were on their way back from the leeward gate when it hit but it caught Will Lowe who was still flying his spinnaker, and swamped him close to the Committee Boat. Jo had also slowed down after taking on more water than she thought. Oliver was fourth.

Although at one stage the squall made conditions almost unsailable, fortunately it did not last long and so the third and final race of the day started in about 15 knots and sunshine! Sadly for Oliver he had a bout of cramp and so decided against starting and headed back to the dock.

Start Race 3 Saturday

Bruce's bright green spinnaker was the first to show as the fleet headed on their first run to the leeward gate. There was then a gap to Mark and Raymond and another one to Owen Pay, Mike T and Jo. The next two rounds saw Bruce move further ahead as Mark and Raymond 'match raced' to see who was going to come second. Although it could have gone either way, Mark finished a couple of boat lengths in front. Owen was fourth.

Although the breeze on Sunday morning was at times very similar to the previous day, there was a lot more sunshine and a bit more northerly in it. With the course based in the harbour again, fifteen boats eagerly awaited their first start. Indeed over eagerly which meant a General Recall! The re-start was a great improvement with no-one falling foul of the Flag U rules!

Race 1 (4) Sunday

Re-Start Race 1 (4) Sunday

Mark's grey spinnaker was the first to fly once round the spreader; there was then a gap to Raymond with Tim Lyle and Ollie Laughton-Scott not far behind. The previous day's winner, Bruce, was mid-fleet so had a lot of catching up to do. As the three round race developed, Mark and Raymond extended their lead and Bruce managed to get himself to third, ahead of Owen. After a promising first couple of rounds Jo had her spinnaker sheets foul her rudder and she had to retire.

Another good start for the second race of the day; again under Flag U and with occasional gusts up to 17 knots. Mark & Bruce dominated with the latter ahead at one stage. Also showing well were Alastair, Raymond, Ollie, Owen, David and Oliver.

Start of Race 2 (5) Sunday

On the second round Raymond moved up in third and held it to the finish. The next four (David, Owen, Alastair & Jonathan) were extremely close with David initially ahead of Owen only to be huffed on the final beat into the finish. Indeed it was so close it was almost a tie.

Run Race 2 (5) Sunday

For the final race of the day it was decided to revert to the P flag. And well behaved they were, albeit with only inches to spare.

Start of Race 3 (6) Sunday

Again it was Mark out in front with Raymond in tow. Oliver, Alastair, Jonathan (without a spinnaker) and Bruce did their best to hunt them down, but without much success. However Oliver did manage to finish in third ahead of Bruce.

Two excellent days of racing for the Spring Plate with Mark on 6 point finishing first; Bruce was second on 9 points and Raymond was third on 13 points.

Racing next weekend is on Good Friday and Easter Saturday for Vernon's Easter Egg Trophy.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3PointsR4R5R6Pts
1Mark Downer16431221116
2Bruce Huber10112113249
3Raymond Simonds165733323213
4Owen Pay16010644441228
5Mike Toogood142456689831
6Jonathan Nainby‑Luxmoore15887101067634
7Oliver Morgan16994R17712335
7Alastair Speare‑Cole13551099136535
9Mike Issaias15289771211944
10Jo Downer1662855RSS49
11Andy Christie14911R8810101150
12David Peerless140RSS17115757
13Ollie Laughton‑Scott80SSS17581057
14Will Lowe15012R111114131363
15Tim Lyle163SSS179RS77
16Crispin Kenyon125SSS17RSS85

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