Impressive win for RS800 national champions

Royal Corinthian YC, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex (9 October 2022): The 2022 Investec-sponsored Endeavour Trophy dinghy champion of champions that took place this weekend at Burnham-on-Crouch (7-9 October) was one of the most interesting on record with the overall winners not being decided until the final race.

So close were the points going into the final race that it was difficult to predict the outcome. Even Morris and Fillmore (RS800), who amassed a score of 1,6,8,4,2,1 were surprised to hear the overall result, particularly as they scored their worst result of the regatta, an 11th in the final race of the event after an incident on the start line.

Having taken the overnight lead yesterday, Morris and Fillmore were unable to match the downwind speed of 2021 Endeavour champions Luke Patience, and Faye Chatterton in today’s first race and had to settle for second place. The tables turned in the second race of the day (race 6) however, and it was the overnight leaders – Morris and Fillmore – who read the tricky, shifty, south-easterly winds well, and made the best tactical decisions in the strong flowing Spring tide to take the top spot. This left the ever-threatening Patience and Chatterton in second, and second overall.

Commenting as they stepped ashore Morris (35) and Fillmore (35) were genuinely surprised to learn the news of their win: “A stunned Morris said: “It feels so surreal. Our last race was pretty terrible because we got stuck on the pin end and ended up 11th. We sailed in thinking we’d lost it, so it is a really pleasant surprise to find out we’ve won. It’s also good to get one over on the professional sailors who have had a few returning champions over the past few years. This is a good score for the amateurs!”

Talking about the boat set-up, Morris added: “Because we are a heavier crew, we needed to keep as much power on as possible by using a bit less kicker than normal, a bit more mainsheet tension, and by not raking the mast back.”

Chatting about the key to their overall success, Fillmore added: “I guess it helps that Tom has had a good season in the RS200 this year, so he is good at making the boat go fast. The weight factor did make us suffer a bit downwind, where some of the lighter crews were able to sail at different angles and, without doubt, were certainly faster than us at times.”

Offering advice to anyone who has the opportunity to sail the Endeavour in the future, Morris concluded: “First and foremost, my advice is to learn the venue, and learn about the tides. Also make sure you sail the boat together beforehand.”

After a mixed bag of results yesterday, which left them in eighth place, Patience said he and his crew, gave themselves a serious talking to last night in preparation for today’s final races: “We did our damage yesterday really, but we said we’d be a bit braver and push ourselves a bit harder today. Anyway, we were positive and came out firing, and I found my feet, and Faye was great and kept the calmness in the boat. It started well but in the final race, after a good start, we realised that going right paid and we were on the left, which didn’t help our cause. I think we were lucky to climb back to fourth and end up second overall.”

On a concluding note about what to expect at this event, Patience said when sailing at the Endeavour it’s important to remember it’s never over until it’s over: “It’s a complex place to sail and people make mistakes right up until the 11th hour. If you can be one of the boats that are steady and stable, you can usually do quite well.”

Steady and stable is exactly how to describe the performance of Ian Dobson and Emma Hivey (GP 14), another team in the equation for a top spot going into the last race. Throughout the weekend they sailed consistently and gathered a string of top six results, including a third in the first race of the day. They ended the regatta with two sixth places, which was enough to secure third place overall.

This duo are former Endeavour competitors, and Hivey (née Clarke) a winning crew from 2009. Dobson said: “I think this has to be my best Endeavour result, and very enjoyable. My biggest weakness this weekend I would say was fitness but we managed it and are happy with the result overall.”

Another team that made an impact this year was Ollie Meadowcroft (18) and Oscar Cawthorne (17) representing the 420 class. They started the regatta well with a win in race three yesterday and were second overall going into today’s racing. This young, talented team proved themselves again today in the gusty 10-15kt breeze in the final race of the day. They made a good tactical decision to take right-hand side up the river Roach, the favoured side out the tide, and although overtaken by Christian Birrell and Rachel Gray (Merlin Rocket) they finished second, which was enough to secure them fourth place overall.

Meadowcroft said it was a tough day: “It was windier with lots of tide, and the fleet was close together, so we really had to work hard to get anything out of it. We had a few mistakes, which pushed us out the top three but generally, we are very pleased with how we sailed. And very, very, pleased to be here at the Endeavour. It has been an amazing weekend and great racing.”

Back on shore after racing this afternoon, competitors and guests attended the Endeavour prizegiving, where the winners Morris and Fillmore were presented with the spectacular solid silver model, and the half model of the America’s Cup J-Class yacht Endeavour.

Plans are already underway for next year’s Investec-sponsored Endeavour Trophy, which is taking place on 6-8 October 2023.

Overall Results (7 Races, 6 to count)

1st RS800 – Tom Morris and Guy Fillmore (22pts)

2nd Returning champion – Luke Patience and Faye Chatterton (26pts)

3rd GP14 – Ian Dobson and Emma Hivey (27pts)

4th 420 – Ollie Meadowcroft and Oscar Cawthorne (30pts)

5th Osprey – Matt Burge and Rob Henderson (31pts)

6th RS200 – Arran Holman and Hayden Sewell (33pts)

7th Merlin Rocket – Christian Birrell and Rachael Gray (36pts)

8th D Zero – Nick Craig and Toby Lewis (39pts)

An elated Tom Morris and Guy Fillmore back on shore this afternoon – photo Sue Pelling

An elated Tom Morris and Guy Fillmore back on shore this afternoon – photo Sue Pelling

Endeavour champions Tom Morris and Guy Fillmore on their way to winning – photo Sue Pelling

Endeavour champions Tom Morris and Guy Fillmore on their way to winning – photo Sue Pelling

Luke Patience and Faye Chatterton finished second overall – photo Sue Pelling

Luke Patience and Faye Chatterton finished second overall – photo Sue Pelling

GP 14 representatives, Ian Dobson and Emma Hivey sailed a consistent series to finish third overall – photo Sue Pelling

GP 14 representatives, Ian Dobson and Emma Hivey sailed a consistent series to finish third overall – photo Sue Pelling

420 national champs, Ollie Meadowcroft and Oscar Cawthorne took a well-deserved fourth overall – photo Sue Pelling

420 national champs, Ollie Meadowcroft and Oscar Cawthorne took a well-deserved fourth overall – photo Sue Pelling

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