Pictured, standing, from left, are Graham Bailey, Julia Bailey, Raymond Simonds, Philip Brown and Philip Woodford. Front are Steve Warren Smith and Bill Daniels. Top right are some of the boats on the water. Picture by Jonathan Hoare.
SAILINGA RECORD 26 boats sailed in the Illusion National Championship at Bembridge Sailing Club.
While most of The Solent was calm, a light breeze set in as race one got under way on Saturday.
Jo Downer took the lead, which she held for most of the race, until Julia Bailey passed her close to the finishing line.
In race two, Raymond Simonds made a flying start to win comfortably but behind him the shifting conditions saw lots of place changes right up to the finish line, as Rudy Jurg managed to squeeze in second place in front of Graham Bailey and Philip Bown.
In the last race of the day, the fading wind meant a stroke of luck was needed, although it seemed to be the best sailors having the most of it, as Simonds again took the gun.
On Sunday, the fleet was blessed with sunshine and in comparison to last year, when balaclavas and gloves were needed, sun tan lotion and hats came out this time.
Race one was inside the harbour in a fickle breeze and last year’s champion, Mark Downer, who struggled to find form on Saturday, shot away from the pin end to take the winner’s gun.
The day’s other two races were held outside the harbour, with Simonds taking race two to be crowned champion. In the final race, Graham Bailey pipped his wife, Julia, on the finish line to win, although Julia finished second overall, ahead of Graham who was third.
Most improved was awarded to Bill Daniels, Steve Warren Smith was best visitor, club commodore Philip Bown won the over-65s’ award and Philip Woodford won the over-80s’ prize. The next event will be the Vernon Stratton Memorial Cup next weekend, March 10 and 11.