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Supernova National Championships at Paignton Sailing Club

by Sam Knight & Chris Hawley 11 Jul 20:22 BST

Another year and another fantastic 100+ entry for the Supernova Nationals, held this year at Paignton in south Devon.

The fleet assembled "on the green" for the 2019 championships on the evening before kick-off for an in-depth speed and tactics talk from the Cotswold Sailing Club duo of multiple national champion Cliff Milliner and Class technical rep Gavin Young. Then it was time to retire to our accommodation to allow the talks to soak in, ready to put all we had learned into practice the next morning!

Except unfortunately it wasn't to be. Several days of strong easterly winds had whipped up an almighty swell resulting breaking waves that were impossible to pass. PRO Ian Bullock and RO James Ripley postponed for several hours in the hope that the conditions would abate, but to no avail. The video they took from a RIB was frightening to say the least!

Therefore, there was little more for the fleet to do other than enjoy the customary Paignton crazy golf (joint winners of Alex Horlock and Class Chairman Chris Hawley), a spot of surfing on the aforementioned breakers (from Team Bolton), or quench their thirst in the local beer gardens. The day was rounded off with an excellent meal back at the clubhouse and the drawing of the raffle for not one, but two brand new sails! Well done to the lucky winners!

Socializing continued late into the night, with some of the fleet now having some trouble negotiating their way back to their accommodation. Maybe we should have had the GPS trackers from SailRacer on each participant so we could keep an eye on them?

Saturday dawned bright and (slightly) breezy with Torbay looking much calmer. After a quick briefing in the boat park and some last minute tips from the Buddy Group members, the fleet was able to launch and make their way to the racecourse, covered by a gentle 5-7 knots. For the first time in many nationals, the Supernovas were to return to line starts so race one was the first chance for many to experience a start line longer than most of the lakes that make up the traveller's circuit!

Clean air was at a premium for most, the exception being Mr Cliff Milliner, who showed the fleet a clean pair of heels in three of the four races, a penalty in the third race proving the only blemish in an otherwise impressive day. Behind Cliff however, the racing was tight with former national champion Alex Horlock from Exe Sailing Club the best of the rest, claiming the only other bullet of the day and counting all top three results.

Overall the points among the top twenty were relatively low overnight, showing just how close the racing had been. Special thanks must be given to the shore team who were charged with lifting almost 100 dinghies out of the surf on the fleets return; 2-3 ft of swell may seem small, but breaking onto the sea wall there was ample opportunity for broken boats and sailors were it not for the excellent organisation and effort of the club members.

On Sunday, competitors arose to the sound of clinking halyards and violently flapping flags for the final day of the championship. With the wind now blowing hard offshore, it was a rapid but thankfully flat ride out to the race course out in the centre of the bay. With the windward buoy just an orange pinprick under the cliffs of Paignton, the racing got under way at the first time of asking (incredibly there was only one recall the entire weekend!) and the fleet had the chance to stretch their legs and rake their rigs.

The change in conditions brought new faces to the front and leading round the first few legs was class newcomer Chris Bownes from Bartley Sailing Club, attending his first nationals in the Supernova and the first as a helm! He was soon hauled in and overtaken by the chasing pack, but clearly his foray amongst the front-runners had inspired him, as he took a second and the final bullet of the event.

Also taking a race win was returning runner-up from the 2018 championships and Class RYA Coach, Alistair Godwin from Haversham Sailing Club, who was a constant in the reckoning all day. Ultimately, taking the first bullet counting more podium places throughout the day was enough for Cliff, who took the Championships with a race to spare.

A win in race 6 wasn't enough for Alex, who showed outstanding speed in the heavier air but was hampered a kicker failure leading to a bad start in race 7.

Cliff and Alex had been in a private battle for the honours all weekend, and took a deserved first and second overall. Behind them Alistair had wrapped up third with 2018 champion in fourth. The top four were covered by a total of 9 points, with 15 points back to Gavin Young and Alex Collins who ended the event tied on points.

The win makes Cliff the first person to ever win the trophy four times and officially our greatest ever champion.

It is worth saying that the commentary above relates to the sharp end of the fleet, but there were fantastic battles throughout the fleet. Sunday's racing was just brilliant champagne conditions - all of the competitors had a massive smile on their faces and we hope that everyone one will return next year.

In the Silver fleet Jeremy Higson from Bartley Sailing Club took a well-deserved win, finishing in an impressive 18th overall, second place was Tom Chadfield from Blithfield and third Jonny Everett from Llangorse.

