RS800 champs take overnight Endeavour Trophy lead

Tom Morris and Guy Fillmore reign supreme in tough, shifty conditions


Overnight leaders Tom Morris and Guy Fillmore (RS800) – photo Sue Pelling

Royal Corinthian YC, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex (8 October 2022): Tom Morris and Guy Fillmore representing the RS800 class have taken the overnight lead of the Investec-sponsored Endeavour Trophy dinghy champion of champions event after four races writes Sue Pelling.

Burnham-on-Crouch was bathed in glorious sunshine with wind reaching 20+kts for today’s opening races of the 61st dinghy champion of champions series for the coveted Endeavour Trophy

The wind was extremely shifty however, leading to close tactical racing that was reflected in the results. The racing was unpredictable throughout the day, with a different winner in every race.

However, Morris and Fillmore, with a 1,6,8,4 to count, just managed to shake off the young 420 representatives Ollie Meadowcroft (18) and Oscar Cawthorne (17), who sailed an impressive series including a win in the penultimate race of the day. This puts Meadowcroft and Cawthorne just one point astern of the overnight leaders.

The first race of the day started in a good, working breeze after two general recalls and the black flag introduced. Morris and Fillmore, from Hayling Island SC, made a cracking start, which put them into the lead they never relinquished. However, in the shifty conditions it was tricky for even the most seasoned champions to work out which side of the river to opt for in the strong Spring tidal stream, but as the day wore on, going right seemed to be the most favoured.

Morris commenting on the day’s racing said: “It was a really tough day and we found ourselves down the ‘pan’ on several occasions. I would say, we were saved by heading for the right-hand side of the river in each race really. We learnt our lesson on the very first beat when we went left. From the second beat onwards, we went right and it paid dividends. The conditions at Burnham, with the low-lying land either side and narrow channels are not dissimilar to where we sail at Hayling, so I think that helped us a bit today too.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow, Morris and Fillmore agreed they would like to see even more wind: “At 145kg overall, we are on the heavy side for an RS200 but having said that, sailing a venue like this makes it a bit more of a leveller.”

Meadowcroft and Cawthorne, representing Upper Thames Sailing Club were elated with their results. On his debut as a helmsman at the Endeavour, a focused Meadowcroft said: “It was straightforward tactically in terms of the tide and having to evade it one way and not the other, but the more difficult part was choosing which side of the river to take. Thankfully we ended up getting it right most of the time and we are pleased with the result.”

Commenting on the choice of boat for the event, Meadowcroft added: “I do very much enjoy sailing a boat I can hike really hard, and to be able to push it hard upwind, so in that respect we enjoy the RS200. Even when the wind is tricky like it was today, the beauty of the RS200 is the fact it’s easy to change up or down a gear. It’s a simple boat to sail but it’s all about knuckling down and trying to find the pressure and going for it. Consequently, we are really looking forward to tomorrow’s racing.”

Other notable winners today included 2021 Endeavour champion Luke Patience, and Faye Chatterton who claimed the ‘award’ for the biggest lead of the day when they finished nearly two minutes ahead of Merlin Rocket representatives Christian Birrell and Rachel Gray. The final win of the day went to Santiago Sesto Cosby and Leo Wilkinson – 29er national champions.

With slightly more wind forecast for tomorrow, and with the overall results wide open with the discard yet to come into play, the final four races of the eight-race series are likely to produce the sort of dynamic racing that the Endeavour championship is famous for.

In the meantime, competitors and guests enjoyed a relaxing evening at the traditional, grand Endeavour dinner, which is this year dedicated to Leukaemia UK in memory of Pat Buckley, who died of acute myeloid leukaemia in January 2022 at the age of 73. Pat was involved with the club for almost 30 years and acted as race Recorder during the Endeavour Trophy for many years alongside Edwin Buckley, her husband, and the Endeavour Trophy’s long-standing race officer.

Results (4 of 8 races)

1st RS800 – Tom Morris and Guy Fillmore (19pts)

2nd 420 – Ollie Meadowcroft and Oscar Cawthorne (20pts)

3rd RS200 – Arran Holman and Hayden Sewell (25pts)

4th D Zero – Nick Craig and Toby Lewis (25pts)

5th GP14 – Ian Dobson and Emma Hivey (28pts)

6th Merlin Rocket – Christian Birrell and Rachael Gray (30pts)


Ollie Meadowcroft and Oscar Cawthorne (420) sailed impressively and finished the day in second place overall – photo Sue Pelling


A well-behaved fleet once the black flag was introduced – photo Sue Pelling


Spectacular conditions made for an ideal day’s racing – photo Roger Mant


Eighth overnight. Luke Patience (2021 Endeavour champ), and Faye Chatterton are looking forward to bettering their score tomorrow – photo Sue Pelling


Downwind fun – photo Roger Mant

61st Endeavour Trophy opening day

30 national champions fly the flag for Leukaemia UK


Luke Patience, reigning Endeavour champion, and Faye Chatterton looking forward to top class competition tomorrow – photo Sue Pelling

Royal Corinthian YC, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex (8 October 2022): The opening day of the 61st Investec-sponsored Endeavour Trophy dinghy champion of champions event kicked off today.

