Saxton/ Lewis win Endeavour Trophy

Published on October 15th, 2017

Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex (October 15, 2017) – Ben Saxton and Toby Lewis successfully defended their Endeavour Trophy title by winning the 2017 edition. With racing held October 14 and 15, they toppled the 30 boat fleet to win the British Championship of Champions with a race to spare.

Ben Saxton (left) and Toby Lewis

This invitation-only competition is for national, European or world champions from the most popular dinghy racing classes, with all the teams competing in one-design RS200s with new suits of sails courtesy of RS Sailing and Hyde Sails.

Saxton/ Lewis entered today’s final three-race showdown just one point ahead of Nick Craig and Holly Scott (D-One). However, just minutes into the first race of the day, disaster struck for Craig/Scott when gear failure forced their retirement from that race. Thankfully a swift repair job to the gooseneck meant they were back in action for the penultimate race of the series.

Craig, six-time former Endeavour winner, admitted however, that even without the gooseneck failure he believes Saxton would have been hard to beat. “It was good to have won some races from him [Saxton] yesterday because it made it all a bit more interesting with just one point between us but when we had to retire it was pretty much game over for us. To be fair to Ben, he did the business. He was going fast and it would have been tough for us to break his domination.”

Commenting on his overall win for the third year in succession a delighted Saxton, fresh from his Nacra 17 world championship win, said: “Winning here is all about tactics and thankfully because we are quick we have the advantage of having tactical options. But it was really tough this year and we had to really work very hard so I was glad to have someone like Toby at the front of the boat to make me look very good. He is a superstar.”

Lewis the supercrew, who by winning his seventh Endeavour Trophy today has now broken the event’s winning record, spoke highly of the event: Lewis added: “Coming to this event is the highlight of the year because the standard is so high with everyone a national champion. It really is a special event and we always feel honoured to be part of it.”

Overall Results (Top 6 of 30; 8 races, 1 discard)
1st Ben Saxton and Toby Lewis (2016 Champion) 8pts
2nd Nick Craig and Holly Scott (D-One) 23pts
3rd Roger and Jane Gilbert (International 14) 34pts
4th Jon Gorringe and Emma Clarke (RS400) 34pts
5th Christian Birrell and Rob Henderson (470 m) 36pts
6th Ben Palmer and Amy Seabright (RS200) 49pts

Event detailsResultsFacebook

Confirmed entries
• 2016 Champion, Ben Saxton and Toby Lewis
• D-One, Nick Craig and Holly Scott
• Scorpion, Andy Mckee and Steve Graham
• Supernova, Alex Horlock and Arthur Henderson
• RS Feva, Ben Hutton-Penman and Lucy Hewitson
• National 12, Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantine
• Enterprise, Jeremy and Becca Stephens
• RS400, Jon Gorringe and Emma Clarke
• Comet, Chris Hatton and David Harris
• 470, Christian Birrell and Rob Henderson
• Topper, Sam Cooper and Simon Hall
• 420, Niamh Harper and Ross Thompson
• RS200, Ben Palmer and Amy Seabright
• Albacore, Tom Lonsdale and Oli Meadowcroft
• Miracle, Dave Butler and Ross Fleming
• National 18, Stuart Urquhart and Brendan Lynch
• Optimist, Jamie Cook and Finley Dickinson
• Fireball, Matt Burge and Tom Pygall
• Firefly, Nigel Wakefield and Mary Henderson
• 2000, Stephen and Sarah Cockerill
• Cadet, Bettine and Jamie Harris
• Mirror, Dave and Imogen Wade
• International 14, Roger and Jane Gilbert
• Merlin Rocket, Alan Roberts and Rosie Sibthorp
• Women’s 470, Anna Carpenter and Martin Wrigley
• Laser Radial, Ben and Sam Whaley
• 29er, Nick Robins and Billy Vennis-Ozanne
• RS800, Chris Rashley and Hannah Bristow
• K1, Simon Heusen and Allan Tyler
• RS500, Federico and Filippo Maccari

Brief history of the Endeavour Trophy
The Endeavour Trophy is a solid silver scale model of the J Class yacht Endeavour presented annually to the Champion of Champions at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham-on-Crouch.

The origin of the trophy stems from Tom Sopwith’s J Class yacht Endeavour, America’s Cup Challenge in 1934. Following a pay dispute and dismissal of his east coast-based professional crew, Sopwith teamed up with ‘Tiny’ Mitchell, the Commodore of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club at the time, to recruit amateur members of the club to form a crew.

Although Endeavour won the first two races against Rainbow, and lost the series, this was the closest England ever came to winning the coveted America’s Cup.

In recognition of this achievement, Robin Judah – respected member of the RCYC – established a series of races for dinghy sailors in order to determine the overall dinghy champion of champions from the UK’s most popular dinghy racing classes. Beecher Moore, former Endeavour crew, and marketing man behind the successful dinghy designer Jack Holt, joined Judah in his quest to run this event and presented for the overall winner, his solid silver scale model of the yacht.

The first invitation-only race took place in 1961 and the winners were Peter Bateman and Keith Musto, representing the International Cadet class. The event is now recognised as one of the ultimate achievements in British dinghy racing.

The competition is exceptionally challenging and those who qualify through winning their own class championship, are given the opportunity to race equally talented sailors in this unique, highly demanding two-day event on the River Crouch.

Given the diverse entry, which includes singlehanded, doublehanded, heavy and lightweight crews, and to ensure the racing is as fair as possible, carefully selected, strict one-designs are chosen for the event. The original idea back in 1961 was to use the club’s own fleet of 15 Royal Corinthian One-Designs but they were considered too specialist and would have placed a perpetual limit on the number of entries. The first event was, therefore, sailed in Enterprises.

Since then numerous one-design classes have been used for the event including the GP14, Laser 2, Lark, Enterprise, RS400, Topper Xenon, and the Topper Argo. The 13ft (4m) Phil Morrison-designed RS200 – a smaller version of the RS400 has been the chosen class for the Endeavour Championship since 2015. It weighs in at 78kg and is an ideal choice to suit a wide crew-weight range.

Current Endeavour Champions (2016 winners) –Ben Saxton and Toby Lewis representing the Nacra 17.

Source: Sue Pelling (report and photos)

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