The weekend of 6, 7 and 8 July 2018 saw 100+ Supernovas descend on the Plas Heli centre at Pwllheli for their National Championships. It was the third year in a row that the class has managed a 100+ entry maintaining the momentum in this exciting class.
Each arrival was greeted with a custom t-shirt for their buddy group where each group of four were provided with some excellent support from their Gold Fleet representative. Some of the discussions were informal, where as others included full checking and adjustment of rig setup.
The weather gods were kind with wall to wall sunshine at high 20s temperatures from arrival to departure. The wind even played ball (just) to allow us to get in the ten planned races. The format of the championship has been the same for a number of years and continues to be well regarded with a relaxed feel balanced with racing.
It was great to see a significant increase in the number of female sailors, up from three last year to seven, potentially due to the improvements in the official small sail (although no small sails were needed!). Great news for the Class and we hope for an even higher female turnout in 2019.
There was some uncertainty in the dinghy park as the fleet included four new members in borrowed boats. The Supernova Class has an excellent track record of these members going out to buy their own boat (for example defending champion Alex Horlock) after sampling the Supernova.
Four races were held in a good F2/3 on the Friday afternoon and there were four different winners! Race 1 was won by Inland Champion and joint all time leader of the national championship table, Cliff Milliner. In the building wind, race 2 was won by the giant figure of Mark Hartley, also joint all time leader of the national championship table.
However, in race 3 there was a new name at the front, Sam Knight – he hadn’t been outside of the top three all day. Then a further new name at the front with Alistair Goodwin taking the fourth race.
Overnight leaders were Sam Knight, Ed Higson and Alastair Goodwin.
There was some excellent racing by all through the fleet and all of the competitors were smiling all the way to the bar in the evening. There was then a great social on the Friday night, with Class Chairman, Chris Hawley, hosting a fun game for the different buddy groups. Everyone was very included, even the “plus 1s” who were supporting.
The plan for day 2 was four races, but that was not to be and just three were fitted in slightly lighter breeze.
It was Cliff Milliner again who was first out of the blocks winning race 5. Sam Knight struck back hard though win wins in races 6 and 7.
Alistair Goodwin had a great day with a 2, 3, 3 moving him to second overall behind Sam Knight. Ed Gibson slipping to overnight third place.
A further social was held on the Saturday night – a slightly smarter affair with great food, banter and sailing war stories.
Those with sore heads were comforted that the 9am launch looked set to be deferred until lunchtime. However, the PRO got to the course on time and there was wind! Panic stations with everyone rushing to launch – one guy was seen launching whilst eating a bacon sandwich!
The wind held up for races 8 and 9 being won by Alistair Goodwin and Mark Platt. Race 10 saw a monster (65 degree) windshift mid way through, which some massive gains and losses – Sam Knight took the win.
Overall Sam had done enough to defend his overnight lead and finished on 20 points. Alistair Goodwin fought hard and finished with 27 points. Cliff Milliner made up the podium with 34 points.
In his victory speech Sam acknowledged the friendly nature of the Supernova Class and said he was made to feel very welcome from arrival and thanked all of the members for their support. We will see Sam again in the future, probably at Paignton on 28, 29 and 30 June 2019!
Some event photographs to purchase are available: greensea.zenfolio.com/p582618418 More photos will be available through our Facebook page in the coming days and weeks.
Team Prize – Bartley Sailing Club
Family Prize – The Critchley Brothers
Ladies Champion – Ellen Clancy (Cotswold) – followed by: Amie King, Serena Stewardason
Youth Champion – Ed Higson (Bartley)
Masters Champion – Mark Platt (Bolton) – followed by: Mike Critchley, Richard Pakes, Mike Gibson
Veterans Champion – Steve Mitchell (Hooe Point) – followed by: Bob Horlock, Tom Chadfield, Geoff Turner
Mark 1 Champion – Geoff Turner (Fishguard) – followed by: Clive Brown, Will Willett
Bronze fleet Champion – Warren Mitchell (Snettisham Beach) – followed by: Paul Bates, Rachel Vaughan Jones, Richard Hawson, Nigel Davies
Silver fleet Champion – Steve Mitchell (Hooe Point) – followed by: Ray Workman, Garry Butterfield, Ian Moodie, James Gerwat
Team prize goes to Bartley SC at the Supernova National Championships 2018 – photo © Supernova Association
As well as all 114 of our pre-event entries, thanks must also be provided to:
- The event sponsors; Hartley Boats and Allen Brothers
- The Plas Heli staff
- The Pwllheli sailing club team
- The Supernova Committee
To find out more about this exciting singlehander please visit our website: www.supernovadinghy.org
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Final Results here – https://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/207506/Supernova-National-Championships