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Kearney joins UK Dinghy Champions

9th October 2009
Kearney joins UK Dinghy Champions

Ireland's Ross Kearney from Belfast Lough joins a total of 29 champions from some of the most highly competitive dinghy classes in the UK who have signed up for this year’s Endeavour Trophy which is taking place at Burnham-on-Crouch this weekend.

This historic annual event, which was first held in 1961, is invitation only to determine the overall dinghy champion of champions from the UK’s most popular dinghy racing classes. Hosted annually by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, it is a highly acclaimed regatta and recognised as the pinnacle of the year’s dinghy sailing achievements.

This year’s competitor line up is one of the most competitive yet with the likes of Nick Craig/Toby Lewis representing the Enterprise class looking to defend their title from last year. But Craig knows it definitely won’t be all plain sailing particularly with former Champion of Champion Geoff Carveth (representing the RS200 with crew Emma Clarke) back after a seven-year gap. Both Carveth and Craig each have four Endeavour wins under their belts so it will be interesting to see if either of them can clinch a fifth win. The only other person to have achieved this in the history of the event is Mike Holmes who won it in 1978, 1980, 1982, 1990 and 1995.

To ensure the event is made as fair as possible – to cater for the diverse entry including solo, double-handed, heavy and lightweight crews – racing takes place in carefully selected, strict one-designs. Owing to the success of the last four years, the Ian Howlett-designed Topper Xenon is the chosen class once again. Not only does this particular design offer an ideal all-up crew weight range of between 18-24 stone (114-152 kilos), but also because it’s a relatively new design and has no class championship, there is no class champion to gain an unfair advantage.

Topper, who have specifically built and kindly loaned the fleet of 29 brand-new Xenons for the event, have been working closely with Selden who supplied the masts, Hyde who supplied sails, and Holt the fittings. Together they have been able to produce an ‘Endeavour boat’ that is arguably the most fair choice of class in the history of the event.

The three-day champions’ spectacular on the tidal waters of the River Crouch and Roach, kicked off earlier today. Following a briefing and boat allocation, crews, particularly those who had not raced on the tidal waters of the Crouch, or sailed a Xenon before, were treated to a valuable session on the water with a practice coaching session run by Adam Bowers – RYA Olympic Development Squad Coach and former member of the GBR Olympic Sailing Team.

There was no escape from the typical early October autumnal Endeavour weather with the biting cold, brisk easterly breeze providing competitors with a demanding introduction to this highly competitive six-race, windward/leeward series.

Entry list

Class                Helmsman and crew

Albacore            Will Gulliver and Steve Graham

B14                   Tim Harrison and Jonny Ratcliffe

Buzz                  Simon Cory and Claire Hansell

Cadet                 Arthur Henderson and Sophie Dingwell

Enterprise           Nick Craig and Toby Lewis

Europe               Chris and John Gill

Fireball               Matt Burge and Richard Wagstaff

Firefly                Nigel Wakefield

420                    Rebecca Kalderon and Piers Strong

GP14                 Matt Mee and Chris Robinson

Lark                   Alan Krailing and Edd McArdle

Laser 2000         Mike Hart and Sally Kilpatrick

Laser 4000         Huw Powell and Kevin Bernard

Laser EPS         Matthew and Andrew Jones

Merlin Rocket     Glen Truswell and Olli Turner

Miracle               Sam Mettan and Geoff Phillips

Mirror                 Ross Kearney

Musto Skiff         Richard Stenhouse and Penny Clarke

OK                     Terry Curtis

Pico                   Alex Sarrall and Chris Clarke

RS 200               Geoff Carveth and Emma Clarke

RS Vareo            Matt Yallop and Rob Ashman

RS300                Steve Bolland and Pete Crukshank

RS400                David Hivey and James Stuart

RS500                Alex Taylor and Tom Halhead

RS700                Jon Heissig

RS800                Laurie Fitzjohn-Sykes

Scorpion             Tom Jeffcoate

Solo                    Charlie Cumbley

Published in Racing Team

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