Olympian Luke Patience and Mary Henderson win 60th Endeavour Trophy – Super-fast duo settle some unfinished business

Luke Patience and Mary Henderson Olympian 470 representatives on their way to an overall win – photo Roger Mant

Luke Patience and Mary Henderson Olympian 470 representatives on their way to an overall win – photo Roger Mant

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.

Following 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.

Edwin Buckley, race director, presents the solid silver Endeavour Trophy to Luke Patience and Mary Henderson – photo Roger Mant

Edwin Buckley, race director, presents the solid silver Endeavour Trophy to Luke Patience and Mary Henderson – photo Roger Mant

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.”

The moment Patience and Henderson took control of the race (blue hull) – photo Sue Pelling

The moment Patience and Henderson took control of the race (blue hull) – photo Sue Pelling

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 prizegiving 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 underway for next year’s Investec-sponsored Endeavour Trophy, which is taking place on 8-9 October 2022.

Overall Results (6 races, 5 to count)

1st Olympian 470 – Luke Patience and Mary Henderson (7pts)

2nd Thames A Rater – Ben Palmer and Amy Seabright (11pts)

3rd RS400 – Nick Craig and Katie Burridge (22pts)

4th RS200 – Arran Holman and Toby Lewis (26pts)

5th Solo – Andy Davis and Pippa Kilsby (38pts)

6th Merlin Rocket – Christian Birrell ad Matt Mee (44pts)

Burnham Week 2021 – Opening weekend racing off to a good start

The opening weekend of Burnham Week 2021 (28 August-4 September) got off to a cracking start.

A gusty northerly breeze and classic, strong east coast tides made the Bank Holiday Weekend Series challenging but the 115-strong entry generally enjoyed highly competitive racing throughout the weekend.

In total 15 classes including a range of cruising yachts, local one-designs and dinghies, as well as gigs, stand up paddleboard, kayaks and canoes, supported this premier east coast regatta, making it one of the largest entries the regatta has seen for some years. It was also good to see the multihulls enjoying fast and furious racing for the MOCRA (Multihull Offshore Cruising & Racing Association) three-day, class national championship.

MOCRA multihulls

Blast off for MOCRA national championship winner NRB – photo Alan Hanna

Blast off for MOCRA national championship winner NRB – photo Alan Hanna

Julian Linton receives the MOCRA nationals trophy from Stuart Bithell – Tokyo Olympic Gold medallist – photo Alan Hanna

Julian Linton receives the MOCRA nationals trophy from Stuart Bithell – Tokyo Olympic Gold medallist – photo Alan Hanna

By far the fastest fleet, the MOCRA multihulls were first out the ‘starting blocks’ on Saturday morning and raced a course that took them to the mouth of River Crouch and back. It was six-hour-long day on the water with 15-mile course, which didn’t seem to phase visitors Julian Linton and team (Adrian Linton, Lloyd Turner and Ian Cuthberton) from Island YC Canvey Island. Sailing NRB a superfast F33 AXC this team revelled in the conditions reaching 25kts boat speed at times. They took a clean sweep of four race wins to secure the national championship title with a day to spare. Julian Linton commented: “It was our first major event and we are thrilled to have won. It was a fantastic two days of racing, in perfect conditions for our design. I would also like to say how grateful we are for the super helpful team at Burnham who really work hard to encourage newcomers to the fleet at Burnham Week. We’ll be back for sure and hopefully others will recognise what an amazing venue Burnham is for this sort of racing.”

Hot on their heels, although unable to make an impact in the processional conditions up and down the Crouch, was team Origami (Farrier 27) sailed by local hot-shots Nick Wood, Charlie Bird and Nick Geaves. A final race second place secured second place with an overall score of 11pts. Bird said the weekend was one of the best yet. “We had fun from start to finish and, although the wind direction and two-sail reaching limited our chances of making any sort of impact on NRB, it was all very close with great racing. The Caribbean themed rum party with turbo-charged cocktails on Saturday night was legendary and, to be honest, probably didn’t help our chances on the water either!’

Cruiser Class 1 & 2

Phillip Harbott and his team on Mantra (Aphrodite OOD 101) started the weekend well by clinching the Watson Cup from John Saunders and his six-strong team on Jeannie (Elan 31). Fresh from his second place on day one however, Saunders and team Jeannie took the top spot on the Sunday and won the Thalassa Trophy from Flynn Davies/Digger Harden aboard former Town Cup winner Jackal (J/92). Team Jeannie then went on to take a final race win on the last day, which was enough to secure the overall series.

