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Craftinsure Supernova Traveller Series at Chelmarsh Sailing Club

by David Bibby 29 Apr 2022 22:20 PDT 23 April 2022
Craftinsure Supernova Traveller Series at Chelmarsh © Terry Gumbley

A good turnout with 16 of 23 boats signed on elected to brave the gusty conditions for the Craftinsure Traveller Series event at Chelmarsh SC. The fleet is returning for the second year to this iconic club's lake and joining the growing club Supernova fleet, fuelled by the ingenious work of David Bibby, the Fleet Captain.

Competitors were greeted with a deceptive 13, gusting 23, North Easterly breeze for the first of two races scheduled before lunch, with a forecast that promised increasing challenges as the day progressed.

RO John Dickinson set a perfect course given the wind direction and everyone got off cleanly for the first race. Local Sailor Matt Thursfield showed good local knowledge and fine upwind speed to round the windward mark first, with Cliff Milliner from Cotswold SC, Steve Hawley from Bartley SC and Peter Coop from Winsford Flash in hot pursuit. The down wind legs of the first race were testing for Matt, with low pressure in the first race so Cliff, Will Gifford (Cotswold), Steve Hawley (Bartley SC) and Mike Gibson (Bartley SC) all found better speed, plus a mainsheet block failure in race 1 saw Matt fall back to 5th fighting the upwind pressure with no mainsheet block assistance. Cliff showed his quality with a clear first place, Will in second, Steve in 3rd, Mike in fourth and Matt held on well for 5th.

After a quick shore based mainsheet block repair, for Matt, the second back to back start proceeded on a similar course and the increasing ominous rumbling howl of the gusts in the trees behind the clubhouse announced the arrival of the forecast strengthening gusty breeze.

With an early, strong gust induced capsize, catching Cliff out, a front of fleet dual ensued between Matt and Steve. After many place changes just behind, and many high pressure reach capsizes throughout the fleet, Matt took first place, Steve second, Mike third and Jonny Everett (Llandegfedd SC) relishing the gusty conditions came in 4th. In an exciting race which would have made great TV / video viewing, Cliff suffered a shroud loop failure before the finish, and subsequent de-mast, effectively ending his challenge to win the meeting.

After a hearty Chelmarsh lunch, the sailors went back out into a strong and blustery breeze for the afternoon's final race.

In Race 3 Matt Thursfield, Steve Hawley and Will Gifford battled like Titans to take the line honours in that order; with Matt getting the better on the first beat. Behind there were a lot of place changes and good competition / survival technique throughout the fleet as the gusts came and went. Matt wasn't getting it all his own way; in the lulls as his competitors occasionally reeled him in. However as fresher gusts came in and Matt went on to win with a big smile. Matt took the line, and Open Meeting honours from Steve. Will was third, both in the race and overall. Class legend Mike Gibson won a hard fought overall 4th.

Thanks to Andy Kerr who led the class training day as coach on Friday 22nd April which was supported by 'Smartwater' a technical crime fighting solution company, who donated £1000 worth of prizes for the participants. Great to see emerging fleets attending Chelmarsh SC which shows the growing popularity of the Supernova Fleet class.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoClubR1R2R3Pts
1Matt Thursfield1302Chelmarsh‑5112
2Stephen Hawley1263Bartley‑3224
3Will Gifford1299Cotswold2‑635
4Mike Gibson1257Bartley43‑57
5Jonny Everett1303Llandegfedd‑7448
6Pete Coop1281Winsford Flash‑85611
7Adrian Lumb1221Haversham‑97714
8Steve Johnson1203Cotswold69‑1015
9Matt Robinson1133Chelmarsh‑158816
10Martin Smith1211Chelmarsh‑1313922
11Steve Vandersteen1041Winsford Flash1210(DNC)22
12Martin Roots1307Cardiff Bay1112(DNC)23
13Cliff Milliner1245Cotswold1(DNF)DNC25
14Stephen Woodhouse1286Chelmarsh1411(DNC)25
15Paul Bickley691Olton Mere16(DNS)1127
16Paul Jones1271Chelmarsh10(DNF)DNC34
17David Bibby1297Chelmarsh(DNC)DNCDNC48
17Ian Hancock1118Olton Mere(DNC)DNCDNC48
17Matt Seaton1158Olton Mere(DNC)DNCDNC48
17Jonathan Carter1276Chelmarsh(DNF)DNCDNC48
17Barry Spencer1279Chelmarsh(DNC)DNCDNC48
17Tony Bleasdale1254Girton(DNC)DNCDNC48
17Steve Jellicoe1228Olton Mere(DNF)DNFDNF48
  • Paul Bickley (Alton Mere SC) was first Mk1 in 15th position.
  • Mike Gibson was first Veteran in 4th overall.
  • Adrian Lumb sailed all three races with a small sail and was awarded a prize.

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