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Supernova Inland Championship 2022 at Blithfield Sailing Club

by Alastair Reid 30 Sep 2022 05:39 PDT 3-4 September 2022
2022 Supernova Inlands at Blithfield © Iain Ferguson

In a return to the superb sailing waters of the largest reservoir in Staffordshire, the 2022 Inland Championship, supported by Hartley Boats Chandlery and Craftinsure, saw 54 entrants hosted by Blithfield Sailing Club.

On Day 1, with a wind of 8 knots gusting to 14 and failing to make up its mind as regards direction as it came over the dam, the PRO had a tricky decision as regards course and start line. With the fickle wind backing during the starting sequence, a developing port bias made for a difficult start in Race 1 and the result was a general recall and black flag re-start. The line was re-laid but the wind once again thumbed its nose and shifted to re-create a port bias. Nevertheless, most of the fleet started cleanly, with one black flagged boat.

Shifting gusts coming over the dam created a tight squeeze for the windward mark not least when approaching on starboard without breaching the outer limits of the sailing area. Some boats transgressed over the weekend and were disqualified. However, Gavin Young emerged as the winner of Race 1.

Following lunch, Race 2 and 3 saw a change in course to re-shape the beat and the fleet started cleanly on both occasions. The slower end of the fleet upped their game and the spread from front to back diminished. Cliff Milliner won both races.

Restored by the excellent choice of menu on the previous evening and re-charged by breakfast, Day 2 dawned with a generally southerly wind of around 10 knots with gusts of more than 20 knots. As the day progressed, the wind shifts continued to challenge the PRO and his team.

Race 4 started in a decent breeze and it was a case of 'pick a side and stick to it' with the middle of the reservoir probably coming out as a better route than the south side.

Race 5 was to be run on the same course but with less than a minute to go, the wind shifted to create a starboard bias that would have permitted some boats on the line to have fetched the windward mark. This led to the second general recall of the weekend. The course was re-laid and the second start was clean. All seemed to enjoy the good breeze on the reaches along the long axis of the reservoir.

Cliff Milliner won both Race 4 and 5.

Race 6 was notable for the wind shifts causing pile-ups at the windward mark as those on the starboard lay line were headed below and those on port were lifted in. Several boats found themselves in irons having been swept off the lay line with once again, the proximity of the sailing area limits adding spice to the choice of approach. After the initial chaos, the race settled down and some good battles were had. With waves developing in concert with the wind, the run produced a few impromptu capsizes. This final race was won by Stephen Hawley.

All 3 races were run back-to-back and provided plenty of entertainment for competitors and spectators alike. Racing was fast and frenetic with the usual compression of space and fighting for room at the marks - often with upwards of 8 boats contesting water. By the end of the day, the fleet was even closer spaced albeit the leaders remained consistently out front with Cliff Milliner, once again, emerging as the overall winner.

Overall Results:

1st Place: Cliff Milliner
2nd Place : William Gifford
3rd Place : Gavin Young
1st Lady : Serina Stewardson
1st Mk 1 : Philip Hind

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st1245Cliff MillinerCotswold‑3111137
2nd1299William GiffordCotswold8253(DSQ)220
3rd1261Gavin YoungCotswold13‑13431122
4th1312Mark PlattBolton454‑94522
5th1302Matt ThursfieldChelmarsh5‑8826425
6th1263Stephen HawleyBartley134‑2272127
7th1246Tony CritchleyBolton(OCS)621010735
8th1280Alex ReeveCotswold9936‑11835
9th1257Mike GibsonBartley‑1676551538
10th1267Jeremy HigsonBartley7‑2214137647
11th1306Richard LambertBough Beech2‑3117168952
12th1264Andy FlitcroftBolton610911(DSQ)1854
13th1224Chris HawleyBartley14131189(OCS)55
14th1189Paul KeelingBlithfield SC101110‑15121255
15th1281Pete CoopWinsford Flash1212714‑171661
16th1160Paul UndrellCotswold151816‑21141376
17th1125Corin BamfordBolton‑29171512152079
18th1275Iain BarlowIndividual‑22191217191986
19th1307Martin RootsCardiff Bay Yacht Club181520‑22161786
20th1066Julian BassettBlithfield SC2016231813(DNC)90
21st1221Adrian LumbHaversham1120182522(DNC)96
22nd1094Clive BrownBolton24‑2519202314100
23rd1287Roger WoodheadBlithfield SC2614‑29191827104
24th1120Duncan CheshireWinsford Flash17‑2726232423113
25th1203Steve JohnsonCotswold2523‑35282126123
26th1180David StephenBartley2838‑41342010130
27th1130Ed JohnsonGirton‑312821262729131
28th1171Mark MeadowsTeesdale‑343027302522134
29th1228Steve JellicoOlton Mere‑402431292825137
30th1254Tony BleasdaleGirton2126283332(DNC)140
31st1234Nick WhilesGirton273232‑373324148
32nd1271Paul JonesChelmarsh232938(RET)4021151
33rd1277Doug RankinBlithfield SC32‑3634243131152
34th1305Stuart StephenBartley3034‑39312930154
35th412Philip HindOgston3739‑40272628157
36th1256Andrew BownesBartley192124(DNC)DNCDNC174
37th692Ady DavisGirton‑4135254037DNF177
38th1283Giles Horwitch‑SmithBartley‑444242353032181
39th1083Serena StewardsonEmberton Park4344303234(DNC)183
40th1251Andrew MellorBlithfield SC3937333638(DNF)183
41st1032Paul BurtonGirton36‑4337384337191
42nd1150Alastair ReidBlithfield SC4241‑46394133196
43rd1241Frank LaffertyWinsford Flash‑504544413536201
44th1282Gareth BlackmoreBartley‑464045423935201
45th660Philip NorthNotts County47‑4847434234213
47th553Paul JagoGirton384643(DNC)DNCDNC237
48th1082Andrew ChadfieldBlithfield SC454936(DNC)DNCDNC240
49th1195Ian WhiteEmberton Park495049DNFDNF(DNC)242
50th1067Pete MaleBlithfield SC(DNC)DNCDNC4436DNC245
51st1131Karen SquireCarsington484748(DNC)DNCDNC253
52nd564Andy HindBlithfield SC35(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC255
53rd1080Paul BickleyOlton Mere(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC275
53rd1295Jonathon OsborneBlithfield SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC275

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