Class 5

Stephen Gosling’s SJ27 won Class 5 – photo Roger Mant

Stephen Gosling’s SJ27 won Class 5 – photo Roger Mant

Stephen Gosling and team on Grace and Danger (Hustler SJ27) scored two firsts on the opening two days and, although they won the series overall, their win was by no means easy. Daryl Mylroie and team on Eclipse (Maxi 1000) sailed impressively and although they won the last race and finished on equal 5 points, Grace and Danger with two wins, was deemed the overall winner of class.

Class 6

One of the most competitive fleets this weekend was undoubtedly Class 6 with its fine mix of interesting classes including a trio of Contessas (26,28 and a 32), and the super-speedy Andrew Wolstenholm-designed carbon-fibre Kite – Kate the Kite. Helmed by the legendary Keith Musto, and crewed by Law (joint owners), and Nick Peel, this snazzy, gaff-rigged, 21ft, lightweight flyer, really kept the fleet on its ‘toes’ but couldn’t quite outpace the MGC27 Ophelia sailed by Burnham SC members Richard Moore and Roger Tolhurst, who finished one point ahead with 4pts.

Keith Musto at the helm of Ant Law's gaff-rigged Kite – photo Alan Hanna

Keith Musto at the helm of Ant Law’s gaff-rigged Kite – photo Alan Hanna

Keith Musto, who won an Olympic silver medal in the Flying Dutchman in 1964, is now 85 years old yet has lost none of his competitive prowess. As as he stepped ashore this afternoon Musto commented: “It was great to be out racing this weekend and above all it was fun. The Kite is a really good design and sails well despite the small sail area. We did suffer a bit with lack of sail area in light airs, and when under the lee of the shore, but generally it is a well-balanced boat and goes well. Actually to me it’s very much like sailing a GP14 dinghy in the old days. Sails in a very similar way but just has a cabin.”

Looking ahead to next weekend’s Town Cup, Musto concluded: “I am very much looking forward to taking the helm again next Saturday for the all-important Town Cup. Obviously it depends a bit on the weather, but hopefully we’ll be there.”

 

 

 

RS Elite

Startline action for the RS Elite class – photo Roger Mant

Startline action for the RS Elite class – photo Roger Mant

With an impressive 10 boats the Elite class enjoyed super-close racing and, although most were local home sailors from Royal Burnham YC, it was the visitors who took control of the pack with Paul Fisk from Emsworth SC and crewman Richard Tucker in Legs Eleven who scored five wins and overall victory, while Bill Blank and Richard Turner in Oink Squeal from EYC secured second.

Local One Designs

Burnham Week wouldn’t be complete without local one-design keelboats not least because they consistently make up a large part of the overall fleet. They are also pretty, iconic, suitable for all sailing abilities and, most of all, extremely competitive.

 

 The Royal Burnham One-Design, which turns 90 next year, mustered the largest local one-design fleet with eight boats and, as always, the fleet enjoyed close racing. Team Dallimore with Will Dallimore on the helm, were on top form this weekend on Mandarin but although they notched up two wins on the opening two days, a sixth on Monday’s final race was enough to relegate them to second behind Aquamarine.

Stuart Bithell – Olympic gold medallist – presents Team Aquamarine – Angela Shephard (left), Matt Shephard and Sarah Hastwell – with the winners’ trophies in the Royal Burnham One-Design class – photo Alan Hanna

Stuart Bithell – Olympic gold medallist – presents Team Aquamarine – Angela Shephard (left), Matt Shephard and Sarah Hastwell – with the winners’ trophies in the Royal Burnham One-Design class – photo Alan Hanna

Angela Shephard with Matt Shephard and Sarah Hastwell at the front end won the final race and eventually finished the series one point ahead of team Dallimore on Mandarin.

The Bank Holiday Weekend Silver Tankard is the main competitive attraction in the Royal Corinthian One-Design fleet true to form, the long weekend produced some top class racing. It was also a weekend of consistency with the top five boats finishing in exactly the same order on the first two days. Ahead of the game however, were Justin Waples and his team of Steve and Lizzie Rands aboard Cormorant, who won overall with an impressive three win scoreline. Sue Law and John Newcombe in Coralie took second.

