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60th Endeavour Trophy postponed

by Sue Pelling 26 Jun 2020 10:22 BST 8-10 October 2021
Endeavour Trophy start line action © Sue Pelling

The 60th anniversary Endeavour Trophy event at the Royal Corinthian YC, Burnham-on-Crouch has been postponed until 2021 writes Sue Pelling.

The annual Endeavour Trophy invitational event to determine the champion of champions from the most popular dinghy racing classes has been put on hold until 8-10 October, 2021.

The restrictions imposed this year, to help manage the spread of the Covid-19 virus has brutally affected the usual dinghy national championship calendar. With a lack of Endeavour entries (national champions) therefore, the Endeavour Trophy organising committee had no option other than to postpone the 60th anniversary event until October 2021.

Commenting on the regrettable decision to postpone the 2020 Endeavour Trophy, Edwin Buckley, event director and race officer said: "It's dreadful shame particularly as we had a lot planned for the special 60th anniversary celebrations but the simple fact is, without championships there are no champions, and without champions there is no Endeavour Trophy. Even if some classes do manage to run a late season championship when Coronavirus restrictions are eased, it would not be in the spirit of the event to run it on this basis.

"Also as a club that is passionate about ensuring it fulfills its social responsibility to help curtail the spread of the virus, the Endeavour committee continues to offer duty of care not only to competitors who would be travelling from all over the UK to take part but also to the huge number of event volunteers."

With plans now in place for an even bigger, and better 60th anniversary in 2021, competitors now have plenty of time to prepare for next year's class championships for a chance to win a 'ticket' to the 2021 Endeavour Trophy.

Six time-winners Ben Saxton and Toby Lewis will be back to defend their title, along with the likes of other former winners, competitors, and Olympians such as Nick Craig, James Peters and Luke Patience who will no doubt be contesting their own battles to secure a place on the start line at the 2021 Endeavour Championship.

Buckely concluded: "As always we are looking forward to welcoming dinghy champions next year to contest, what is undoubtedly, one of the most important events on the dinghy racing calendar. As it is an important anniversary year, we are also hoping to welcome special guests to the event including a host of former Endeavour champions."

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 - has been the chosen class for the Endeavour Championship since 2015. It weighs in at 78kg and is an ideal choice to suit a wide crew-weight range.

Current Endeavour Champions (2019 winners) - Ben Saxton and Toby Lewis

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