This was the formal launch of the new Bronze fleet and the inaugural winner was Paul Schofield from Hunts Sailing Club in 76th place, second was Kevin Band from Bolton and third was Gordon Tweedle from Haversham.

The coveted team trophy was returned to defending champions Bartley Sailing Club, who took this year's prize counting seven of the top 20 places, a fantastic achievement for the home club of the Class Chairman, Chris Hawley.

In the age related categories it was the Critchley brothers from Bolton who dominated - Tony winning the Veterans (over 60s) and Mike winning the Masters (over 50s).

Ellen Clancy (Cotswold sailing club) retained the ladies trophy, beating her mum Lesley Jeanes into second, followed by Serena Stewardson in third and Alison Lynall in fourth.

Michael Adams won the Mark 1 prize, with an impressive 24th overall and some results just outside the top ten.

A massive thank you to all 103 competitors who signed up for the nationals this year. The event was just epic and we are so pleased that those who took part seemed to enjoy it so much. The event is a perfect mix between competitive sailing and socials, a testament to the welcoming and friendly nature of the sailors in the supernova class.

Remember you can re-watch the action on SailRacer and recall all of the cases where things went well or not so well. Fantastic photos of the event are available from Peter Mackin via his website www.PDMPhoto.co.uk

Also, a huge final thanks to Paignton Sailing Club who once again hosted a fantastic event with a phenomenal race team who were professional through and through, as well as all the help with launching and recovery in some tricky conditions.

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

1st Lady - Ellen Clancy
1st Silver Fleet - Jeremy Higson
1st Bronze Fleet - Paul Schofield
1st Mark 1 - Michael Adams
Team Prize - Bartley Sailing Club