The elegant East Coast One-Designs made a welcome appearance this year and, although only two boats in the fleet, Widgeon (Ian Wilson/Dan Hally), and Wraith (Jerry Mecoy/Mark Ellis) made the most of the challenging conditions. However, it was Widgeon that always had the upper hand, finishing with two first places.

Dragon

Although slightly down on numbers this year with just eight local boats, competition, as always in the Dragon fleet, was red hot.

Chip Cole with Nicola Hastwell and David Smith at the front end of Anarchy, enjoyed close racing throughout with Peter Marchant, Katie Cole, Noddy Norden, and Harriet Butler aboard Beauty and the Beast. However, going into the last race with one win apiece, team Beauty and the Beast sailed well, this time battling it out with husband and wife team Mark and Mandy Wade on Avalanche. A final win for Beauty and the Beast confirmed their overall win, with Avalanche second and Anarchy in third.

Hunter 707

Although the Hunter 707 class always attracts a wide range of ages it is great to see the younger generation in particular, enjoying the delights of keelboat racing in these versatile boats. With two firsts and two seconds to count, BQ (Billie Quinlan/Clare Dallimore) won the series by two points from early series leaders James Dallimore, Rory Munro, Mike Champion, Charlie Matthews, and Robbie Hooper.

Squib

The Squibs turned out in force for the five-race series – photo Roger Mant

The Squibs turned out in force for the five-race series – photo Roger Mant

The Squib fleet never fails to support Burnham Week and with 24 boats on the startline this weekend, it was the largest class on the water. With some taking the opportunity to use the event as a warm up to the forthcoming national championship, it was also one of the most competitive for this weekend’s David Eagling Memorial Trophy and Brian Waples Memorial Trophy.

As is often the case in such competitive fleets, it was consistency that paid off. With six points overall counting two firsts and two seconds, Spoof (Micky Wright/Alex Porteous) took the overall win. Guy Fawkes (Phil Aspinall/Howie Enkel/Marion Aspinall) who were vying for top spot going into the final race, had to settle for third overall with a fifth place to count behind Jono Brown Chris Dunn, Portia Hutchings, Marion Aspinall aboard Squiggle.

Dinghies

Osprey fleet racing – photo Roger Mant

Osprey fleet racing – photo Roger Mant

A total of 25 dinghies took part this weekend with fleet racing for the Osprey Phantom and a Dinghy Handicap class. The Phantoms turned out in force with 10 boats on the startline mainly from Creeksea SC, just up river from Burnham. However, once again it was a visitor – Bob Portway from Royal Harwich YC – who stole the show with four first places and a third to count (7pts). Graham Dale-Jones with one win, in the opening race, and 14pts overall, took second.

The Osprey fleet is a long-time supporter of Burnham Week and although numbers, with just five boats competing, were down slightly this year, the quality of the fleet was high with visitors turning out from as far away as Coniston and Kielder Water. Robert Shaw from Kielder Water, who is no stranger to sailing on the River Crouch, triumphed once again taking the event with a day to spare, and finishing three points ahead of Alex Mamwell from Coniston Water SC.

In the Fast Handicap fleet, Eamonn Browne in his Sprint 15 from Creeksea SC enjoyed a battle royal with Bryan Haynes from Royal Corinthian YC sailing an RS Aero 7. They both finished with 8pts overall but Browne took the trophy with a last race win.

Other happenings

Over the last five years or so, gig racing has become an all-time favourite at Burnham Week and today’s racing was, once again, a huge success. Also, for the first time Burnham Week Ltd (BWL) – the event organisers – expanded the event to include divisions for stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and river swimmers. This turned out to be welcome addition with spectators enjoying all the action just off the town quay after yacht racing finished for the day.

The Bank Holiday prizegiving took place after racing today with an array of silverware presented by Olympic 49er gold medallist Stu Bithell. Fresh from the recent Tokyo Olympics, Bithell honoured the crowds with his presence and was able to share some inspirational Olympic memories with Burnham Week competitors.

Looking ahead

Competitors are now looking forward to Midweek Series Points Racing, and

the final Saturday, which is Trophy Day. For classes that comply with regulations there is a chance to win the prestigious Town Cup. This is being run alongside the Houghton Cup (one of the oldest offshore races on the East Coast) in conjunction with EAORA (East Anglian Offshore Racing Association).

