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Hartley Boats Supernova National Championship at Paignton Sailing Club - Overall

by Chris Hawley 3 Jul 08:55 PDT 30 June - 2 July 2023

Paignton Sailing Club was once again host to one of the largest fleets of single handed dinghy - the Supernova National Championships - which took place on 30 June, 1 and 2 July.

As expected the team at Paignton were phenomenal all the way through the event, from the beach crew, the mark layers, the safety crew (boy were they needed!) right through to the PRO Ian Bullock. The Supernova fleet will be back for sure and encourage any classes out there looking for a top flight club to host your event to get in touch with the Paignton team.

The Class Association also want to thank the team at Hartley Boats for once again supporting the event with entry vouchers.

Finally, thanks to the Class Association organising team, of Matt Thursfield and the Committee, steered by our Chairman Iain Barlow.

The report below focuses on the front of the fleet, but Championship isn't just about the winners, it is about all of the competitors. We spoke to Stuart Stephen who was 62nd overall and he had this to say:

"I always enjoy the Supernova Nationals. This year the wind was a little stronger than I'm comfortable with - providing a bit of a challenge - but it's always good to be stretched! I particularly enjoy the friendly attitude of the class as a whole and particularly at the nationals from the moment you step into the boat park there are lots of smiles renewing old friendships and starting new ones. The theme continues over the weekend whenever you wander into the boat part or the local pubs, restaurants or cafes you are sure to find someone with a Supernova t-shirt to talk to. The Commodore's reception is a great event with everyone getting together to share a meal and hash over the day's sailing - all the highs and lows. On Saturday night we had a table booked for twelve at a local restaurant and had great food, drink and camaraderie (my excuse for Sunday's results) with a great group of sailors from 4 clubs. It truly is a "family" event - I've already booked my accommodation for the 2024 nationals at Plas Heli."

Day 0:

With most of the 94 strong fleet arriving the day before the event started there was an air of excitement on "the green" with lots of people catching up with old friends and getting the latest on tweaks to rigging. The gold fleet were meeting their buddy groups and trying to share a few pointers for the on the water onslaught that would follow.

After some bimbling the fleet benefitted from an excellent rules session from multiple national champion Cliff Milliner and a tactical session from 2018 national champion (and current RS400 national champion) Sam Knight - what a collaborative bunch we all are.

Day 1:

The day dawned with 25 degrees, wall to wall sun and a steady 10-12 knot offshore breeze (actually it didn't - this is just what the author was hoping it would be!). What we got was rain, a cold fresh 17+ knot breeze, but at least it was offshore so the pondies could feel more at home.

3 gate starts were planned for the day and these were successfully executed by the race team and the Supernova fleet who are very at home with this type of start. The gusts were pretty strong at times and by the end of the day there were lots of tired legs, even more so after the long beat back to the shore.

Racing wise, it was 3 bullets for 2021 national champion, and class coach, Alistair Goodwin, three 2nds for Sam Knight and two 3rds for Cliff Milliner. Taking the missing third for the day was Hartley Boats super-pro Eden Hyland.

In the evening the fleet experienced the hospitality of the club with a tasty curry served at the Commodore's reception. THis proved a great forum to allow the sailors to share war stories. It was great to see how the different mini competitions were shaping up through the fleet. I found there were the same 2 boats near to me at the finish pretty much all day, regardless of whether I'd had a good first beat or not. Proof that you don't need to be at the front of the fleet to have great competitive racing.

Video action from onboard at day 1:

Day 2:

Day 2 was meant to be the "windy day". With 4 races planned it was definitely the day to ask for double servings of breakfast.

Sam Knight being one of the lightest in the fleet at under 70kgs no doubt feeling the 30+ kgs he was giving away to the heavier sailors could be a problem. Spoiler alert - it wasn't - the Supernova really does have an incredible competitive weight range.

The draw of the Supernova nationals keeps people coming back. Two such sailors were Bolton Sailing Club's Alex Hagan-Collins and Peter (RS300 chairman) Mackin. It was great to see these guys back for the event, and we hope they turn up again. We think Alex might, as on day 2 he remembered how to steer the boat and won the first race of the day. Gavin Young was 2nd and Sam Knight 3rd.

