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Noble Marine 2022 YY - LEADERBOARD

Nick Craig and Toby Lewis win 2023 Endeavour Trophy

by Sue Pelling 8 Oct 2023 20:16 BST 7-8 October 2023

Serial Endeavour winners scoop top spot after windless final day

Nick Craig and Toby Lewis representing the D-One class have won the Endeavour Trophy for the 7th and 10th time respectively counting a 1st, two 2nds and an 8th, writes Sue Pelling. This super-tuned team kept their overnight lead when, in total contrast to yesterday's windy conditions, lack of sufficient wind today meant the final four races were unable to take place.

While some may have been disappointed not to have had the chance to embrace their light wind skills, for Craig and Lewis who are well known for their dominance in windy conditions, the race committee's decision not to even start a race in the patchy, unpredictable 3kts of breeze was a welcome one.

A delighted Craig commenting on the weekend's racing said: "It's always such a good event and I've always enjoyed competing here, but to win it again is incredible. If I'm honest, I didn't ever think I would win it in an RS200 and I didn't ever come with any great expectations."

On his views about the lack of racing today, Craig added: "Indeed we were in a good overnight position, but my view is that if was raceable then we should race. But it was not to be because the wind really was all over the place and it would have been a bit of a lottery so yes, we feel we did get a bit lucky."

Commenting on his super, all-star crew Toby Lewis, Craig said: "I've sailed with him for 24 years and he has put up with my moaning at the back for all that time. And what's amazing is the fact it's possible for us not to sail together for months on end but once back in the boat again, he's immediately got everything right and, not just that, he compensates for my errors, so every tack and gybe is perfect. His feel and touch for the boat is incredible. It's so nice to just jump in the boat with him and know it's going to work straight away."

Mention should also be made of Craig's home club of Burghfield SC, which is also home to Matt Mee and Chris Martin (GP14) who finished second overall. Keen to fly the flag for his home club, Craig added: "There's a lot of quality sailors at that club and Wednesday evening racing can be seriously hot."

Mee and Martin sailed impressively yesterday and played the consistent game well. They ended the regatta with a 2,3,4,9 score and said they were delighted with yet another second place at the Endeavour: "This was the third time we've finished second, so it was a shame we couldn't have had a little opportunity in the light winds, particularly as there were only five points in it, but I agree it was the right decision. We're also pleased to put Burghfield SC on the map with a 1,2 at the Endeavour because that's where we love to race with family and friends. We'll be training hard in the coming months because the next big event for us is the GP14 worlds next year in Pwllheli where we're hoping to get over 100 boats."

In third place overall after their respectable results from yesterday, which included two third places, were Parkstone SC members Ben Whaley and Lorna Glen (RS Aero 6). Their worst result (10th) was in the first race, but they bounced back and improved in each race from then on in. Whaley was on top form this afternoon as he spoke affectionately about the Endeavour Trophy: "No matter how well you do at this event you can be sure of a fantastic time. The amount of detail and care everyone here [Royal Corinthian team] takes to make it a really great event for everyone, makes all the difference. It's not just the fact you're here racing against the best sailors but the fact that everyone in the club knows how important the event is, and they really take care of you. Also, they really, really take care of all the detail and are always there on hand to help. That makes the whole experience exceptionally good. All in all, yes. An amazing time was had by all."

While the likes of other race favourites such as Christian Birrell and Luke Patience (Merlin Rocket) finished mid fleet after a couple of non-discardable results added to their 1,2 scoreline from yesterday, it was refreshing how Patience viewed the situation and an inspiration to others who perhaps may not have finished the regatta with the results they were hoping for: "Christian and I have always loved sailing at this event and we had a great day yesterday in the breeze. It didn't work out for us this time but we've won in the past and hopefully we'll win it again in the future, so we'll focus on that. In the meantime though Christian and I are actually racing against each other at the Cape 31 Europeans next weekend, so that will be a lot of fun too."

Back in the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club this afternoon, competitors and guests attended the Endeavour prize-giving, where the winners Craig and Lewis were presented with the spectacular solid silver model, and the half model of the America's Cup J-Class yacht Endeavour.

In his closing comments, Edwin Buckley, event director and race officer summed up the event: "I can't remember a time we've actually lost the final day of racing to light airs. We've had plenty of occasions of too much wind, but I don't remember a day like this where we've been basking in sunshine on the balcony of the club. We headed down to the Roach with the committee boat to try to find the wind but sadly there was not sufficient wind across the course to even attempt a start. Overall though it's been another successful event with great competitors and very fiercely fought throughout. Yesterday's sunshine and a good breeze, really was Champagne sailing, which is what it's all about."

Next year's Endeavour Trophy is scheduled for 4-6 October 2024.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4Pts
1stD OneNick CraigToby Lewis122813
2ndGP14Matt MeeChris Martin234918
3rdRS Aero 6Ben WhaleyLorna Glen1053321
4thRS400Edd WhiteheadKaren Oldale5161224
5thWASZPSam WhaleyLarissa Connabeer9125430
6thRS Aero 5Tom AhlheidTristan Ahlheid8671334
7th2000Simon HorsfieldKatie Horsfield18412640
8th29erCharlie GranSam Webb679BFD53
9thRS200Arran HolmanJames CrossleyRDGUFD8153.4
10thNational 18Robert GulllanRob Henderson3911BFD54
11thOKAndy DavisAlex Warren4UFD101055
12thILCA 7James FosterJowe Walters718171456
13thRS FevaBen GreenhaighTom Sinfield251713762
14thByteDuncan GlenKirsten Glen1614181563
15thMerlin RocketChristian BirrellLuke PatienceRETUFD1265
16thRS Aero 7Tim HireAlice Lucy1311252069
17th505Sam PascoeBenjamin Pascoe2716191173
18thFireflyWilliam PankSteve Carver1415271874
19thRS800Luke McEwenEmma McEwen12824BFD75
20th4000Steve TylecoteBen Tylecote171022RET80
21stOptimistDylan CreightonJoe Jones26UFD20582
22ndBlazeBen HardenLucy Ellery15RET142282
23rdTopper ClassJessica PowellSam Grayton2120231983
24thILCA 4Leo YatesTatiana Hazelwood23UFD151685
25thScorpionAlan KraylingSimon Forbes11UFD301789
26thNational 12Tom StewartIsobel Stewart191326BFD89
27thSoloBen FlowerThomas Semmens222216BFD91
28thLarkEd BradburnHolly Evans201921BFD91
29thRS VareoMichelle Collier‑BrooksJames Bennett2421282194
30thCadetSamantha NeeBridgitte NeeRET232923106

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, the late Robin Judah - respected member of the RCYC - established a series of races for dinghy sailors 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

  • 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.

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