Endeavour Trophy 2017 Runners and Riders
By Ben Harden, Allen Brothers on 11 Oct 13-15 September 2017
Endeavour Trophy day 1
Endeavour Trophy day 1
Photo © Graeme Sweeney / www.marineimages.co.uk
The Endeavour Trophy The Endeavour Trophy Photo © Graeme Sweeney / Marine Images
Overall winners Ben Saxton (left) and Toby Lewis with the solid silver Endeavour Trophy Overall winners Ben Saxton (left) and Toby Lewis with the solid silver Endeavour Trophy Photo © Roger Mant

The Endeavour Trophy is taking place this weekend between the 13th and 15th of October and some of the best sailors in the UK will be making their way to Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Burnham-On-Crouch for the Allen supported event.

With the 56 competitors from 28 different classes racing in RS200's and the River Crouch's strong tidal conditions, the event which will crown the "Champion of Champions" is set to be an exciting weekend.

With so much talent attending this year, it's not certain who will be walking away with the trophy but what we can be certain of however, is that there will be no lack of sailing knowledge and experience making it even more tricky to pick out potential winners. That being said, below is a list of runners and riders to keep an eye on during the event!

  • Ben Saxton & Toby Lewis – Where do we start with this pairing? Ben, who is part of the British sailing team, will be coming straight from winning the First Foiling Nacra 17 World Championships and will be pairing up again with Toby who has won the Endeavour an astonishing 6 times! Having won together for the past 2 years, the pressure is on to make it 3 in a row.

  • Nick Craig & Holly Scott – Having won the D-One and Merlin Nationals this year as well as the OK Worlds, Nick's sailing CV also show's an impressive 6 Endeavour wins. Pairing again this year with superstar crew Holly Scott, the pair have previously managed a 2nd and 3rd together so will be eager to finish top of the podium this time around.

  • Ben Hutton-Penman & Lucy Hewitson – These guys might be among the youngest competitors at the event but they are not to be underestimated. They will be carrying the home ground advantage being local Burnham-On-Crouch sailors. The pair who won the RS Feva Nationals and came 6th at the RS Feva Worlds will have all of the knowledge required to navigate the River Crouch quickly as it can be a tricky place to sail with its strong tides and favourable sides.

  • Graham Camm & Zoe Ballantyne – This could easily be a winning duo, years of experience sailing together and lots of technical knowhow. This National 12 pairing will be trying to improve on their best ever result of a 3rd at the 2008 Endeavor.

  • Oli Wells & Emma Clarke – Winner of the RS400 Nationals as a crew Oli has teamed up with a previous RS200 Nationals and 2009 Endeavour crew winner, Emma Clarke. If he can scale down the know-how from the RS400 to the 200, they could stand a good chance.

  • Christian Birrell & Luke Patience – After winning the 2017 470 Nationals and 2010 Endeavour as a crew this time round Chris will be taking the stick and hoping to take home the trophy with a fellow 470 sailor and Olympic Silver Medallist Luke Patience. The pair have some big titles under their belts including a Fireball Worlds, Merlin Rocket Nationals, ISAF Sailing World Cup an RS200 Inlands and an Olympic silver medal. These guys know how to sail a boat fast!

  • Ben Palmer & Ami Seabright – The current RS200 National Champions. If anyone has the advantage it's these two!

  • Ben Whaley & Sam Whaley – Put these guys in a single handed boat and they're sure to do well! Ben Whaley won the Laser Radial Nationals and will be pairing up with his brother Sam. The upwind tactical knowledge won't be lacking in this boat but the downwind angles might need some perfecting beforehand.

  • Matt Burge & Tom Pygall – After winning the combined Fireball Europeans and Nationals in Lyme Regis this year, Matt will be pairing up with a previous Merlin Rocket National Champion, Tom. Matt will be hoping to reclaim back the title after his 2014 win when the event was sailed in Topper Argo's. Tom will also be wanting to improve on his 2015 Endeavour 2nd, when he sailed with Nick Craig.

  • Stephen Cockerill & Sarah Cockerill – The man behind Rooster Sailing will be attending and hoping for his first Endeavour win. What hasn't this guy sailed and done well in? Winner of various National Championships over the years and most recently the 2000 Nationals with wife, Sarah.

  • Roger Gilbert & Jane Gilbert – Winner of this year's International 14 Nationals, Roger also took home the Endeavour back in 2003. He should stand a good chance as he has also won the RS200 Nationals twice, even though it may have been back in 2006 & 2007. However, the class has had an update to the sails since then but if he can remember how to sail a 200 quickly, this couple could be strong contenders.

  • Alan Roberts & Alex Warren – Alan won the Merlin Rocket Nationals this year with helm Nick Craig. He might be a superstar crew and has many different championship titles as a crew to his name but can he perform just as well at the back of the Boat? He will be teaming up with another Merlin Rocket crew, Alex. This pair should definitely know how to get the kite up and down quickly that's for sure!

  • Anna Carpenter & Martin Wrigley – The 470 Ladies National Champion will be teaming up with 470 helm Martin Wrigley. These guys should be a good size for the RS200, if they can nail the downwind aspect of Asymmetric sailing, there's no reason why they shouldn't be at the front of the fleet.

  • Chris Rashley & TBC – This year's RS800 Nationals winner and an ex International Moth National Champ. Chris has tried his hand at most high performance dinghies and it shows with his extensive knowledge of how to make anything go quickly. That being said, he's never sailed an RS200 before. If he can find himself a crew that can put up with extensive conversations about Moth sailing then he's sure to be a contender.

Which pairing will take home this year's Endeavour Trophy and be crowned the new "Champion of Champions"? To find out stay tuned to event sponsors Allen on facebook - www.facebook.com/allensailboathardware - to keep up to date with the event results and media coverage.

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