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KitBrix 2021 LEADERBOARD

Champion of Champions Endeavour Trophy gets underway in Burnham

by Sue Pelling 7 Oct 2016 22:08 BST 7-9 October 2016

The Endeavour Trophy started today with competitors attending the on-shore training briefing followed by multiple short training races throughout the afternoon. The Calltracks-sponsored training session at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club was followed by a video debriefing to further prepare the competitors for their racing over the weekend.

This year sailing is once again in the RS200 and the organisers retained Steve Irish to lead the training. Commenting on the competitors and their ability to adapt to a new boat, Irish said: "Clearly these sailors have skills that are very transferable. The range of experience is vast and I believe we will have some very interesting and close racing over the weekend. It is excellent to see such a range of sailors and the younger sailors have an opportunity to compete against some of the most experienced dinghy sailors in the world. There is also a healthy spirit of competitiveness amongst all the champions."

The weather prediction for the two days is primarily a northerly wind but on Saturday, during the racing period, the wind will be lighter with an easterly wind of about 8 knots, accompanied by some rain in the afternoon. On Sunday, depending on which weather model is used, it is predicted there may be stronger winds gusting around 15 knots and some sunny skies. Many competitors relish the stronger winds but they know that the unpredictability of the weather will once again make this an interesting championship.

Prior to the practice session Ben Saxton, last year's Endeavour Trophy winner and the Nacra 17 Olympic entry for Team GB, said: "This will be my first racing back in a dinghy since Rio and I am looking forward to getting to grips with the boat and fine tuning my skills with Toby so we can hit the ground running tomorrow. There are some competitors who are currently very on-form in the RS200 and we really want to beat them using our combined racing skills."

Toby Lewis, Ben's crew explained: "Time in the boat and practice will be very useful – we have both been sailing different boats this last year so we need to get back in tune with each other, something that is crucial if we want to retain the title."

The record number of 26 entries this year has competitors aged between 13 and 59 years old and subsequently their varying skills and approaches will ensure some interesting results. Edwin Buckley, race organiser, said: "The championship this year sees some favourites returning but there are many new faces with diverse skills that may very well change the outcome of the racing. We are looking forward to varied racing conditions which will make it possible for anyone to win."

The racing starts at 10:30 on Saturday and will be completed after a total of eight races over the two days. Tradition has it that the race officer tries to get in five or six races on the Saturday so that the Sunday racing is more flexible and not so rushed.

Confirmed Entries

2000 ClassFergus Barnham and Serena De Nahlik
29erCrispin Beaumont and Tom Darling
420Robbie King and Marcus Tressler
505Andy Smith and Alex Barry
CadetJamie Harris and Bettine Harris
D OneNick Craig and Holly Scott
EnterpriseTim Sadler and Jeremy Stevens
FireballChristian Birrell and Emma Norris
GraduateJohn Clementson and Jamie Clementson
LarkStuart Hydon and Rachel Rhodes
Merlin RocketRoger Gilbert and James Stewart
MiracleHannah Smith and Nick Smith
Musto SkiffAlex Knight and Megan Pascoe
Nacra 17Ben Saxton and Toby Lewis
RS 200Mat Mee and Joanna Wright
RS 400Paul Oakey and Mark Oakey
RS 500Edd Whitehead and Karen Oldale
RS 800Luke McEwen and Emma McEwen
RS Aero 5Archie Hainsworth and Freddie Wootton
RS Aero 7David Ellis and Chloe Martin
RS FevaWilliam Pank and Finley Dickinson
RS VareoDavid Jarrett and Emma Hivey
ScorpionChris Turner and Alex Hayman
Skud 18Niki Birrell and Jonny McGovern
SupernovaIain Horlock and Victoria Upton
Topper 5.3Samuel Cooper and Alistair Rimmer

Brief history of the Endeavour Trophy

The Endeavour Trophy is a solid silver scale model of the J Class yacht Endeavour presented annually to the Champion of Champions at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham-on-Crouch.

The origin of the trophy stems from Tom Sopwith's J Class yacht Endeavour, America's Cup Challenge in 1934. Following a pay dispute and dismissal of his east coast-based professional crew, Sopwith teamed up with 'Tiny' Mitchell, the Commodore of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club at the time, to recruit amateur members of the club to form a crew.

Although Endeavour won the first two races against Rainbow, and lost the series, this was the closest England ever came to winning the coveted America's Cup.

In recognition of this achievement, Robin Judah – respected member of the RCYC –established a series of races for dinghy sailors in order to determine the overall dinghy champion of champions from the UK's most popular dinghy racing classes. Beecher Moore, former Endeavour crew, and marketing man behind the successful dinghy designer Jack Holt, joined Judah in his quest to run this event and presented for the overall winner, his solid silver scale model of the yacht.

The first invitation-only race took place in 1961 and the winners were Peter Bateman and Keith Musto, representing the International Cadet class. The event is now recognised as one of the ultimate achievements in British dinghy racing.

The competition is exceptionally challenging and those who qualify through winning their own class championship, are given the opportunity to race equally talented sailors in this unique, highly demanding two-day event on the River Crouch.

Given the diverse entry, which includes singlehanded, doublehanded, heavy and lightweight crews, and to ensure the racing is as fair as possible, carefully selected, strict one-designs are chosen for the event. The original idea back in 1961 was to use the club's own fleet of 15 Royal Corinthian One-Designs but they were considered too specialist and would have placed a perpetual limit on the number of entries. The first event was, therefore, sailed in Enterprises.

Since then numerous one-design classes have been used for the event including the GP14, Laser 2, Lark, Enterprise, RS400, Topper Xenon, and the Topper Argo. The 13ft (4m) Phil Morrison-designed RS200 – a smaller version of the RS400 – was used for the first time in 2015 and will be used once again this year. It weighs in at 78kg and is an ideal choice to suit a wide crew-weight range.

royalcorinthian.co.uk/endeavour

Supporting partners

RS Sailing
Produce a wide range of award winning sailboats including the RS200 used for the 2016 Endeavour Championship. The company is based in Hampshire and is supported by a worldwide dealer network, and active class associations throughout the world.

Allen Brothers
Allen Sailboat Performance Hardware – designers, manufacturers and distributors of performance dinghy and keelboat fittings.

Calltracks
The Calltracks tracking solution is a comprehensive and easy-to-use web-based system, which enables businesses to take better control of their sales and marketing activities.

Hyde Sails
UK managed and owned company, producing performance sails worldwide for dinghies and yachts for over 40 years.

Magic Marine
Develop and produce technical dinghy and catamaran sailing gear worldwide.

Lonton and Gray sail makers
Manufacturers of quality sails for dinghies, keelboats and Squibs, all made in the UK.

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