Olympian Ben Saxton and Paralympian Niki Birrell have been confirmed to compete in the Endevour Championship as wildcard entries on 7-9 October on the River Crouch, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex.
Hosted by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, 27 invited RS200 boats will race in the highly competitive annual event. A record number and a high calibre of racers will compete including Nick Craig (DZero champion), Hannah and Nick Smith (Miracle champions), Archie and Freddie, (Aero 5 champions) and Luke and Emma McEwen (RS800 champions).
As always, to ensure the racing for this Champion of Champions event remains as fair as possible, RS Sailing will supply each boat with identical suits of new sails and spinnakers, which will be offered at a significant discount to the owner of the boat following the event.
Edwin Buckley, event organiser commented: "We are extremely pleased to be using the RS200 boats for this year's regatta. As the racing proved last year, the pace will be fast and the competition will be fierce as the champions and Olympians fight it out for the ultimate trophy."
Nick Craig, six-times winner of the Endeavour Trophy commenting on the inclusion of the wild card sailors said: “It is really exciting to know that we are not only racing against the best of the best in the UK but now also against the best the UK has to offer the world.
“The range of top quality sailors, tight racing and excellent race management make this one of my favourite events of the year. I'm hoping for 30+ knots so I get to stretch my legs in a RS200!”
Although the Endeavour Championship is by invitation only for the national champions of the UK’s most popular dinghy classes, the organisers are keen to hear from any class association that would like to be considered for entry.
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.