Race 5 was another line start and I had the "pleasure" of starting right next to Cliff Milliner - seeing Cliff's hiking and work rate going upwind was a sign to me he really wanted to get a race win. Well he kept up the pace and took line honors. Followed by Gavin Young then defending national champion Matt Thursfield.

Race 6 was back to gate starts and we saw Mike Critchley lead the fleet out well. In the freshening breeze a very difficult chop had developed which caught out the less experienced sailors, and many of the experienced ones too. Cliff Milliner revelled in the conditions with another win, followed by Sam Knight and then the ever consistent Gavin Young.

With many sailors already ashore, and very busy rescue teams, the continued wind increase led the race team to call an end to the day's proceedings and send the remaining fleet ashore.

When the results were totted up, it turned out that Sam Knight had moved into the overall lead spot, with Cliff Milliner and Alistair Goodwin tied just one point behind. Impressive given Sam missed race 5 due to a failed halyard.

With our vibrant pink event t-shirts it was easy to spot the Supernova sailors recovering in the many bars of Paignton.

Day 3:

The forecast was looking a bit more tempered, even the PRO thought it would be a "softer" day. With 4 races planned, some of the sailors who had been using smaller sails decided to switch back to the big sail. What a mistake this was, by the end of the day the wind had continued to build and race 10 ended up being the breeziest of the whole event.

As well as being stronger than expected, it also seemed to be incredibly shifty. There were plenty of zero to hero moments and epic mistakes. Personally, I found it unproductive to capsize 2 metres from the finish and lose 10 places (2 overall) - note to self the mast does not count when it crosses the line first!

Race 7 was held in a lighter breeze, with a mahoosive shift coming in to favour those who had started early - with them reaching in to the windward mark. Amongst that group was Alistair Goodwin, who showed everyone a clean pair of heels and took a comfortable win. Cliff Milliner 2nd and Gavin Young 3rd. Sam having an unusually challenging race (for him) and finished 12th.

Race 8 was another gate start in slightly lighter breeze and Alistair managed to carry on his form from race 7 and take another win. Eden Hyland found his groove and finished 2nd and then Cliff Milliner 3rd. It was looking like Cliff or Alistair for the overall win, but never say never and with 2 line starts to go it was still wide open. Special mention to Sean Ricketts - he was on for 1st to the windward mark in race 8 but snapped his mast in two! Somehow Sean managed to make it ashore rig up a spare mast (thanks Dad Colin) and get back to the start in time for race 9.

What we didn't expect at this point was a monster front coming through, making it Windy (capital W intended). This resulted in a change at the front with the high wind specialists coming into their own in the very challenging chop.

Matt Thursfield's upwind speed is incredible in the breeze there simply is no stopping him when he powers up - he showed us how he managed to win last year and took line honours in both race 9 and race 10. Alex Hagan-Collins took 2nd in race 9 and Steve Hawley showed us being fit is critical when it gets windy and got his first podium of the event. Race 10 the wind had built even more and was getting close to "survival conditions" - downwind required spare changes of pants every time you gybed in the waves. As we said Matt won, Steve Hawley improved even further to sneak 2nd on the line ahead of Cliff Milliner. Alistair Goodwin scoring 7th in both....

Thankfully the race team finished us at the top mark so we were closer to shore.

Overall it was close, really close. 2022 was decided on countback, 2023 there was just one point in it. With 5 race wins it was Alistair Goodwin to take the overall win.

1st Alistair Goodwin
2nd Cliff Milliner
3rd Sam Knight
4th Matt Thursfield
5th Alex Hagan-Collins

Silver Fleet:
1st Paul Bloom
2nd Hugh Hansen
3rd Kevin Reed

Bronze Fleet:
1st Ashley Keniston
2nd Dave Pennock
3rd Steve Denyer

1st Serena Stewardson

1st Sean Ricketts

1st Jonny Everett
2nd Iain Wilson
3rd Richard Lambert

1st Ian Howett
2nd Kevin Reed
3rd Paul Undrell

Family prize:
1st Matt and Chris Williams
2nd Chris and Steve Hawley
3rd Mike and Tony Critchley

Team prize:
Cotswold Sailing Club

The Supernova is a great one design boat that has a very controllable rig giving a great competitive weight range. We also see a real mix of sailors of all abilities and ages. Competing at the event this year's event as well as 20 year old Sean Ricketts was 81 year old Phil Davies - Phil finished a very credible 55th and finished 8 races!

