Saturday, October 01, 2011
The Endeavour Trophy, the race to decide the dinghy classes’ ‘champion of champions’ - featuring a fleet of Topper Xenons sporting smart Hyde sails - saw a real battle to decide the 2011 title.
Since its early beginnings, Hyde Sails has had a close association with the dinghy classes and the annual race to determine the ‘champion of champions.’ For the last six years the event has been run with the support of Topper who provide Xenons for the racing to ensure a level playing field, and Hyde supplying the sails. This partnership, together with the host club the Royal Corinthian YC, has seen the event continue to showcase the country’s top dinghy racing talent and go from strength to strength.
The big story this year was the tight battle at the front between youth and more experienced crews. OK class representative Nick Craig, crewed by Toby Lewis, eventually won the event, making it Craig’s fifth Endeavour title.
However, Craig and Lewis didn’t have it all their own way, and racing went down to the wire in the last of the eight-race series. Their biggest threat was the young, talented RS200 national champions – James Peters and Alan Roberts – who were leading the championship after the first day. Third place went to Scorpion class representatives Tom Jeffcoate and Mark Hogan.
With two impressive race wins for Craig, two second places for Peters in today’s first two races, and just two points between them, the scene was set for a spectacular showdown, and what a showdown it was. Craig and Lewis did what came naturally in their vulnerable position by switching into match racing mode. They did a particularly good job initially, which put them both at the tail end of the fleet but the canny youngsters were fully focussed which meant they were ready to pounce when Team Craig slipped up during a tack during the closing stages of the second beat. A coming together resulted in Craig and Lewis having to carry out penalty turns, which meant Peters and Roberts were able to slip ahead and maintain their controlling position to the finish. Unfortunately, it was too late to change the result, which meant Craig and Lewis had done enough to secure the championship.
Hyde is proud to be involved with the event, which epitomises its strong involvement on the UK’s dinghy classes.