Sunderland sails to Illusion glory

Published on Friday, January 27, 2012 - 09:30


Sunderland sails to Illusion glory

Graham Sunderland in action.


GRAHAM Sunderland found his form at the right time to take overall victory in the club’s annual Piers’ January Jacket Trophy.

The noted sailor won four races, including the final two contests of the weekend, to claim the main prize.

In all, 19 Illusion sailors took part, including top Portuguese sailor Pedro Andrade, who was immediately in the thick of a congested battle for the pin in the first race.

He and several others were recalled but Bruce Huber escaped the melee and diligently guarded his lead all the way to the finish line.

Sunderland won the second race followed by Graham Bailey and Mark Downer and then, after much place changing and a nail-biting three-abreast finish, the same result was repeated in race three.

The following day there were plenty of incidents, including a sinking and a broken bilge pump, while another head-butted their boom.

Mark Downer opened up the series with a master class in high-wind techniques to win the first race ahead of Sunderland then Philip Bown, before Sunderland dominated the final two.

Bailey was second overall, with Downer third, Raymond Simonds in fourth and Andrade fifth.

The previous weekend, 17 sailors took to the water for a weekend where points counted towards the season’s total.

Downer read the wind best to earn two victories before Edmund Peel won race three.

However, consistent placings earned Graham Bailey the overall lead.

The following day, Downer won the first race again, while Bailey won the final two to finish the clear overall winner. Downer was second with Peel third.


Safety crews were kept busy during the club’s open Ice Breaker Series races last Sunday.

To say the two races were full of thrills and spills is probably an understatement, with rigging failures contributing to at least three retirements in the first race, while others had to contend with becoming entangled in moorings and finding themselves the wrong side of the old mill wall.

The large turn-out of 16 boats resulted in all the club’s Pico’s being used, and five of them dominated the first race, which was won by Duncan Bates, with Richard Coleman in second and Phil Wright third.

Guest sailor Graeme Bowen once again got the better of Brading’s Barry Dyer to lead home the charge of the Scows only interrupted by cadet Milo Wren who nipped in front of Commodore Chris Wilkinson, finishing seventh and eighth respectively.

The handicap results proved the Scows do not always get their own way, although Bowen took the podium with Bates and Coleman in second and third.

In the second race, the winds increased and of the 13 boats who started, four retired.

As in the first race, Pico’s led the fleet around, but the main battle was between Bates and P. Matthews, with Bates taking the win. Bowen again led the Scows, and he took gold on handicap, with Coleman in second and Dyer in third.

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