With nine race teams signed up including the likes of Richard Matthews’ flashy, new 52ft Oystercatcher XXXV, and Keith Musto on the helm of the Ant Law’s petite yet, fast carbon-fibre Kite, next weekend promises to offer plenty of excitement on the water.

On shore next Saturday spectators can enjoy the final day festivities including the annual Duck Race in aid of the Essex Air Ambulance. Tickets (or rather ducks) cost £1 and are available to purchase at all clubs and the White Hart pub. The event is scheduled to take place at 1100 from the pontoon at the Royal Corinthian YC.

In the evening prepare to be wowed by the grand Burnham Week firework spectacular, which blasts off at 2100.

Back to basics for Sir Ben Ainslie

– A slight change of pace for Sir Ben Ainslie in a Scow on the Beaulieu River yesterday – photo Julio Graham

A slight change of pace for Sir Ben Ainslie in a Scow on the Beaulieu River yesterday – photo Julio Graham

Sir Ben Ainslie made a guest appearance yesterday at the Buckler’s Hard 50th anniversary and redevelopment celebration regatta.

Ainslie, who was keen to embrace the spirit of the event, enjoyed a fun sail up the Beaulieu River in a Scow with the Hon Mary Montagu-Scott at the front end.

In sparkling sunshine and a light fluky breeze, they headed the fleet up the charming, winding river to Buckler’s Hard where celebrations began to mark the completion of the two-year/ £2m redevelopment project.

Following an afternoon of regatta fun, visitors and guests enjoyed a special awards ceremony hosted by Lord Montagu.

 To mark the occasion Ainslie was presented with a certificate granting him the Honorary Freedom of Beaulieu River, while fellow special guest Sir Chay Blyth received his certificate for Honorary Freedom of Beaulieu River that was granted to him by Lord Montagu’s father at the original marina opening in 1971, almost 50 years to the day.

 Ainslie said: “I just think it is really nice to be able to enjoy the water for enjoyment’s sake. It makes a real change from my professional sailing, which is all very serious. This is all about the grass roots and it doesn’t get any better than this particularly with such glorious weather.

 “Beaulieu River is just stunning and I have many fond memories of being on this River, so it is really special to be here today.’’

 Talking about plans to enjoy his Freedom of the River, Ainslie added: “I feel honoured to have been granted this privilege and to have a boat here one day would be my dream.”

Sir Ben Ainslie enjoys a relaxing afternoon with the Hon Mary Montagu-Scott and Lord Montagu – photo Julio Graham

Sir Ben Ainslie enjoys a relaxing afternoon with the Hon Mary Montagu-Scott and Lord Montagu – photo Julio Graham

Lord Montagu commenting on the occasion said: “It is impossible not to be aware of the huge feeling of goodwill amongst all the mooring holders. I don’t think anybody is here out of duty, we are all here because we want to mark this occasion and celebrate all that’s good about the Beaulieu River.

“Although I never doubted the redevelopment would be a good idea, we really didn’t know what obstacles we might run into, particularly environment ones. Thankfully everything came together surprising well. Yes it took two winters to complete and there was disruption and times when the current mooring holders were affected but today shows it’s all ended very well. We now have 66 new marina berths with larger berths to suit vessels up to 20m. We’ve upgraded all the electrical services, improved the Wi-Fi and have a new dedicated visitor area.”

 

Patience and Henderson take overnight Endeavour Trophy lead – Olympian leads Merlin Rocket champs by one point

Olympian Luke Patience, and Mary Henderson (470) stole the show on the opening day of the Investec-sponsored Endeavour Trophy, with three wins in the bag writes Sue Pelling

Light winds and a strong tidal stream resulted in challenging conditions for the 30-strong fleet of champion sailors but Luke Patience – Tokyo 2020 Team GBR sailor, and Olympic silver medallist – and Mary Henderson took control of the event, managing to hold off closest rivals Christian Birrell and Sam Brearey (Merlin Rocket) in the first two races. They won the second race of the day by one minute 49 seconds. 

Olympic sailor Luke Patience, and Mary Henderson take overnight lead – photo Sue Pelling

Olympic sailor Luke Patience, and Mary Henderson take overnight lead – photo Sue Pelling

Another impressive performance was noted in race three, in arguably the most challenging conditions of the day, when Sam and Ben Whaley (Laser) led the race and managed to hold off James Peters and Maddy Anderson (RS200) in a close race to the finish line. 

