Sailing: Cudmore exploits his local expertise

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By Stuart Alexander in Cowes

THE SOLENT was in its usual capricious mood yesterday, allowing the locals to squeeze some advantage. One needing every ounce of guile was a long-time resident of Cowes, the Irishman Harry Cudmore, who beat a gritty Yorkshireman, Tony de Mulder, by just 23 seconds to take the Glazebrook Trophy.

Cudmore was in charge of Peter Harrison's 50-footer Russe Noir, Tony de Mulder in charge of his 40ft Victric 5, while the winner of the Queen's Cup, Glynn Williams in Wolf, had to be content with third on a day when the breeze threatened to swing, remained patchy and fickle, and had the committee scurrying to shorten some of the courses.

Even so, it was a day to take off the shirts and get down to some serious play as Skandia Life Cowes Week provided just enough extra breeze after an unwillingness to co-operate until late in the afternoon of Saturday's opening. The limbering-up is expected to become more strenuous today as the breeze swings from the north-east quadrant to the more traditional, and often wetter, south-west.

One who could hardly believe what was going on half an hour into the game was local man Willy Sanderson,who was having a fine old time in his Etchells, Vashti. He and his three-man crew stole a huge march on a very competitive fleet as the breeze midway between those struggling on the island side and the mainland turning buoy objective lifted him to glory. But he was eventually hunted down by Barry Parkin.

No stranger to a three-man keelboat, two years ago Parkin was in the middle of another variety, Britain's Olympic Soling, with Andy Beadsworth and Adrian Stead. He has now moved to the front as Richard Sydenham has taken over the middle slot in Beadsworth's bid for Sydney. So yesterday it was the front man's turn to be out front and he eventually beat Sanderson by over a minute.

A win in the final race of the Women's Europe World Championships gave another British Olympian, Shirley Robertson, a silver medal behind Carolijn Brouwer of the Netherlands.