Looking ahead, the next major Supernova Championship event is the inlands taking place at the fabulous Grafham water sailing club on 2 and 3 September.

The 2024 national championships are taking place at Plas Heli on 28, 29 and 30 June - get it booked!

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

PosFleetCategorySail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10Pts
1stGStandard1304Alistair GoodwinHaversham SC11145511(7)(7)19
2ndGStandard1245Cliff MillinerCotswold SC343(6)1123(11)320
3rdGStandard1192Sam KnightBartley SC2223(DNC)2(12)94428
4thGStandard1302Matt ThursfieldChelmarsh SC65(7)53(7)741132
5thGStandard1242Alex Hagan CollinsBolton SC5(15)61610(14)52540
6thGStandard1261Gavin YoungCotswold SC81192233(18)(14)1250
7thGStandard1263Stephen HawleyBartley SC9(16)(12)1196573252
8thGStandard1329Eden HaylandChase SC10315(20)48(17)25855
9thGStandard1248Matthew WilliamsCotswold SC14144(17)139610(19)1181
10thGStandard1201Christopher WilliamsCotswold SC(16)(20)141671213610684
11thGMaster1303Jonny EverettLlandegfedd SC71311108(23)(21)11211495
12thGYouth1073Sean RickettsBartley SC221010810416(RET)(30)1797
13thGStandard1094Peter MackinStokes Bay SC422815(29)13(32)201310105
14thGMaster1284Iain WilsonBolton SC(36)75272518(33)8815113
15thGMaster1306Richard LambertBough Beech SC13913222020913(RET)(25)119
16thGVeteran1258Ian HowettHaversham SC12(34)(31)1815112612624124
17thSStandard1153Paul BloomSnettisham Beach SC15(23)209(23)148232021130
18thSStandard1218Hugo HansenCotswold SC241224(31)28(DNC)4151222141
19thGMaster1220Mike CritchleyBolton SC1818172511172016(UFD)(29)142
20thGMaster1264Andrew FlitcroftBolton SC232819721RDG(35)1729(32)154
21stSVeteran1188Kevin ReedRoadford Lake SC38633(51)1216(40)3399156
22ndGStandard1333Chris HawleyBartley SC1124291414(31)152723(30)157
23rdGStandard1189Will GouldCarsington SC1927(32)19171928(31)1713159
24thSStandard1315Douglas WhiteCotswold SC202921(40)1622231416(DNF)161
25thSStandard1125Corin BamfordBolton SC(26)(31)2624182118191823167
26thGVeteran1160Paul UndrellCotswold SC(29)(40)2226192410212719168
27thSMaster1318James GerwatShoreham SC2126(34)12242730(38)2618184
28thGVeteran1267Jeremy HigsonBartley SC252118232230(47)3415(DNC)188
29thSStandard1244Julian WhiteCotswold SC34(45)(39)21322919262416201
30thSStandard1275Iain Barlow 311736(41)(41)2631293733240
31stSVeteran1252Andrew GommOgston SC433530322632(49)(45)2227247
32ndSMaster1307Martin RootsCardiff Bay3330272930(RET)464033(DNC)268
33rdSMaster1233Robert VinceExe SC323337(38)3335(43)363836280
34thSVeteran1202Martin BurgessBough Beach SC35(44)44(53)382541443520282
35thSMaster1239David CannCardiff Bay27252337(93(9339713228282
36thSStandard1319Sean MuldoonHaversham SC56(57)45303928(58)353126290
37thGVeteran1184Garry ButterfieldBartley SC(57)38494235(RET)50302535304
38thSVeteran1176Mark HitchmoughBowmoor SC(52)374843313936(56)5031315
39thSMaster1179Chris HobbsBowmoor SC404342(49)4540274340(DNC)320
40thSStandard1180David StephenBartley SC45464046444122(48)(51)37321
41stGVeteran1246Anthony CritchleyBolton SC1742381347(RET)5222(DNC)DNC324
42ndSMaster412Philip HindOgston SC483946503734(63)(62)4439337
43rdSVeteran1139Dana ChurchNottingham SC51363535(DNC)(DNC)372828DNC343
44thSVeteran1215Michael MalcolmHaversham SC54(55)47454036424246(DNC)352
45thSStandard1256Paul BurtonGirton SC37(53)50445033(57)535338358
46thSStandard543Christopher BridgeOgston SC42(60)413946(DNC)54554934360
47thSVeteran1127Philip NorthGirton SC494951(65)(60)4224605243370
48thSMaster1223Jonathan PebodyHunts SC555853(61)363851(63)4140372
49thSVeteran1172Eric GreenOgston SC5050523634375665(DNC)(DNC)380
50thBMaster698Charles FelgateCardiff Bay YC(70)6564344243(71)583641383
