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Plas Menai 2015

Supernova Training and Open at Bolton Sailing Club

by Keith Roberts on 4 May 2011 29-30 April 2011
Headling up the beat during the Supernova training and open at Bolton © Richard Craig /


Bolton Sailing Club hosted a Supernova Training day on Friday 29th April with 14 boats taking part in the training. Mike Gibson the Supernova Inland Champion travelled up from Bartley SC to pass on his knowledge. The weather lived up to the forecast of sunshine and a F4-5 very gusty easterly (onshore) wind persisting all day. This did not deter the 6 home boats with 8 other participants travelling from as far afield as Haversham, the Midlands, Cardiff bay and the South coast.

Mike’s approach to the training was a quick briefing in the club house about the boat setup and controls followed by getting the boats on the water and trying out different settings. As this was pitched at the newer members of the Supernova fleet, with the strong wind conditions, the safety boat teams had a busy day with most participants having plenty of capsize recovery practice!

After lunch, a briefing on race starts, the use of 5 essentials in racing and an intro into race techniques was put into effect on the water after a slight delay due to a 40mph squall coming across the lake just as the participants were rigging the sails.

All the participants came off the water at the end of the day tired, wet, but much better prepared for the Open meeting organised for the Saturday.

The sailing club organised a Lancashire themed meal in the evening and had put a keg of real ale on the bar for the sailors.

Open Meeting

Saturday morning dawned and the breeze if anything had increased with 25-28mph mean wind speeds and 45 mph gusts. This deterred all but the hardiest sailors some of whom had travelled up for the open on the Saturday morning with 8 from Bolton and 5 travellers.

Before the first race got away Geoff Robinson (Bolton) managed to capsize on the line creating a bit of an obstacle and Mervyn Jones (SSC) after an early bath decided the conditions were outside his capabilities and retired. However the race got away cleanly with Tony Critchley (Bolton) getting to the 1st mark ahead of the pack however a capsize at the 3rd mark gave the lead to Paul Earnshaw (Haversham) followed by Tony, Mike Gibson (Bartley) and Andy Jenkins (Bolton). With several capsizes in the fleet in lap 2 Paul and Steve Hawley (Severn) pulled clear of Tony and Mike. After 4 laps the OOD shortened course and Paul took the win followed by Steve, Tony and Mike.

After lunch race 2 started with vicious gusts coming across the lake, Tony Critchley took an early lead from Paul Earnshaw and Mike Gibson after 2 boats capsized whilst rounding the third mark. However on lap 2 Tony lost the lead as he went towards the wrong mark and Paul Earnshaw took the lead followed by Andy Jenkins who moved into 3rd place. After being hit by a huge backer Paul Earnshaw capsized (and subsequently retired), Mike Gibson took advantage to get past Tony and led the race to the end. The order of finishing was Mike Gibson, Tony Critchley and Steve Hawley.

After two races, three helms Mike Gibson, Tony Critchley and Steve Hawley were tying on 5 points each so this made for an exciting conclusion. Mike Gibson made a good start with Tony Critchley not far behind and Bolton’s Andy Jenkins hot on his heels. Andy Jenkins capsized and let Steve Hawley through. Mike Gibson powered away leaving Tony in 2nd with Steve in 3rd place.

Overall Results:

1st Mike Gibson (Bartley SC)
2nd Tony Critchley (Bolton SC)
3rd Steve Hawley (Severn SC)

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