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Supernova Winter Championship at Bowmoor Sailing Club

by Alex H Collins 27 Feb 2018 18:52 GMT 24 February 2018
Supernova Winter Championship at Bowmoor © Peter Mackin

Driving into a bustling boat park under clear sky made for a great start to the Supernova Class' 2018 Winter Championship event as, despite the deceivingly cold weather and a mixed wind forecast, 40 association members from near and far came together to kick off the season in style.

Once again held at the wonderful venue of Bowmoor Sailing Club, Sailors were treated to complimentary bacon sandwiches and cups of tea which certainly warmed everyone up after rigging up to face the bitingly cold 15 knot North Easterly breeze with the occasional shifty gust. With support from Oxford Carriers and Force4 Chandlery there was sure to be some superb prizes on offer.

Cobwebs blown off boats and sailing gear, the fleet headed out after a briefing from the Commodore and Race Officer which built up anticipation for the first Championship racing of 2018.

Race 1 saw the fleet off to a great start with last year's Champion Cliff Milliner (Cotswold) leading the way around the first mark followed closely by Tim Hand (Swarkestone) and Alex Collins (Bolton) with the fleet all bunched up together. Fast forward towards the finish and 1st place Milliner had sailed to a reasonable lead with a fight for 2nd place taking place between Hand, Collins, Gavin Young (Cotswold) and Matt Biggs (Blithfield). On the beat, it was Biggs in the lead coming up towards the penultimate mark, but Collins came in on starboard, holding Biggs from tacking around the mark. This meant that at the finish it was Milliner, Collins, Biggs, Hand and Young rounding out the top 5.

Race 2 saw back to back racing, and a traffic jam soon developed towards the pin end as boats jostled for position. As the fleet started, an individual recall was sounded with a couple of racers heading back down to the line to restart. Like in the first race, it was Milliner gaining the lead with Cotswold training partner Young a very close second. As the restarters fought their way back into the main pack, all the fleet seemed to be fighting forward at a similarly alarming pace. At the finish it was Milliner, Young, Hand, Charlie Sansom (Bowmoor Youth) and Matt Williams (Cotswold) rounding off the top 5.

After a cracking lunch put on by the fantastic galley staff it was time to get kitted up again with the soggy spray tops, gloves and hats not putting down the spirits of the racers.

Race 3 Kicked off with a clean start by all with some of the fleet picking the left or right side of the beat while others played the shifts up the middle, taking gambles here and there. Coming up to the first mark it all seemed very equal as shifts from multiple directions brought the pack together. Collins took the initial lead with Biggs behind chasing him down. The first broad reach saw different strategies as half the fleet kept the angle and steady pressure toward the mark while others decided to gybe set down to try and stay in the stream of gusts coming down the middle of the lake. Further into the race and now with Biggs continuing to build on his lead, the finish came up fast and at it Biggs who bagged the win with Collins, Sansom, Andrew Snell (ASA) and Mike Gibson (Bartley) in 5th.

With boats packed up and sailors changed, well-deserved drinks in hand, it was time for the prize giving. Awards for first Lady, Veteran, Master and Youth were given out. So too were some 'out of the hat' prizes that gave the whole fleet the chance to win something. Young (4th), Collins (3rd), and Biggs (2nd) came up to collect their prizes and then it was time for Milliner to collect his trophy once again and deliver his speech.

A big thank you must go to Bowmoor Sailing Club for once again hosting us and putting together a very well organised and fun day of racing. Together with Force4 Chandlery and Oxford Carriers the prizes on offer were superb and it was great to have this support for our class. And lastly, Peter Mackin for taking some great photos of the day.

For more information on the Supernova class or to find out how you could join 109 other competitors for the 2018 nationals in Pwhelli, please visit

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st1190Cliff MilnerCotswold SC11-72
2nd1175Matt BiggsBlithfield3-814
3rd1068Alex CollinsBolton2-924
4th1192Gavin YoungCotswold S C52-67
5th1087Charlie SansomBowmoor-11437
7th1186Andrew SnellASA7-10411
8th1127Mike GibsonBartley S C-66511
9th1169Matt WilliamsCotswold-85813
10th1201Christopher WilliamsCotswold-1371118
11th1059Richard LambertBough Beech10-12919
12th1176John BanbrookBowmoor9-181019
13th1036Colin AndersonBlithfield1411(DNS)25
14th1223Jon PebodyHunts15-171227
15th1145Pete MayBolton-19141327
16th1160Paul UndrellCotswold1613(RET)29
17th1179Chris HobbsBowmoor-21151429
18th561Mark HitchmoughBowmoor18(RET)1533
19th1203Steve JohnsonCotswold1716-1833
20th1082Tom ChadfieldBlithfield1222(DNS)34
21st1137Andy GouldCotswold-25201737
22nd1090Ian BarloeSwarkstone22(RET)1638
23rd1069Brian SmithBowmoor-30191938
24th599Christian ConlanBowmoor20-212040
25th1141Ellen ClancyCotswold-24232144
26th1062Andrew GoodmanAttenborough-29252247
27th1156Rob CornerAttenborough2324(DNS)47
28th1130Nick WhildsAttenborough-28272350
29th1177Pete BinghamBowmoor-32262450
30th1083Serena StewardsonEmberton Park27-322653
31st1080James GerwatFelpham2628(DNS)54
32nd627Carl MartinSwarkestone-34342559
33rd408David StephenBartley(DNS)312859
34th692Peter WoodsBowmoor-35332760
35th1109Lesley JeanesCotswold3130(DNS)61
36th1008Norman CarterHollowell3329(DNS)62
37th598John HumanEmberton Park-37352964
38th707Ian WhiteEmberton Park3836(DNS)74
39th436Martin BazenBowmoor36(RET)DNS77
40th1191Rachael Vaughan-JohnsBowmoor(RET)DNSDNS82

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