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Olympian Luke Patience and Mary Henderson win 60th Endeavour Trophy

by Sue Pelling 11 Oct 05:41 BST 8-10 October 2021

After a couple of mixed results on the opening day yesterday, including an OCS, silver medallist Luke Patience and Mary Henderson won the Endeavour Champion of Champions title with two final race wins, writes Sue Pelling.

After a three-hour postponement waiting for the breeze to fill in, the 31-strong fleet enjoyed the two final races of the Investec-sponsored Endeavour Trophy. An 8-9kt northerly breeze was just enough to allow for a decent windward/leeward course but the strong Spring tide was, once again, the dominating factor, that kept competitors on their toes right to very end.

Winning the start was everything today, which was clearly demonstrated by Patience and Henderson, particularly in the first race. It was imperative to take an immediate hitch over to the right-hand side of the course out of the tide. For Patience/Henderson once they were in control after a couple of perfect tacks, they were able to take advantage of the clear air and score their first win of the day, with Tom Morris and Guy Fillmore (RS800) in second place. Their nearest rivals - Ben Palmer and Amy Seabright (Thames A Rater) - finished a close third.

With three points between the top two boats (Patience/Henderson and Palmer/Seabright) going into the second and final race of the day, the pressure was on. A bit of a battle took place off the start line but once again Patience/Henderson were able to repeat their performance and secure another win, which was enough for an overall win. Palmer/Seabright were always in contention but they had to settle for a close second, which after their impressive results from the opening day, were able to take second place overall.

For Patience and Henderson winning the 2021 Endeavour Trophy was a case of completing some unfinished business from the last Endeavour in 2019. Patience recalls it well: "Indeed, it almost feels like a bit of redemption from when we almost won two years ago but mucked up on a gybe on the last run.

"In a way it makes it even more special to have finally won the Endeavour. It was really great racing."

Commenting on today's game plan, Patience added: "In both races we managed to get free of the fray early and that was very important today. We spent a lot of time before the racing chatting about our options and did a ton of transits on the line before the start so we could be accurate enough to get on port early."

A delighted Henderson added: "Winning the Endeavour is a real life achievement and to become the champion of champions, helm or crew, is very special. Also, my dad [Will Henderson] will be delighted because this is his 21-year-old boat!"

Second placed Palmer said: "It feels great to have finished second in the Endeavour Trophy. Amy and I haven't sailed together for several years, so I was a bit nervous about how we would perform but it all came together and we surprised ourselves. It was also great to sail against such a competitive fleet and have a good race at the top with the likes of Luke Patience because he doesn't make mistakes."

Although Nick Craig - five time previous Endeavour winner - is not known for particularly enjoying light airs, he admits that this weekend, where the wind hardly reached 10kts, he surprised himself. He and Katie Burridge sailed well and with four fourth places to count, they found themselves in a respectable third place overall. Craig said: "Regardless of the conditions, the Endeavour never fails to produce top class racing. I was pleasantly surprised how well we did in the extremely light airs yesterday and I definitely feel it was as well as we could have hoped for."

Arran Holman and Toby Lewis (RS200) weren't as on form as they had hoped for this weekend but nevertheless notched up a string of consistent results, which left them in fourth place overall, just four points behind Craig/Burridge.

Holman said although he had crewed the Endeavour a few times before this was his first time helming at the Endeavour. "It was a great experience. Also, having Toby [Lewis] as crew - a legend of the event - I couldn't have had a better guy at the front dragging me round the course at times, telling me where to go. Overall though, the Endeavour has a fantastic atmosphere and it is so great to have so many awesome sailors and legends of the sport all together pushing really hard."

A final mention must be made of the highest place junior sailors (RS Feva) - Millie Irish (17) and Joe Warwicker (16). As well as winning yesterday's final race, they sailed impressively once again and finished the day with a fifth place, which left them in a respectable seventh place overall.

Irish said they were delighted to get another chance to race today: "At the start of the day, with no wind, we didn't think we'd get another chance, so we were so pleased the wind finally filled in. We have learned so much this weekend. The biggest lesson was realising just how much even the tiniest mistake can cost you because everyone is so good."

Back on shore after racing this afternoon, competitors and guests attended the 60th Endeavour prize-giving where the winners were presented with the spectacular solid silver model, and the half model of the America's Cup J-Class yacht Endeavour.

Plans are already under way for next year's Investec-sponsored Endeavour Trophy, which is taking place on 8-9 October 2022.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stOlympian 470Luke PatienceMary Henderson(OCS)113117
2ndThames A RaterBen PalmerAmy Seabright222‑113211
3rdRS400Nick CraigKatie Burridge46444‑722
4thRS200Arran HolmanToby Lewis‑94576426
5thSoloAndy DavisPippa Kilsby7‑213155838
6thMerlinChristian BirrellMatt Mee513(BFD)515644
7thRS FevaMillie IrishJoe Warwicker‑211811112547
8thNational 12Tom StewartIsobel Stewart1‑1917981348
9thGP14Mike SeniorLiz Senior8‑2781391149
10thRS800Tom MorrisGuy Fillmore11109‑2822052
11thRS Aero 5Andrew FrostHamish Walker691319‑20956
12thOptimistPatrick BromilowTabitha Davies33‑2323181259
13thOlympianStuart BithellJessica Hammett(OCS)5BFD167362
14thOspreyMatthew BurgeTom Pygall108121816‑2564
15thMusto SkiffSam PascoeMegan Pascoe161715617(RET)71
16thContenderSan BarkerSamuel MottersheadOCS1462(BFD)1972
17thGraduateIsaac MarshFresh Abendstern1512181413‑2372
18thCherubAndrew PetersJill Peters1222(BFD)12211077
19th29erFlorence BrellisfordBen Hutton Penman201171723‑2778
20thBlazeBen HardenEden Hyland18151026(BFD)1483
21stEuropeSteve CockerillSarah Cockerill2220148(BFD)2185
22ndSupernovaAlistair GoodwinCliff Milllner‑26261910141786
23rdILCA4Max SteeleFlynn Davies131620‑25221586
24thTasarRick PerkinsSarah Perkins147252219‑2687
25th420Ella LanceWill Martin17‑252420101687
26thCadetHannah CarruthersAlan Krailing19231621‑241897
27thRS Aero 9Ben RolfeClara Jones23‑2921272624121
28th2000Rob BurridgeSarah Burridge2424(BFD)242722121
29thRS600George SmithElliot Marks27‑3022292529132
30thCometEddie PopeChris Hatton252826‑302828135
31stLarkHarry PynnStephen Videlo(DNC)DNCDNCDNC1130137

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.

Supporting partners

  • Investec is a banking and wealth management business with a refreshingly human approach. We provide financial solutions and expert advice that aim to meet - and exceed - expectations. We are trusted with managing over £41 billion (as at March 2021) of our clients' money and we take great pride in our relationship based approach and our purpose to make a tangible and meaningful difference. Minimum eligibility criteria and terms and conditions apply. With investment your capital is at risk.

    www.investec.com

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

    www.rssailing.com

  • Allen Sailboat Performance Hardware - designers, manufacturers and distributors of performance dinghy and keelboat fittings.

    www.allenbrothers.co.uk

  • Barbuck TalkingForms from Barbuck, converts your web forms to inbound sales calls in under 30 seconds, using text-to-voice technology. This allows you to talk to your potential client while they are still in the buying zone and focused on your company and products. Speed is critical, as 78 per cent of customers will give their business to the first company to respond. Make sure you speak to them first with TalkingForms, and never miss a lead again.

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

    www.hydesails.co.uk

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