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2022 Supernova National Championship at Plas Heli Welsh National Sailing Academy

by Supernova Class Association 9 Jul 2022 22:55 PDT 1-3 July 2022
Supernova Nationals 2022 at Plas Heli, Pwllheli © Peter Mackin /

The forecast looked big, the venue one of the best that the country has to offer, the entry was over 100 boats: the Supernova Nationals had all the ingredients to be an all-time classic.

July 1st saw the Supernova Fleet congregate on the Llyn Peninsula for their three day nationals, a full race programme alongside a packed social calendar, a very welcome return after a two year absence.

The event started with an informal rules chat by guru Cliff Milliner with the intention being that racers throughout the fleet would have a greater understanding of how to deal with the inevitable bottleneck complications around the race track. Tactics, communicating and being fair - the message was clear - let's self-police, 'do your turns' or go to Arbitration if you feel you've been wronged. As a fleet we can only improve the standard if we learn from the process.

A short briefing on Friday morning and we were off out into the relative unknown - a storm was on the way, the arrival time was in doubt. Winter layers were the order, knowing the conditions were only going to build.

Mark Platt (Bolton SC) was the Pathfinder, 82 boats caressing his transom as he crossed the fleet, the first of many beats into the Westerly 15-20mph and increasing breeze. If upwind was tough, it was the complex wave irregularity on the runs that was the greater threat to the fleet's survival. The Supernova is a stable boat, but when they go, they go!!

At the front, the Gold fleet were stretching away, Sam Knight (Bartley SC) leading the way for both of the first two Trapezoid races of the event. His two bullet salvo was a dominant start to the regatta, leaving experienced sailors in his wake despite his relatively slight frame in the strengthening breeze.

In the window between races 2 & 3, the tired fleet were in a bit of state. Capsizes were taking their toll, the rescue crews were stretched, the decision was rightly made to get the fleet ashore to recover, knowing another big day was on the cards for day two.

Sam was clearly lead Gold, Jonny Everett (Llandegfedd SC) in the Silver lead, Rob Bell (Emberton Park SC) was leading the Mark Ones. Bronze at this stage was impossible to tell as the Class calculate that position at the end of the regatta to ensure a genuine Bronzer takes the crown.

One to watch if the downwind technique could be mastered was Sean Ricketts (Bartley SC) - always 'there' at the windward mark, Sean's downfall was getting to the leeward gates with a dry mast!

Friday night heralded the storm, 45 mph gusts battering the coastline, whipping up a maelstrom of waves. A slightly smaller fleet launched on the Saturday morning, hoping for shorter beats and subsequent shorter race lengths. We weren't disappointed. The beats were manageable, the runs tricky but survivable; as good as it gets for many. Matt Thursfield (Chelmarsh SC) rose to the front through Saturday with two race wins, the more defined wave pattern making it easier to catch the waves and surf downwind. Eden Hyland (Chase SC) consolidated his two thirds on day one with a race victory, just pipping Steve Hawley (Bartley SC) across the line. Sam also took another race win.

After 4 races, it was a good shout by the Race Team to call it a day. I'm sure a few could've got a fifth under way, but looking at the weathered faces at the tally board, it was clear the correct call had been made.

So at the very sharp end, Sam Knight and Matt Thursfield were on equal points, Sam ahead on count back. Eden Hyland with his race win was in touch but knew he'd have to have an amazing last day to climb onto the top step.

Who else had risen as the waves had built?? Cliff Milliner (Cotswold SC) had a line of thirds, always there, clearly in earshot of the first place gun, just not for him. Gavin Young (Cotswold SC) followed Cliff in most of those Saturday races with a consistent set of 4ths. Will Gifford (another Cotswold SC) was the king of the second beats, always gaining places with great reading of the flicking breeze. This put Will in a position where he was going for lead silver in the event. Ian Wilson (Bolton SC) had also cemented his place in the top ten, with the added bonus of taking the Master's trophy destiny into his own hands. Top veteran at this stage was Ian Howett (Haversham SC) hanging onto the coat tails of the leading pack.

