Elin Jones from Gresford Sailing Club and her Skipper Lou Boorman from Pembroke have been awarded the Royal Western Yacht Club’s Endeavour Cup for their part in the RWYC’s 2023 Round Britain & Ireland Race. They are the youngest team ever to compete in the race, finishing 6th overall in their first offshore race. Lou, who celebrated her 20th birthday a few days before the race, is the youngest ever skipper. Elin at 19 is the youngest ever female participant.
The Endeavour Trophy is a special prize voted for by all the competitors in the race. The decision was unanimous.
The RB&I is a 2 handed sailing race starting from Plymouth with mandatory 48 hour stopovers in Galway, Lerwick and Blyth before returning to Plymouth. At over 2000 nautical miles long the race has been described by Sir Robin Knox Johnson, himself a 4 times winner, as “The toughest race in Northern Europe”.
It was not all plain sailing for Elin and Lou; on the first day they had battery problems and navigated to Galway without any electronic aids, using paper charts and Elin’s grandad’s old hand-held GPS. During leg 2 to Lerwick they were riding Storm Alex for 5 days from St Kilda to Shetland. By the time they reached Muckle Flugga, the northern tip of Shetland, the waves were over 10m high. Light winds plagued the next 2 legs. The tide stopped them rounding Flamborough Head for 5 hours. On the last night of their race their genoa halyard broke. They carried on by hoisting the genoa with the spinnaker halyard. They celebrated their finish in Plymouth at 22:48 on 26 June with Champagne and kebabs.
Elin & Lou have raised over £3,000 for Alzheimer’s in memory of Elin’s Grandad and Lou’s Grandmas all of whom died with the condition.
Elin started sailing at Gresford Sailing Club at the age of 8 in Optimist dinghies, before progressing through RS Fevas and Toppers. Gresford Sailing Club is RYA’s Welsh “Club of the Year 2023”. We will have more details in next month’s Essentials Magazine.