PosSail NoHelmSailingClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1st1245Cliff MillinerCotswold SC11‑181133‑410
2nd1060Alex HorlockExe SC‑331231‑16212
3rd1017Alistair GoodwinHaversham SC4‑172‑6221617
4th1256Sam KnightBartley SC22‑73‑854319
5th1192Gavin YoungCotswold SC641154‑17‑14535
6th1125Alex CollinsBolton SC75‑14‑10545935
7th1239Chris BownesBartley SC12‑246‑13792137
8th1220Mike CritchleyBolton SC‑21954‑18817750
9th1175Matt BiggsBlithfield SC9113‑1910108‑2251
10th1246Anthony CritchleyBolton SC156‑169‑29117856
11th1127Mike GibsonBartley SC‑19‑28471616101366
12th1248Matt WilliamsCotswold SC172110‑24‑27661171
13th666Richard PakesHaversham SC81312‑21131415‑1675
14th1201Robin Kirby ‑3922‑281467191280
15th1036Colin AndersonBlithfield SC16129825‑29‑301080
16th1133Stephen HawleyBartley SC‑20201312‑221591887
17th1071Andy FlitcroftBolton SC13142311924‑36‑2894
18th1207Jeremy HigsonBartley SC14‑481725142113‑34104
19th1184Garry ButterfieldBartley SC261681526‑34‑5925116
20th1224Chris HawleyBartley SC27‑2915‑3617202314116
21st1189Tom ChadfieldBlithfield SC5829172436‑37‑40119
22nd1147Iain WilsonBolton SC‑3218‑242020231821120
23rd1230Jonny EverettLlangorse SC‑52‑56383912191123142
24th552Michael AdamsBexhill SC3634‑53‑3811132524143
25th1166Richard LambertBough Beech SC29‑33‑551633301229149
26th1143Martin BurgessBough Beech SC23103027‑4618‑6742150
27th1160Paul UndrellCotswold SC‑44‑42213423262917150
28th1217Ray WorkmanCotswold SC102331‑47192545(DNC)153
29th1079Bob HorlockExe SC18152035‑37‑423137156
30th1139Dana ChurchNottingham SC‑493740‑5031122020160
31st1196Steve MitchellHooe Point11719284553(RET)(DNC)163
32nd1179Chris HobbsBowmoor SC‑5019‑682915483919169
33rd1231Phil TaylorBartley SC2431‑362230‑403527169
34th1035Ian MoodieBolton SC31‑442723‑49284039188
35th1203Steve JohnsonCotswold SC‑4835‑584021224132191
36th1090Iain BarlowBurton SC3826‑8346‑51472115193
37th1228Simon RobinsPorthpean SC33‑464618423322‑65194
38th1219Alistair BoydHaversham SC‑433626‑5434412433194
39th1242Frank McMullenBolton SC22‑60423740‑492830199
40th1124Bruce HowettHaversham SC‑5532‑744828433226209
41st1069Brian SmithBowmoor SC‑563033493238‑6151233
42nd472Arthur PhillipsPaignton SC4638323259‑73‑7538245
43rd1141Ellen ClancyCotswold SC5361‑66‑6636313431246
44th1049Tim GrahamExe SC41‑8525414750‑6647251
45th1221Adrian LumbHaversham SC34274545‑535149‑69251
46th1234Nick WhilesAttenborough SC283948‑72562764‑73262
47th1137Andy GouldCotswold SC‑59525057353538(DNC)267
48th1254Tony BleasdaleGirton SC‑90592230445756‑63268
49th1008Norman CarterHollowell SC2562‑72‑7538445052271
50th709David BartholomewBolton SC‑864956‑6343552643272
51st1099Peter HousleySutton‑in‑Ashfield SC3543‑816455‑692749273
52nd1180David StephenBartley SC30‑77‑755257395146275
53rd576Clive BrownBolton SC‑6941355665‑744236275
54th1109Lesley JeanesCotswold SC402543436468(DNC)(DNC)283
55th1087Mike WalkerBowmoor SC‑7240515861‑654744301
56th631Malcolm CrundwellExe SC37‑694460‑63545454303
57th1235John WalpoleExe SC‑736659‑7639325553304
58th477Tony WithamBexhill SC‑7775544252‑834350316
59th1159Philip DaviesScammonden Water SC6150522669‑75‑7760318
60th1215Michael MalcolmHaversham SC58‑72655558‑674835319
61st1093Nick CoombesExe SC‑92543933‑72727056324
62nd1123Mark NicholsonExe SC5458‑7070‑76374661326
63rd1062Andrew GoodmanAttenborough SC66‑8673‑8248455341326
64th1177Pete BinghamBowmoor SC63‑8078‑8041663348329
65th1237Stuart HallSilver Wings SC71‑844159‑75644459338
66th561Mark HitchmoughBowmoor SC60‑7147‑6960606255344
67th1174Stephen YatesScammonden Water SC575764‑84‑81525262344
68th1083Serena StewardsonEmberton Park SC657434317962(RET)(DNC)345
69th1019Alison LinnellHollowell SC4545377371‑8680(DNC)351
70th1057Ian CasewellCotswold SC5151‑77536763‑6867352
71st1216Robert HillsCotswold SC424769447877(RET)(DNC)357
72nd1167Stuart StephenBartley SC47536362‑85‑817474373
73rd1218Paul BatesHaversham SC6481‑94‑8654616066386
74th1255Warren MitchellSnettisham Beach SC7987‑89835046(RET)45390
75th679Stephen BlairBeaver SC‑8476‑906562765858395
76th1236Paul SchofieldHunts SC‑83687661‑86586372398
77th519Kevin BandBolton SC6873‑80‑7768596964401
78th1134Tom BaldwinCarsington SC‑75‑78607174567271404
79th1135Gordon TweedleHaversham SC‑89‑94678570705770419
80th1161Daniel RuleCarsington SC786762‑8966‑797376422
81st1091Shaun SmaleWelwyn Garden City SC7470‑8779‑89806557425
82nd1132David HallHaversham SC766461‑78‑82717677425
83rd1074Richard WilliamsBartley SC81‑90‑856880847168452
84th1227James AdairHykeham SC‑876571‑9073857980453
85th1103Nigel DavisTamworth SC856349‑88878783(DNC)454
86th598John HumanEmberton Park SC‑8282‑846777828275465
87th1041Chris CatonBolton SC6289‑93‑9184787878469
88th1163Chris WattsBough Beech SC67558674(RET)(DNC)DNCDNC486
89th525Jasper MeijBolton SC8088578788(DNC)(DNC)DNC502
90th1191Rachel Vaughan‑JohnsBowmoor SC91837951(DNF)(DNC)DNCDNC508
91st1155Graham SennittHunts SC(RET)9291(DNC)83888179514
92nd1007Stephen SwainHaversham SC70798281(RET)(DNC)DNCDNC516
93rd1140David BibbyChelmarsh SC8891929390(DNC)(DNC)DNC556
94th1131Karen SquiresCarsington SC(DNS)938892(RET)RETDNCDNC579
95thTBCMark HartleyHartley Boats(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC612
95th543Nicky FrostHollowell SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC612
95th638Justin DennyAlton Water Sailing Club(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC612
95th1171Mark MeadowsTeesdale SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC612
95th1223Jonathan PebodyHunts SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC612
95th588Malcolm HerbertLlangorse SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC612
95th1052Andrew BethellLilliput SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC612

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