The Mark One leaderboard had Rob Bell well ahead, but it was close tussle between Philip Hind, Stephen Blair and Philip North showing that there is plenty of life in the earlier built boats.

So going into the Sunday, it was almost a one day shootout. A change in wind direction meant beating into the shore, a less defined wave system, larger shifts likely and a shorter race track. Oh and the forecast had a weakening breeze around midday.

Matt showed his colours early, taking the first race, the overall lead of the regatta was his. Sam was in trouble, had to go wide on a recovery run, coming from 10th to 2nd on the last downwind.

Race 8, Jonny Everett, (yep, 'silver' Jonny Everett) got away on the first beat and took line honours after an epic final mark battle with Sam, to put so many of the trophies on the line.

Jonny had wrestled Silver into his grasp, the Masters was within reach of his outstretched fingertips, Sam had put the whole event on a knife-edge climbing back to equal points with Matt.

One final race, Sam needed a result, the wind had started to lessen and swing to the NW, the shifts were becoming more extreme. First beat, both Matt and Sam were having 'discard' races, Eden H and Steve Hawley sailing away from the fleet. Yet again Sam was lightning fast offwind, climbing up to 3rd, just unable to close the gap on the leaders.

Both Sam and Matt thought the other had won; both congratulating each other at the finish line. It was time for Sailwave to do its work.

Jonny had had a bit of a 'mare, unable to stop Ian Wilson from winning the Masters, but with Will Gifford also having a 'discard' in the last race, it left Jonny to take Silver, both comfortably in the top ten.

Lead veteran remained Ian Howett after a consistent set of results coming in tenth overall, Mark Platt his nearest threat in 15th.

Bronze was taken by Stuart Stephen (Bartley SC) just three places ahead of Philip North (Notts County SC), Frank Lafferty (Winsford Flash) in third.

Sean Ricketts was lead Youth, confirming his Gold Fleet Status in 13th place.

Serena Stewardson (Emberton Park) had a really consistent set of results to take the lead female sailor from Karen Squire (Carsington SC).

It was all down to Appendix A8 to determine the winner of the 2022 Nationals. Both Matt & Sam had three race wins. It was Matt with three 2nds to Sam's two which meant it was his name on the trophy.

So many thanks for the organisation of the event were expressed by Iain Barlow (Class Chair) to the teams of people who had made the Nationals such a success, as well as the sponsors for the event - Craftinsure and Hartley Boats - It was for Matt to ensure that the class acknowledged the tireless work from Iain in coordinating those teams to deliver an outstanding Championships.

