National 12s into the lead
National 12 national champions Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne lead the 50th Endeavour Trophy Champion of Champions event at Burnham-on-Crouch after six races.
In total contrast to yesterday’s extreme winds which reached over 30kts and forced the postponement of the first race, a light to moderate breeze from the south-south-east today allowed the 30 champion teams, racing the fleet of Ian Howlett-designed Topper Xenons specifically built and kindly loaned by Topper, to enjoy a day of close tactical racing.
The shifty winds however, not only provided a challenge for the competitors but also made for an interesting day for Race officer, Kim Allen, and team who worked hard to ensure good courses were set in all six races.
Racing, over short-sharp, windward/leeward courses, at the mouth of the River Roach a couple of miles down stream from the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, kept the fleet on its toes throughout the day and the level of competition – with national champions from 30 of the most popular dinghy racing classes represented – was, not surprisingly, extremely high.
Enterprise representative Nick Craig who’s won the event several times was tipped as event favourite but in today’s light to moderate winds, it was the lightweight, superfast National 12 duo, and the young Merlin Rocket team of Stuart Bithell and Christian Birrel who came out on top. Camm and Ballantyne, who have competed at the Endeavour Trophy on two occasions before, were always in good positions at the start and sailed consistently well. Going into today’s final race they led Bithell/Birrel (Merlin Rocket) by just one point. Bruce Keen and Penny Clark (Musto Skiff) led this race from start to finish but a close battle between the National 12 and Merlin Rocket representatives ensued. Camm/Ballentyne sailed an impressive race once again and managed to keep Bithell/Birrel behind and finished the day with a four point winning margin.
The RS200 representatives David and Jane Hivey also sailed consistently well including a first place in the first race and concluded the day with 22pts which leaves them in third place with two races to go.
Camm, as he sailed in this afternoon, said: “We’re going pretty well but we’re not looking forward to the forecast of more wind tomorrow. If it’s breezy our aim is to sail well and survive! Today we tried to concentrate on good starts and kept out of all the carnage going on at each end of the line. We then made use of the banks and favourable tide. We feel we have the Xenon tuned a bit better than we have in the past, which helps of course, but we are quite light at 17.5 stone all up, so even in these light breezes it’s hard work for us.”
Chatting about competing at the Endeavour Trophy, Camm added: “It’s an absolutely fantastic event to be invited to because the standard of competition is exceptional, and Edwin Buckley and all the organisers do a fantastic job. It’s a unique event and we are proud to be here.”
Bithell who is now lying in overnight second place talking positively about the choice of Endeavour boat and today’s race, said: “We had a fantastic day because the Xenon is such an interesting boat to sail. It’s a cross between a Merlin Rocket and a GP14. It’s so simple to set up and sail, and the speeds are very similar so it’s probably the perfect boat for the Endeavour. It was a tricky day today, so it was important to keep an eye on what’s going on around. The conditions will be different tomorrow so we’ll have to see what happens then.”
Now back at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club after a long day on the water, competitors are preparing for the 50th Endeavour Trophy dinner. Racing for the final two races continues tomorrow at 1030, and the special 50th anniversary Masters’ championship will start at 1400. The prizegiving for both events will take place as soon as possible after the last race.
Results (after 6 races, and 1 discard)
|1||NATIONAL12||Graham Camm||Zoe Ballantyne||2||2||3||1||10||2||10|
|2||MERLINROCKET||Stuart Bithell||Christian Birrel||5||3||1||3||2||6||14|
|3||RS200||David Hivey||Jane Hivey||1||7||11||4||7||3||22|
|4||FIREBALL||Chips Howarth||Simon Potts||7||1||8||12||5||11||32|
|5||LARK||Harry Pynn||Michael John Gifford||3||14||2||14||4||16||37|
|6||ENTERPRISE||Nick Craig||Toby Lewis||10||6||4||16||3||14||37|
|7||MUSTOSKIFF||Bruce Keen||Penny Clark||8||20||5||11||16||1||41|
|8||GP14||Ian Dobson||Andy Tunnicliffe||26||8||14||2||15||4||43|
|9||420||Phil Sparks||Piers Strong||4||13||15||15||1||13||46|
|10||FIREFLY||Ben Vines||Eddie Webb||20||12||6||6||6||17||47|
|11||RS500||Tim Wilkins||Michael Geerling||23||11||7||10||21||9||58|
|12||LASER2000||Jasper Barnham||Graham Sexton||17||16||10||9||19||7||59|
|13||LASER4000||Alistair Hodgson||Sue Ogg||6||10||18||17||9||23||60|
|14||29ER||David Conlon||Finbar Anderson||28||18||12||7||11||12||60|
|15||B14||Tim Harrison||Jonny Ratcliffe||19||23||13||13||8||10||63|
|16||SCORPION||David Wade||Steve Hall||29||24||9||8||17||8||66|
|17||HORNET||Richard Garry||James Beer||18||15||17||5||12||19||67|
|18||WAYFARER||Michael McNamara||Chris Videlo||9||19||21||21||24||5||75|
|19||RS300||Steve Bolland||Pete Cruickshank||22||5||20||18||14||31||79|
|20||MIRROR||Chris Rust||Ollie Newman||11||26||16||25||18||15||85|
|21||TOPPER||Edward Jones||Hector Simpson||27||4||24||30||13||24||92|
|22||PICO||Jack Lawson||Peter Lawson||24||9||29||22||23||18||96|
|23||RS700||Jon Heissig||Nicky Griffin||14||17||26||20||22||27||99|
|24||VORTEX||Phil Whitehead||Jonathan Lister||13||21||19||26||29||22||101|
|25||CADET||Andrew Smith||Christopher Smith||15||25||22||27||27||21||110|
|26||SOLO||Matt Howard||Simon Haighton||21||28||23||19||20||28||111|
|27||BLAZE||Rob Jones||Ian Clark||12||29||25||24||26||25||112|
|28||RSFEVA||Robert Baddeley||James Taylor||25||22||30||23||25||20||115|
|29||RS600||Jamie Mawson||Chris Fry||16||27||28||28||30||29||128|
|30||OSPREY||Gareth Cauldwell||Robin Toozs-Hobson||30||31||27||29||28||26||140|