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Supernova class 2023 review

by Chris Hawley 24 Nov 2023 23:34 PST
Supernova Nationals at Paignton Day 2 © Phil Jackson / Digital Sailing

2023 has been another super year for the Supernova Class. We've seen the number of new epoxy boats cross the 300 line (meaning there are now officially more mark 2's than mark 1's) and plenty of new sailors taking part in our events.

With such a wide competitive weight range the Supernova continues to appeal, supported by a hugely enthusiastic and welcoming fleet (3 free training days this year).

With a new committee in place with some fantastic ideas we say roll on 2024! A key date of the diary is the National Championships in Plas Heli 28-30 June 2024.

The Class Association would like to thank our sponsors of Hartley Boats and Craftinsure for their support for another season.

Supernova Winter Championships at Bowmoor Sailing Club

The season started with a very chilly and windy event at Bowmoor Sailing Club. We had 30 helms take on the challenging conditions but in the end it was a full podium for Cotswold Sailing Club sailors.

1st Cliff Milliner
2nd Will Gifford
3rd Gavin Young
Silver - Iain Barlow
Bronze - Andy Gould

Hartley Boats Supernova National Championship at Paignton Sailing Club

What a great 3 days at Paignton, windy conditions for the second nationals in a row, but what fun on and off the water. Despite the cost of living crisis the number of entries was still just under 100, again one of the largest fleets in the UK. It was incredibly close at the front of the fleet, with competitive racing throughout. In the end it was Alistair Goodwin from Haversham who took the overall win.

1st Alistair Goodwin
2nd Cliff Milliner
3rd Sam Knight
Silver - Paul Bloom
Bronze - Ashley Keniston

Supernova Inland Championship at Grafham Water Sailing Club

The class returned to an old favourite of Grafham and that mustered up an impressive 70 boats, the largest ever collection of Supernovas inland. Although the winds were lighter it was the consistent duo of Gav and Cliff at the front.

1st Cliff Milliner
2nd Gavin Young
3rd Chris Hawleyv Silver - Hugo Hansen
Bronze - James Adair

Travellers series (report from Alex Reeve)

In many ways, the open meeting circuit is the heartbeat of any class. Competitors drive the length and breadth of the country to race one another, while local club sailors relish pitting themselves against the experts. It's great to get big fleets at championships, but achieving a turnout of 26 for a light wind open meeting at Winsford Flash is, perhaps, an even better indication that the Class is in excellent health.

The highly successful Travellers' Series in 2023, comprising 12 open meetings (north and south circuits) and three training days, and stretching from Cardiff Bay in the west to Haversham in the east, and Bolton in the north to Cotswold in the south.

A mammoth 132 sailors raced in total (up from 124 last year), with an average attendance per event of over 20. Remarkably, two open meetings, Bartley and Ogston, achieved 30 boats, more than many classes get at their Nationals!

Another barometer of range of skill in the Class is how many people shared the prizes: nine different sailors from four different clubs won at least one open meeting. No-one can arrive at a Supernova event and be confident of victory!

But, at the end of it all, there is always a worthy winner, and this year it was Steve Hawley from Bartley, who demonstrated mastery of a wide range of conditions and waters to emerge victorious, topping the podium at three out of the 12 events. He was chased closely by Alex Reeve from Cotswold and Andy Flitcroft from Bolton who each won one event. Alex also won the highly coveted "travellers traveller trophy".

In the Silver Fleet, Dana Church was first, followed by Paul Burton and Nick Whiles, both from Girton.

Despite the success of the Travellers' Series, nothing stands still, and we're planning some improvements for next year. The series will transition from being based on the calendar year to being run from Inlands to Inlands, so the winners can be announced in a crowd with the series properly celebrated. We'll also see the fleet return to the south coast at Exe. What won't change is the enthusiasm of the sailors, the friendliness of the clubs, the closeness of the competition and the excellence of the pies and mushy peas at Bolton.

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