Patience and Henderson were back on form again in race 4, in what turned out to be the final race of the day in slightly more favourable conditions on a course set on the River Roach. However, they certainly didn’t have it all their own way. 

Serial Endeavour Trophy winner Nick Craig, sailing with Emma Clarke (B14) executed one of the best starts of the day at the committee boat end of the line and managed to sneak inshore out the tide. Patience and Henderson, Ben Saxton and Toby Lewis (Returning Endeavour champions), and Cliff and Bec Milliner (Supernova) enjoyed a fantastic short-tacking battle up the first beat.

At the close of play after an exciting finale it was Patience and Henderson who used their light wind expertise once again to snatch victory from Craig and Clark as they crossed the line. Saxton and Lewis took third and the Milliners followed closely in fourth.

As they sailed ashore this afternoon, Patience and Henderson were clearly delighted with their performance and said they particularly enjoyed the final race. Patience said: “We had a fantastic race with Nick [Craig] in that one. I have to say we are lighter so we are at an advantage. Tomorrow with a bit of breeze, he’ll be back for sure.

“In this sort of competition you take what you get at the time. The key thing is to win when it is your conditions; it’s a crime if you don’t. We knew we had to win races today because it is likely it will be full-on with more wind tomorrow. And I am sure the bigger guys will be rapid, so we are just pleased to have done well when we had the opportunity.”

Talking about their game plan tomorrow, Patience added: “We aim to sail smooth and steady and, if there is wind, we aim to keep the ‘stick in the sky’.”

Craig commenting on his performance today said: “Light winds are not our conditions really so we were pleased we did so well in the final race. Not so good in the others because we just made some wrong decisions.”

Talking about the level of competition, Craig added: “It is unbelievable this year. Having three or four Olympians here is amazing. I wish we could do this every weekend, it is fantastic.”

3At the halfway stage of the series just three points separate the top three boats, which means there is everything to play for in the final four races. Patience and Henderson with three wins clearly have the advantage but with more wind expected tomorrow and a host of premier league, adrenalin-fuelled sailors ready to do battle to secure victory at the 59th Endeavour Trophy, there’ll be no shortage of exciting competition.

In the meantime this evening, competitors are enjoying the full Endeavour experience at the annual dinner at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club where the solid silver Endeavour Trophy is on display.

Results (after four races with discard yet to come into effect)

1st Luke Patience  and Mary Henderson (Olympian) 17pts

2nd Christian Birrell and Sam Brearey (Merlin Rocket) 18pts

3rd Ben Saxton and Toby Lewis (2018 Champion) 19pts

4th James Peters and Maddy Anderson (RS200) 22pts

5th Sam and Ben Whaley (Laser) 23pts

6th Ian Dobson and Matt Mee (Fireball) 23pts

 

Endeavour Trophy count down – Champions prepare for annual showdown at Burnham-on-Crouch

4_SP

Photo Sue Pelling

With just one month to go until the Investec-sponsored Endeavour Trophy (11-13 October), entry has almost reached its 30-place limit writes Sue Pelling.

For the first time in many years response to the annual Endeavour Trophy invitation dinghy champion of champions’ event has been overwhelming, with organisers at the Royal Corinthian YC, and new sponsors Investec, looking forward welcoming the 30 dinghy class national champions to the home of the Endeavour Trophy.

Edwin Buckley – event director and race officer commenting on the event and the support of its new sponsor said: “We are very proud to announce Investec Wealth & Investment becoming a sponsor this year, we are all looking forward to working with them alongside our long term sponsors for this prestigious event.”  

Among those already signed up to do battle at this annual event are Ben Saxton/Toby Lewis who are not only keen to defend the title they won last year, but who are also looking forward to trying to make it a record five Endeavour wins in a row. Another win would also put Saxton in a position of matching the record number of Endeavour Trophy wins currently held by Nick Craig who has six wins to his name.

Offering a bit of advice to fellow competitors Saxton says although winning the Endeavour is all about tactics it pays to keep things simple. “The key to success at the Endeavour is to work hard but keep the tactics simple. We don’t do anything special but we just try to keep the right side of the tide and wind, and pick a few boats off here and there.”

