Setting the Record Straight

»«December 2010

When Bob Suggitt, veteran Endeavour sailor and Champion in 1970, took part in the Fiftieth Anniversary celebrations in 2010, he had a close look at the silver model and the base which bears the winners on engraved shields until 1974. He noticed that the shield for R Suggitt was not there; the record jumped from 1969 to 1971.

Bob remembered those days well; he had postponed his wedding by a week to compete and the rest of his team was his fiancée, Mandy. He and Mandy were the winners, the first winning boat with a woman on board, something to be celebrated and there was no record to match the euphoria of those days - Endeavour Champions one week and Bride and Groom the next!

Something had to be done but the operation was a delicate one, needing the skills of a surgeon... Call in Derek Corless, doctor extraordinaire, engineer, tool-maker with other skills too numerous to mention.

Derek designed a tool that would lever off a couple of the shields, then these two shields, one plain and one engraved so that the engraving could be matched, were dispatched to Derry Keen of Clerkenwell, entrusted with the hand engraving.

Then came the delicate job of replacing the shields, shuffling them along into the right order. Eventually, R Suggitt & Mandy Watcham, Heron representatives, are newly acknowledged as Champions of 1970 and honour is satisfied. Thanks, Derek!

Wendy Eagling