(…and mentions Bolton SC!)
The 13-strong fleet made up of former Endeavour Champions from the last 50 years was, not surprisingly, extremely competitive particularly with the likes of Ian Southworth/David Hayes, Alan Gillard/Graham Machon, Bob Suggitt, Steve Tylecote, and Nick and Caroline Martin returning to Burnham specifically for this historic occasion.
Craig, like several other Masters in the fleet had been competing in this year’s Endeavour Trophy, so was obviously race-tuned for this one-off, one-race event. It wasn’t particularly surprising therefore to see the “˜master of the breeze’ take the initial lead from Tylecote/Toby Lewis, with Bithell/Birrel in third. Fireball world champion Chips Howarth and Simon Potts sailed a faultless downwind leg and once in the lead had control to the finish.
Howarth commenting on the Masters’ event explained how important it was to be racing: “It was fantastic for me because from a young age when I was sailing my Cadet at Bolton Sailing Club, I idolised the likes of Southy [Ian Southworth] and Alan Gillard. I used to really look up to these guys, so to be racing against them 25 years later, is fantastic. What’s also wonderful is there’s guys from yesteryear like the great Mike McNamara, the medium age guys like Southy, and some of the great sailors of today like Nick Craig and the young Merlin sailors. It’s a bit like racing with three generations, and it’s even better to have beaten them all.”
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