Having secured his Endeavour Trophy ‘ticket’ this year with a win at the 2019 B14 national championship, Nick Craig, together with Emma Clarke (former Endeavour winning crew), will also be preparing for some serious competition. Last year they were neck and neck with Saxton/Lewis so it will be interesting to see what approach they have lined up this year in an effort to break Saxton/Lewis’ recent domination of the event.

To ensure a relatively level ‘playing field’ for the diverse entry that includes youth, singlehanded and doublehanded sailors, the popular one-design RS200 dinghy is the chosen Endeavour dinghy for the fifth year in succession. For continuity competitors will also have the use of brand-new sails courtesy of RS Sailing and Hyde Sails.

The Endeavour Trophy eight-race/one discard series takes place on Saturday and Sunday on windward/leeward courses, and is preceded on the Friday by the Investec Training Day. Presented by Steve Irish – former champion/Endeavour competitor and coach – the training day offers competitors, particularly first-timers to the event, and those unfamiliar with the RS200 class, a chance to acquaint themselves with the boat before racing begins on the Saturday.

Those keen to support the event and join the champions after racing on the Saturday evening (12 October) are welcome to attend the grand Endeavour dinner in the Trophies Room at the Royal Corinthian YC. Tickets are available to purchase at £22.50 in advance from kate.knights@royalcorinthian.co.uk.

 

 

Cowes Week 2019 in fine fettle – Round up by Sue Pelling

Although probably one of the most challenging on record in terms of weather, Cowes Week 2019 turned out to be one of most successful in the history of the event with 100s of teams enjoying super-fast, exciting racing all week.

Thankfully for the inaugural charity King’s Cup event on the Thursday before the start of Cowes Week the weather was ideal allowing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to take part in the event while Prince George and Princess Charlotte watched on.

Will and David Heritage   powered up on Freddie Flintoff, Flying 15 – photo Paul Wyeth

Will and David Heritage
powered up on Freddie Flintoff, Flying 15 – photo Paul Wyeth

Winds of up to 50 knots on the opening Saturday – Sustainability Day –forced the cancellation of all racing but this was the only whole day lost due to the weather. Although the race committee also took the sensible decision to cancel the smaller White Group keelboats on the Sunday too (Family Day), with winds gusting up to 30 knots, the rest of the week was glorious, albeit a bit wet at times.

Families celebrating Family Day, and thousands of extra visitors to the Island on Sunday afternoon were treated to an amazing demonstration of ultra-fast racing with 50ft foiling SailGP catamarans contesting their inaugural European event.

Tom Slingsby and his Australian team were the heroes of the event winning all three races, and crossing the finish line at a mind-boggling 50kts in the first race.

Sir Peter Ogden and team on the Judel Vrolijk Mini Maxi Jethou stole the show from Johannes Schwarz on E1 the Volvo Open 70 (ex Green Dragon) in the Triple Crown, three-day series for IRC 0, winning the coveted Duke of Edinburgh Triple Crown Trophy, kindly loaned from the Royal Collection.

One of the highlights of the week was the competition for the Under 25 Trophy, which had one of the best prizes on offer – a chance for the skipper of the winning crew and guest to race in Antigua Sailing Week 2020, with flights and accommodation provided, as part of the ASW Youth to Keel Programme.

Not surprisingly this trophy was extremely closely contested but the overall winner was Ollie Hill and his H2 Sailing Team on an SB20 who walked away with the prestigious prize.

Chatting about his win, a delighted Hill commented: “The Antigua Sailing Week prize has got to be the best prize here and we certainly weren’t expecting to win. It is absolutely amazing and we are really happy. I have no idea who I’m taking yet. That’s a little bit of a difficult question, because it is still under negotiation.”

On his preparations for the event, Hill added: “We got the crew together about four months ago and we did three days training in Lymington and this is our first event so we are just really pleased to have come away with such a good result. Our win was just about focusing on the processes and trying not to look at the results too much to keep myself calm. I think we managed to do that reasonably well and come out with an amazing result, we’re really happy.”

Slingsby Ladies Day at Cowes Week, which celebrates women in sailing, is always popular and this year was no exception. In fact it turned out to be one of the best yet with Slingsby, the sponsor, once again embracing the day, which culminated with an exclusive Slingsby Ladies Day Reception at Northwood House.

The overall winner of the trophy that recognises the outstanding contribution, commitment, or achievement of women in sailing, was Lucy Macgregor, Olympian and four-time World Champion in Women’s Match Racing. She and here crew were also recognised for finishing fourth at the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda – a Grade 1 (open) matching event earlier in the year.