A huge folder of amazing images can be found at

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Supernova nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosHelmSail NoFleetGroupCatClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9Pts
1stMatt Thursfield1302GPurple Chelmarsh SC221‑52114‑1013
2ndSam Knight1192GOrange Bartley SC112‑31‑623313
3rdEden Hyland1315GBlack Chase SC33‑5142‑122116
4thCliff Milliner1245GYellow Cotswold SC643‑73335‑1127
5thGavin Young1261GWhite Cotswolds SC754474‑107‑938
6thSteve Hawley1263GRed Bartley SC8‑1472‑155413241
7thIain Wilson1284GBlackMasterBolton SC5‑226661158‑1547
8thJonny Everett1303SGreenMasterLlandegfedd SC41210‑15111071‑1455
9thWilliam Gifford1299SGrey Cotswold SC‑348111151666‑3563
10thIan Howett1258GGreenVeteranHaversham SC9713‑229(OCS)1714574
11thRichard Lambert1306SBlueMasterBough Beech SC‑25‑24814878122380
12thAndrew Flitcroft1264GPinkMasterBolton SC1911‑242114‑231110692
13thSean Ricketts1073GWhiteYouthBartley SC11620‑2821‑44199793
14thJohn Knight1031GYellowMasterBartley SC18101513‑331421‑34495
15thMark Platt1312GBlackVeteranBolton SC2615161013914‑31‑30103
16thMike Critchley1220GGreenMasterBolton SC‑271717812824‑2822108
17thMike Gibson1257GPurpleVeteranBartley SC1516(RET)‑20202091119110
18thTony Critchley1246GGreyVeteranBolton SC10(DNF)18121812‑311526111
19thRichard Pakes1309GPinkMasterHaversham SC23‑2822161013‑331628128
20thJeremy Higson1267GRedMasterBartley SC‑28201218191827‑3017131
21stJame Gerwat1080SBlackMasterShoreham SC13189‑2924‑25182525132
22ndChris Hawley1224GBlue Bartley SC1621‑28251619‑302120138
23rdDouglas Rankin1277SPurpleVeteranBlithfield SC22919‑331728‑352329147
24thPete Coop1281GRedVeteranWinsford Flash142327302224‑32‑328148
25thPaul Undrell1160GWhiteVeteranCotswold SC241323272622‑43‑3516151
26thMartin Burgess1202SBlackVeteranBough Beech SC331914‑4437172019‑52159
27thIain Barlow1275S  Pwllheli Sailing Club2033‑391723‑43252418160
28thDana Church1139GBlueVeteranNottingham SC212731‑36‑3231291812169
29thMartin Roots1307BPinkMasterCardiff Bay Yacht Club‑462935242521‑421721172
30thClive Brown1094SPurpleVeteranBolton SC‑35‑3733192726282713173
31stPaul Jones1271SBlueVeteranChelmarsh SC173125‑3531‑40222927182
32ndAndrew Bownes1256GBlackVeteranBartley SC3026263230‑33‑372032196
33rdAndy Conway1110SWhite Felpham SC12(DSQ)299(DNC)151522DNC204
34thGary Butterfield1184GOrangeVeteranBartley SC‑50324026283226‑4433217
35thPhil Taylor1231SPinkMasterBartley SC323937‑46293023‑4737227
36thDavid Bartholomew1146SPinkMasterBolton SC43412134‑472736‑4641243
37thBob Horlock1079SGreyVeteranExe SC3847‑5031‑5542134239252
38thIan Moodie1035SPurpleVeteranChelmarsh SC374234‑4840393426‑44252
39thRobert Vince1233SOrangeMasterExe SC3925‑514536343948‑49266
40thRob Bell588SGreyVeteranEmberton Park SC4434483838‑493838(DNC)278
41stJohn Borwn1262SBlueVeteranLlandudno SC41493643352948‑50‑50281
42ndChris Hobbs1179GGreenMasterBowmoor SC364330‑5641‑52494142282
43rdKevin Band1115SOrangeMasterBolton SC52353837453741‑54‑57285
44thSteve Johnson1203SOrangeVeteranCotswold SC‑5540413943‑46404538286
45thJonathan Pebody1223SGreenMasterHunts SC‑5138‑47413941463943287
46thDave Stephen1180SGreen Bartley SC‑664443‑634661473724302
47thPaul Burton1032SWhite Girton SC493052‑594936‑664948313
48thMark Hitchmough1176SWhiteMasterBowmoor SC59(DNF)‑60573445454036316
49thPaul Mercer1301SPinkMasterBolton SC473646515035‑5351‑56316
50thEric Green1172SRedVeteranOgston SC4846494044‑575443‑62324
51stDaniel Rule1161SPink Carsington SC(SCP)5844‑665138526631340
52ndPhilip Hind412SRedMasterOgston SC4055‑6850‑6248625751363
53rdSerena Stewardson1083SGreen Emerton Park SC60(DNC)55534247‑706446367
54thMartin Smith1211SBlueMasterChelmarsh SC295054236050(DNC)(DNC)DNC368
55thNick Whiles1234SGreyMasterGirton SC‑745456475453‑616055379
56thStephen Blair679SOrange Ully SC585353‑60‑6158505554381
57thStuart Stephen1305BGreenVeteranBartley SC61‑63‑70525251566253387
58thStephen Yates1174SRedVeteranScammonden Water SC56454558(RET)(DNC)586959390
59thBrian Smith1069SBlackVeteranBowmoor SC545261‑6257(DNC)605258394
