No margin at top of British battle
Published on October 12th, 2019
Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex (October 12, 2019) – 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 over the 30-boat fleet of class champions gathered for a level shoot-out in RS200s
Light winds and a strong tidal stream resulted in challenging conditions 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.
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.”
At 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.
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
Confirmed 2019 Endeavour Trophy entries:
2018 champions – Ben Saxton and Toby Lewis
2020 Olympian (470) – Luke Patience and Mary Henderson
29er – Oliver Evans and Will Jarman
420 – Eleanor Keers and Faye Chatterton
470 mixed – Jess Lavery and Alex Hughes
2000 Class – Jasper Barnham and Richard Thomas
Albacore – Oliver Davenport and Georgia Booth
B14 – Nick Craig and Emma Clarke
Blaze – Eden Hyland and Ben Harden
Cadet Class – Daisey Nunn and Harry Chatterton
Fireball – Ian Dobson and Matt Mee
GP14 – Sam Watson and Andy Thompson
Hadron H2 – Jack Holden and Sam Mottershead
K1 – Paul Smalley and Mari Shepherd
Lark – James Goss and Chris White
Laser – Sam and Ben Whaley
Laser Radial – Jon Emmett and Arran Holman
Merlin Rocket – Christian Birrell and Sam Brearey
Optimist – Henry Heathcote and Kuba Staite
RS Aero 5 – William Caiger and Catlin Morley
RS Aero 9 – Liam Willis and Will Taylor
RS Feva – Joey Taylor and Terry Hacker
RS Tera – Alice Davis and Dylan McPherson
RS200 – James Peters and Maddy Anderson
RS800 – Luke and Emma McEwen
Scorpion – Peter Gray and Rachael Rhodes
Streaker – Martin Plenty and Sam Waller
Supernova – Cliff and Bec Millner
Topper 4.2 – Sam Grayton and Raife Piggott
Topper 5.3 – Oliver Allen-Wilcox and Freddie Howarth
Source: Sue Pelling