This annual event hosted by Royal Corinthian YC, Burnham-on-Crouch, is this year being held in aid of Leukaemia UK and dedicated to the memory of Pat Buckley, who died of acute myeloid leukaemia in January 2022 at the age of 73. Pat was involved with the club for almost 30 years and acted as race Recorder during the Endeavour Trophy for many years alongside Edwin Buckley, her husband, and the Endeavour Trophy’s long-standing race officer.

To mark the occasion, RS Sailing who supports the event has generously donated 30 brand-new suits of sails aptly emblazoned with Leukaemia UK logos, for use during the event. To support Leukaemia UK and its efforts to fund life-changing research to accelerate progress in diagnosis, find kinder treatments and better care for leukaemia patients, there will be plenty of opportunities to donate throughout the weekend.

Although today’s on-the-water coaching session on the river Crouch was cancelled due to 30kts of wind, competitors made the most of the time they had onshore, not only fine-tuning their rigs but also picking up some essential Endeavour tips and advice.

Former Endeavour Trophy winners Luke Patience and Christian Birrell carried out a classroom session with fellow competitors this afternoon and shared their extensive knowledge of the event. It was particularly helpful for first-timers including some of the younger members of the fleet.

Patience – 470 Olympic Silver medallist, and last year’s Endeavour champion – said he is delighted to be back at the event: “I absolutely love coming here. It’s special and always a great atmosphere. The days of this kind of racing are slowly diminishing for me, so this event always gets earmarked in the diary. It’s great to be back and to race against old friends again and, of course, I enjoy sharing my knowledge of the event.”

Commenting about the conditions expected for the rest of the event, Patience added: “There’s a good forecast for the weekend so we should get all eight races in, hopefully. Also there looks to be a good spread of conditions; a bit lighter tomorrow and breezier on Sunday so good for everyone, and more of a chance of producing a good, all-round winner.”

Nick Craig, another serial Endeavour Trophy competitor, and winner expressed his fondness for the event. Even after 20 years of competing and winning six times, he says he never tires of the Endeavour: “Even though I am totally the wrong size to sail an RS200 and I feel too big for it, for me it’s still worth coming. I love the event for the fact it is so well run, the racing is fantastic and it’s great to meet up with old friends and meet new ones too. Even the practice race is generally some of the best racing I do all year.”

At the other end of the scale, 13-year-old first-timer Lila Edwards (Optimist national champion) said: “I had a great Optimist national championship, but I am feeling fairly nervous about racing with such a high calibre fleet, also we are not exactly the heaviest team. Whatever happens though, we’ll have fun, and the aim really is to embrace the experience and learn as much as I can from so many talented sailors.”

Ollie Meadowcroft (18) who won the 420 national championship this year, is another helming first timer at the event: “Although I have crewed at this event before for a friend who was the Albacore champion in 2019, this is the first time helming, so I am very excited and really looking forward to the racing. I also did the RS200 nationals this year, so hopefully that will help a bit plus my crew Oscar [Cawthorne] and I have sailed a lot together. We shall see. Hopefully we won’t run it up the mud!”

As the day’s formal activities gently came to a close this afternoon, the competitors enjoyed a relaxed evening at the Royal Corinthian YC in preparation for the first race tomorrow, which starts at 1030. A total of eight races (one discard) are scheduled over the weekend.

Edwin Buckley, event director and race officer, commenting on what is a very poignant year said: “Although it is an emotional time for me, I am so delighted that the decision was made to dedicate the event to the memory of Pat, and to be able to use the event to raise funds that will go towards developing kinder, more effective treatments for leukaemia.

“The response to this year’s event has been overwhelming and I have had some heartwarming emails from competitors expressing their gratitude for Pat. My thanks go to RS who has kindly had the sails printed with Leukaemia UK and I think that is going to be a real spectacle.

“The weather is looking good, which means we should complete all eight races. The windward/leeward courses will be laid in the vicinity of the mouth of the river Roach, depending on the wind direction. If it goes round to the west, as forecast, racing will probably take place on the Crouch.”

Mick Hill – Endeavour Trophy Leukaemia UK Ambassador – said this weekend is all about exposure, awareness and fund raising: “Our aim is to promote this important charity throughout the weekend, and we feel the Endeavour is the perfect platform in which Leukaemia UK can communicate their needs. Because it is also a fund-raising platform there are various ways to donate but the easiest way is by texting ENDEAVOUR followed by amount to 70405.”


A gaggle of young champions make final preparations for the first series of races tomorrow – photo Sue Pelling


The Endeavour dinghy park as competitors start arriving – photo Sue Pelling


Luke Patience and Christian Birrell during this afternoon’s classroom session – photo Roger Mant

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.


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.


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.


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


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