60thPhilip North660BWhiteVeteranNotts County SC535142‑696559‑716563398
61stStephen Woodhouse1286SPurpleMasterChelmarsh SC‑705663‑656360595947407
62ndPhilip Davies1187SGreyVeteranScammonden Water SC67(DNC)5954‑6854555861408
63rdFrank Lafferty1241BBlueMasterWinsford Flash645964‑6848556456(DNF)410
64thPeter Housley1099SPinkVeteranSutton‑in‑Ashfield SC454858555356(DNC)(DNC)DNC417
65thKarl Richardson1090BGreyMasterEmberton Park SC‑796067‑715664656760439
66thGareth Blakemore1282SYellow Bartley SC‑73(DNC)65646463576865446
67thChris Kneale1230SWhiteMasterCardiff Bay Yacht Club42(DNF)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC443634462
68thKevin Parvin1226SRedMasterPort Dinorwic SC31573242(RET)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC468
69thSteve Jellicoe1228SWhiteMasterOlton Mere SC80(DNC)5761586268(DNC)DNC488
70thDavid Cann1239SPurpleMasterCardiff Bay Yacht Club(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC163340497
71stAndy Marshall393SYellowMasterBowmoor SC81(DNC)717066(DNC)727168499
72ndAdrian Bocking1207SYellowMasterBartley SC6962664967(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC517
73rdJohn Human1185SGreyMasterEmberton Park SC7861(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC676164535
74thJason Thorniley652SRed Emberton Park SC72(DNC)69(DNC)DNCDNC697069553
75thBen Viggars1260SYellowMasterBowmoor SC63(DNC)626759(DNC)DNCDNCDNC557
76thMark Meadows1171SPinkVeteranTeesdale SC77(DNF)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNF5345583
77thGiles Horwitch‑Smith1283BYellow Bartley SC62(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC51OCS66587
78thCraig Harrison523BRed Ogston SC(RET)(DNC)RETDNCDNCDNC636367601
79thJohn Williams472BRedMasterEmberton Park SC75(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC74DNCDNC659
80thJohnny Heathcote629BYellowMasterBowmoor SC82(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC73DNFDNC665
81stColin Ricketts1124BPurple Bartley SC57(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC669
82ndRobert Hills1216SPinkVeteranCotswold SC68(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC680
83rdDave Bibby1297BBlueMasterChelmarsh SC71(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC683
84thKaren Squire1131BBlue Carsington SC76(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC688
85thJonathan Carter1276SOrangeMasterChelmarsh SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC714
85thPetra Potasse1027BOrange Walton and Frinton YC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC714
85thJames Paterson1269BOrangeMasterBartley SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC714
85thRichard Williams1074SOrangeMasterBartley SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC714
85thJame Adair1227SPurpleVeteranHykeham SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC714
85thIan White1195BBlueVeteranEmberton Park SC(RET)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNFDNCDNC714
85thMike Griffiths1196SGreyVeteranEmberton Park SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC714
85thAndy Goodman‑Smith1272BGreen Attenborough SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC714
85thAndy Gould1274SGreyVeteranCotswold SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC714
85thJason McDonnell1127SGreenMasterBartley SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC714
85thPaul Bickley1009BWhite Olton Mere SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC714
85thJonathan Love1310BPurpleVeteranScammonden Water SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC714
85thTom Baldwin1134SBlackVeteranCarsington SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC714
85thPete Bingham1177SYellowVeteranBowmoor SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC714
85thTony English1298SBlackMasterBowmoor SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC714
85thAlex Reeve1280GBlackMasterCotswold SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC714

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