51stSVeteran1211Martin SmithChelmarsh SC413228(DNC)(DNC)DNC382534DNC384
52ndGStandard1299William GiffordCotswold SC308162827(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC388
53rdSVeteran1277Douglas RankinBlithfield SC394743(DNC)(DNC)DNC114648DNS420
54thGVeteran1293Steven TostevinRoadford Lake SC47(68)58585544(75)575646421
55thSVeteran1187Philip DaviesThornton Steward SC6661575754(OCS)345443(DNC)426
56thSVeteran477Tony WithamBexhill SC464854525846(65)6461(DNC)429
57thSVeteran1151Andrew BethellLilliput SC67(70)56604947554758(DNC)439
58thSMaster1115Kevin BandBolton SC6159(RET)4848454551(RET)DNC450
59thSVeteran1171Mark MeadowsTeesdale SC59(RET)(DNC)6451DNC70324744460
60thSMaster1230Chris KnealeCardiff Bay SC7362555543(RET)625954(DNC)463
61stSVeteran1325Adrian LumbHaversham SC44(DNC)(DNC)47RETDNC293939DNC477
62ndSVeteran1305Stuart StephenBartley SC6452636253(RET)606757(DNC)478
63rdSVeteran1099Peter HousleySwarkstone53416154(DNC)(DNC)676155DNC485
64thSLady1083Serena StewardsonEmberton Park SC7669666656(RET)613762(DNC)493
65thBMaster1269James PatersonBartley SC6266605957(OCS)726659(DNC)501
66thSMaster588Rob BellEmberton Park SC58(DNC)(DNC)33DNCDNC534142DNS506
67thSMaster393Andy MarshallBowmoor SC6972676359(RET)(78)696445508
68thSStandard679Stephen Blair 605662(DNC)(DNC)DNC644945DNC522
69thSVeteran1093Nick CoombesExe SC655468(DNC)(DNC)DNC66726347528
70thBMaster1123Ashley KenistonExe SC746769(DNC)(DNC)DNC69526542531
71stGMaster1280Alex ReeveCotswold SC281925(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC537
72ndBVeteran1045David PennockBartley SC6363655652(DNC)(RET)DNCDNCDNC578
73rdBMaster715Steve DenyerCardiff Bay SC755159(DNC)(DNC)DNC766866DNS581
74thGVeteran1257Mike GibsonBartley SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC2524DNCDNC607
75thSVeteran1203Steve JohnsonCotswold SC(RET)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC445060DNC619
76thSVeteran1103Nigel DavisTamworth SC727170(DNC)(DNC)DNC7470DNCDNC636
77thSVeteran1134Tom BaldwinCarsington SC6864(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC690
78thBVeteran1196Mike GriffithsEmberton Park SC77(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC7973DNCDNC694
79thBVeteran1057Ian CasewellCotswold SC71(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC68RETDNCDNC697
80thSStandard1272Andrew Goodman‑ SmithAttenborough SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC48DNCDNCDNC699
81stSMaster1260Ben ViggarsBowmoor(RET)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC59DNCDNCDNC710
82ndSStandard1124Colin RickettsBartley SC(RET)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC73DNCDNCDNC724
83rdSMaster1298Tony EnglishBowmoor SC(RET)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC77DNCDNCDNC728
84thSVeteran1326Paul KerselDraycote Water SC(RET)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC744
84thSLady1131Karen SquireCarsington SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC744
84thSVeteran1195Ian WhiteEmberton Park SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC744
84thSVeteran1271Paul JonesChelmarsh SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC744
84thSVeteran1007Stephen SwainHaversham SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC744
84thSVeteran1255Warren MitchellSnettisham Beach SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC744
84thSMaster1254Tony BleasdaleGirton SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC744
84thBStandard1157Paul RankinBlithfield SC(RET)(DNS)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC744
84thSVeteran603Richard WhiteBristol Corinthian YC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC744

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