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Craftinsure Supernova travellers and training day at Burton Sailing Club

by Mike Gibson & Alex Reeve 19 Aug 2023 01:26 PDT 11-12 August 2023
Craftinsure Supernova travellers at Burton © Adam Kenney

Training day

On Friday 11 August the Supernova Class Association supported a Class training day at Burton Sailing Club - an event free to Class Association members. The coach for this event was national and multiple inland champion / all round class legend, Mike Gibson.

Following a short introductory briefing the 8 boats who had attended this excellent event spent some time looking at how to set up a Supernova and ran through some of the basics around what the control lines actually do. There was a thought provoking discussion about how rake and kicker worked, excellent tools to depower the fully battened sail.

Once the group had gone through the theory they went afloat to focus on how to control the boat in practice. An initial exercise was set to test boat handling by trying to stop and start the boat. Putting the morning's theory into practice the team tried sailing with and without the kicker and also with and without mast rake.

Of those attending, Michael Alexander had said he struggled with controlling the boat in windy conditions but was getting a better feel for how to deal with the conditions. Alastair Reid commented on the fact that he felt quicker already going upwind!

After lunch the dynamic shifted to improving tacking and gybing with drills tacking on the whistle. Certainly everyone was getting better; notably for Ian Hancock who was tacking more smoothly and keeping the boat flatter.

To make things more realistic a series of very short races took place. Quite quickly people were getting into far better positions for the starts and were better controlling their speed approaching the line. Ed Johnson was consistently getting on the first row and making top starts with Dana Church and Nick Whiles.

Phil North in a very nice looking 1127 [Ed: Mike's old boat] was finding out that being too far leeward of the fleet didn't help and it then took quite a while to cross the line. Working hard upwind in the increasing wind saw Marcus Shaw making big improvements in his upwind speed by keeping the boat nice and flat. After several races in fleets of 4 Mike moved the group into all 8 starting together. The improvement was clear to see both in terms of starting and then in upwind handling.

For the last couple of races the course was extended to include a good reach which everyone enjoyed. Once ashore a final de-brief was held and it was felt that most of the concerns had been addressed and all were looking forward to putting into practice what they'd learnt in the open the following day.

The Association thanks Mike for giving up his time and expertise to support this event and to our 8 attendees for supporting and actively engaging with the event.

Craftinsure travellers event

An intrepid group of Supernova sailors resisted the urge to stay warm and dry at home to watch the Lionesses, and instead set forth for a wet and windy Craftinsure travellers event at Burton Sailing Club.

In the first race, the two Steves, Hawley and Johnson, led off the line, but Hawley touched the windward mark and had to do a penalty turn, dropping him into the pack. Andy Flitcroft took the lead and was to keep it for the whole race, hiking hard and dismissing each fearsome gust as a mere inconvenience. Alex Reeve stayed in touch for a while, but Flitcroft pulled away, with Hawley coming through to overtake Reeve on the last run. These three were well ahead, with Paul Undrell leading the peloton in fourth.

After rejuvenating Cornish pasties in the clubhouse, the second race got under way in, if anything, even more wind. Hawley had clearly learned his lesson and avoided hitting any marks, instead enjoying a close tussle with Flitcroft. Reeve followed closely behind these two like a faithful Labrador, and they finished in that order, with Marcus Shaw putting the training day into practice to score a fourth.

So, it was between Hawley and Flitcroft to decide the top two places. After a refreshing downpour, the wind moderated and the final race turned into a match race at the front, with Hawley and Flitcroft exchanging the lead several times. In the end, Hawley pulled away to take his second event win in a month, and Reeve snuck into second place ahead of Flitcroft. Undrell was again fourth.

Overall, Steve Hawley enjoyed the top spot on the unusual Burton "mushroom podium" as the well-deserved winner; as a wise man recently said, he is truly ageing like a fine wine. The ever consistent Andy Flitcroft was a close second, and Alex Reeve third.

The fleet had a brilliant day's sailing, and huge thanks are due to the race officer and everyone at the club.

The Association thanks Burton for hosting and the 16 pre-entrants for supporting this event.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmSailing ClubR1R2R3Pts
1st1263Steve HawleyBartley2112
2nd1264Andy FlitcroftBolton SC1233
3rd1280Alex ReeveCotswold S C3325
4th1160Paul UndrellCotswold S C4648
5th1032Marcus shawGirton5489
6th1130Ed JohnsonGirton65611
7th1139Dana ChurchNottingham SC87512
8th1203Steve JohnsonCotswold7121017
9th1234Nick WhilesGirton98917
10th1059Adi DavisGirton1111718
11th1127Philip NorthGirton1091119
12th1270Alastair ReidBlithfield Sailing Club 101222
13th1254Tony BleasdaleGirton SC   34
13th1329Michael AlexanderRutland SC   34
13th1118lan HancockOlton Mere Sailing Club   34
13th1272Andy Goodman‑SmithAttenborough   34

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