Out on the water at Cowes Week, however, it was Dawn Bee racing on Haggis 2 who won the new Slingsby Best Female Helm Trophy for the best overall result female helm that day.

With racing for the overall wins in both Black Group (large yachts) and White Group (small open dayboat classes) going down to the wire on the final day, competition was as intense as it was on the first day.

With a consistent scoreline of first places in IRC Class 6, Giovanni Belgrano and his team aboard the 1939-built Laurent Giles designed classic – Whooper – took the overall Black Group title for the second time. Although he won Black Group two years ago, he was naturally delighted to take the coveted title again: “It was a tough one this time, but there is no doubt that our win was 100 per cent down to rock solid navigation, preparation, and importantly, fantastic crew work.”

Rounding up a truly successful week on the water, it was James Wilson and Ed Peel and team in their 1989-built Redwing – Quail – who not only won the Redwing class, and White Group overall with a clear scoreline of five first places but they took the overall win of Cowes Week.

The jam-packed Cowes Week prize giving at Shepards Marina followed by a spectacular Red Funnel Fireworks extravaganza over the Solent on the Friday night marked the end of Cowes Week points series. However, a good turnout enjoyed the last day of Cowes Week racing for the Cowes Town Regatta on the final Saturday.

Special thanks were expressed to the event sponsors including Slingsby, Musto, aql, Sunsail, Land Rover UK, Westerhall Rum, Chatham, Fever-Tree, and Isle of Wight Council.

One of the most popular family attractions in the Yacht Haven this year was the Land Rover Activation Area that saw constant crowds of visitors joining in the fun. The Land Rover Sailing Experience for youngsters was particularly well subscribed, with young sailors, many who have never sailed before, fortunate enough to experience a coaching session with Sarah Ayton – double Olympic sailing gold medallist.

Plans are already in place for Cowes Week 2020, which takes place between 8-15 August.

The 50ft foiling SailGP catamarans competed at Cowes in the class's inaugural European event

The 50ft foiling SailGP catamarans competed at Cowes in the class’s inaugural European event

 

Keelboat Endeavour Trophy postponed –Big winds force the postponement of inaugural keelboat champion of champions’ event at Burnham-on-Crouch

Photo – Roger Mant

Photo – Roger Mant

With the wind projected to gust more than 40 kts on Sunday, the race committee at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham-on-Crouch, has made the sensible decision to postpone the Keelboat Endeavour Trophy writes Sue Pelling.

This inaugural event to determine the UK keelboat champions of champions was scheduled to take place this weekend (22-23 September) but with a series of low-pressure systems sweeping across the UK and forecast to continue until the weekend, the chances of completing a full two-day race series looked slim. Edwin Buckley – the Event Director – said he and his committee felt it was prudent to make an early call.

“It was a difficult decision but regrettably the Keelboat Endeavour is to be postponed. The wind on Sunday is expected to be gusting more than 40 kts so this will make the event un-sailable because we do need two days of good racing to have a successful event.

“We are naturally disappointed because we were all looking forward to some good racing at this first event with eight teams from all around the country, signed up to race the club’s fleet of 707s.”

Although the new date for the inaugural Keelboat Endeavour has yet to be confirmed there are two dates the committee has in mind, either 23-24 March or 6-7 April 2019. Buckley continued: “As soon as we have a firm date we will let everyone know. Those who missed this wonderful opportunity can request an application form from info@royalcorinthian.co.uk.”

The spring Keelboat Endeavour using up to six of the RCYC’s fleet of 707s will be run in a British Keelboat League-style knock-out format with 25 plus races over two days with RYA on-the-water umpires keeping an eye on proceedings.

The event is open to all keelboat champions including J/109, J/111, Fast40s as well as a large contingent of champions from classes like the Squib, Flying 15 and local one-designs that run a national championship and have exceptionally high quality competition.

In the meantime the annual and long-running Endeavour Trophy for dinghy champions is scheduled to take place this autumn on 12-14 October 2018. With 30 entries already signed up, this end-of-season dinghy Champion of Champions’ event is as popular now than it has ever been with many dinghy sailors regarding it as the ultimate prize on the UK dinghy racing circuit.

Photo – Roger Mant

Photo – Roger Mant