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Noble Marine Supernova Travellers' Series at Bolton Sailing Club

by David Bartholomew 30 Sep 2021 23:30 PDT 25 September 2021
Bolton Supernova Open © Sally Bleasdale

September 2021 has been characterised by light winds and warm weather and this was very much the theme for the Bolton Sailing Club Supernova Open.

The OOD called an initial postponement, though shortly before the fleet were preparing to call it a day; luckily the wind filled in from the South providing sufficient racing conditions.

With the start line biased to the starboard committee boat end there was jostling for positions though those further up the line took advantage of clear wind for the start. Bolton Gold Fleet sailors Platt, Flitcroft and Critchley took an early lead separating from the rest of the fleet with Platt securing a position that he would retain throughout the race. Leading the silver fleet, Brown kept his lead over Aubrey, Scott and Bleasdale. There was frustration at the rear of the fleet with the limited wind proving a challenge. Desperately looking for wind shifts on the run to the bottom mark there was little change in position. On the second lap the shortened course signal was given, Platt retained his lead securing first place with Flitcroft second and Critchley third. Brown kept his lead on Aubrey taking fourth place and the first in the silver fleet.

Despite the forecast being for the wind to increase as the afternoon progressed there was little sign of this at the start of the second race. Flitcroft, getting a good start was first to the windward mark followed by Platt and Critchley. In the middle of the fleet Bleasdale, Brown and Bartholomew approached the second mark together though with Bartholomew incurring penalty turns as the outside boat and unable to manoeuvre in the light winds away from Brown's boom on the gybe. Flitcroft retained his lead and there were few changes to positions across the fleet until the run on the second lap when the wind briefly filled. Scott and Prince took advantage of this and passed Bartholomew, Brown and McMullen at the bottom mark, which proved to be timely positioning for the final beat to the line. At the finish line Flitcroft took first place, Platt second, Critchley third and veteran mark 1 sailor, Prince, secured sixth place.

Remaining on the water for the third race, everyone was feeling the impact on their knees from a day of light wind sailing. With both Platt and Flitcroft on equal points for the first and second races, this final race was going to be the decider. A marginal increase in wind speed made for a better start and first beat. Platt led the way to the first mark, followed by Critchley and Flitcroft, increasing his lead in the remainder of the first lap. On the second lap neither Critchley or Flitcroft were able to pass Platt, coupled with the constant threat of Aubrey and Brown following in fourth and fifth place. The positions didn't change with Platt finishing first followed by Critchley and then Flitcroft.

Overall Results:

1st Mark Platt (Bolton)
2nd Andrew Flitcroft (Bolton)
3rd Tony Critchley (Bolton)

1st Mark 1 (7th): Roger Prince (Bolton)
Furthest Travelled (6th): Tony Bleasdale (Girton)

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