Dinghy champions prepare for Endeavour Trophy

James and Dan Ellis represent the Fireball Class as National Champions. Tom Gillard, current Fireball World and Inland Champion is sailing as the Scorpion Class rep. Christian Birrell,2nd at the Europeans represents the Merlins.  2010 Fireball Champion crew Ben McGrane is representing the Contender Class.

Endeavour Preview by Sue Pelling - The 52nd Topper Sailboats supported Endeavour Trophy is taking place at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham-on-Crouch this weekend (5-7 October).

A total of 25 British national champions are signed up for the event, including 470 Olympic silver medallists Stuart Bithell and Luke Patience, will be the best choice for you plus last year's Endeavour champions Nick Craig and Toby Lewis.

This invitation-only event, to determine the overall dinghy champion of champions from the UK's most popular dinghy racing classes, is recognised as an ultimate achievement 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 Ian Howlett-designed Topper Xenon – used for the last seven years – has been is the chosen class for 2012. Not only does this particular design offer an ideal all-up crew weight range of between 18-24 stone (114-152 kilos), but also because it has no class championship, there is no class champion to gain an unfair advantage.

Topper, who specifically build and kindly loan the fleet of 25 brand-new Xenons for the event, strive to ensure the boats are fitted out to the highest possible standard. Working closely with Hyde who supply sails, Seldenthe masts, English Braids the ropes, and Allen Brothers the fittings, they have produced an 'Endeavour boat' that stands out as the most fair choice of class in the history of the event. Other sponsors, which support the event to allow it to run on a professional basis include: Noble Marine Insurance, Petticrows, Musto, Sea-Sure and GJW Direct.

The Calltracks-sponsored pre-event training session on the Friday, run by ABC for Winning coach Adam Bowers, will be followed by a pasta meal in the evening. The eight-race, seven to count Endeavour Trophy series starts at 1030 on Saturday morning (6 October) with the plan to run five, 45-minute races back-to-back on windward/leeward courses. The remaining three races are scheduled to take place on Sunday morning (7 October). This is however, subject to change depending on the weather situation.

Athough there is a currently a chance of fresh west-south-west between 10-15kts with stronger gusts on Friday for the training session, the wind will go round to the north on Saturday and drop to 9-10kts. However, the forecast indicates the wind continuing to drop on Sunday (1-2kts) which means the race officer will be eager to complete as many races as possible on Saturday.

The grand Endeavour dinner is on Saturday night at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, and a limited number of tickets are still available at £21 from Kate Boothy at the RCYC office. Telephone: +44 (0)1621 782105, or e-mail: [email protected]

18ft Skiff Jamie Mears Emma Clarke
29er Matt Venables Will Alloway
470 Stuart Bithell Luke Patience
Albacore Nev Herbert Steve Penfold
B14 David Hayes Tom Pygall
Cadet Nick Sutton Sam Barr
Contender Ben McGrane Roz McGrane
Enterprise Nick Craig Toby Lewis
Fireball James Ellis Dan Ellis
Firefly Stuart Hudson tbc
Hornet Richard Garry James Beer
Lark Steve Hall Simon Haighton
Laser 2000 Jaspar Barnham Graham Sexton
Merlin Rocket Christian Birrell Andrew Tunicliffe
Musto Skiff Bruce Keen Penny Clark
National 12 Graham Camm Zoe Ballantyne
Osprey Gareth Caldwell J. Gibbons
RS Feva Matt Whitfield James Taylor
RS100 Paul Childs Tom Morris
RS200 Ben Saxton Alan Roberts
RS300 Steve Bolland John Teague
Scorpion Thomas Gillard Oliver Wells
Solo Andy Davis tbc
Topper Giles Kuzyk Adam Cockerill
Wayfarer Chris Owen Sam Mcnamara

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 enlisted the help of '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.

Years later, Robin Judah – respected member of the RCYC – was anxious to establish a series of races for dinghy sailors in order to discover the 'Champion of Champions'. 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 winner was Peter Bateman, representing the International Cadet Class, crewed by Keith Musto. The original idea 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. Since then the event has been sailed numerous classes including the GP 14s, Laser 2s, Larks, Enterprises, RS400s and now the Topper Xenon.

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