2009 Endeavour Championship – Opening Day 11 Oct 2009
Alan Krailing and Edd McArdle representing the Lark class lead the Endeavour Champions of Champions series after five races without even winning a race.
Krailing and McArdle proved that notching up a consistent scoreline including three second places really does pay dividends. They finished the day just one point ahead of RS200 representative Geoff Carveth and Emma Clarke who included a 1st, 2nd, and 4th in their string of results. Krailing chatting about the racing as he sailed ashore commented: “It was an extremely tough day particularly working against the strong ebbing tide this morning but it seems to be going well so far. The Xenon is a good boat for the event, heavier than what I’m used to but they all go the same speed, and key is just to keep them rolling. They’re actually surprisingly quick boats, and fun.
The conditions for the 29-strong fleet of dinghy champions sailing the equally matched Ian Howlett-designed Topper Xenon dinghies couldn’t have been better. The wind was consistently from the west throughout the day, which meant that the race officer – Kim Allen and his team – were able to set some good courses on the upper reaches of the Crouch at Cliff Reach, just above Burnham rather than the more usual race area downriver.
In fairly lively conditions in the first race of the day, reigning champions Nick Craig and Toby Lewis, representing the Enterprise class, demonstrated their expert downwind skills on the first run and moved into the lead after a fairly average first beat and won the race by over one minute from Krailing and McArdle (Lark). With one race ‘in the bag’ one could have been fooled into thinking this invincible duo were going to have the event sewn up by the end of the day.
Instead they joined the other 28 highly-charged champions in the extreme battle and, although they did take another win in race five, a couple of mid teen results and a 27th puts them in eighth place overnight.
The second race of the day on a strong ebbing tide produced one of the closest battles of the day at the top of the fleet with Laurie Fitzjohn-Sykes and Daniel Allin representing the RS800 class managing to hold off Krailing and McArdle (Lark) to win the race by just six seconds. A copycat scenario happened in fourth and fifth place too between Sam Mettam and Geoff Phillips (Miracle) and Carveth and Clarke (RS200) who finished in that order respectively with just 15 seconds between them.
Carveth commenting on today’s racing said: “It started off fairly disastrously but came good in the next three races, and in the last one, we made good of a bad first beat. We got very caught up on the left-hand side of the first beat, made up some good ground thanks to Emma’s tip top crewing but really needed another lap to improve further. I’m quietly surprised at how good these boats are to sail. Looking forward to tomorrow but hope the strong wind forecast holds off because we’re fairly light all-up.”
The young Cadet representatives Arthur Henderson and Sophie Dingwell sailed a cracking second race and scored their best result of the day, an eighth. This duo finished first and second respectively helming at the Cadet nationals so it’s great to seem them teamed up here for the Endeavour Trophy. Chatting about the racing as they sailed ashore, Henderson said: “We’ve had a great day despite a bit of capsizing. We’re quite light, weighing in at an overall 17 stone. It’s a great experience to be here however, because you know that everyone you beat is a national champion.”
Tonight the fleet will be entertained at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club for the traditional Endeavour Trophy dinner in the Trophy Room, and final three races in the eight-race series kicks off again in the morning. The forecast is currently showing fresh conditions from the west with winds building from 9-13kts throughout the morning and getting stronger later in the afternoon.