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Supernova Inland Championship at Northampton Sailing Club

by Tony Critchley 14 Sep 2019 09:46 BST 7-8 September 2019
Supernova Inlands at Northampton © Chris Hawley

The 2019 Supernova Inland Championship made a welcome return to Northampton Sailing Club over the weekend of 7th and 8th September.

A slightly reduced turnout of 46 boats entered the six race championship in what proved to be a shifty event during in which there were huge gains or losses to be made dependant on where you were when the wind changed. This meant there was close racing throughout the entire fleet.

Race 1

The race officer set his traditional trapezoid course with his legendary port biased start line and the fleet got away cleanly in the near perfect 8 to 12 mph northerly breeze. The front runners were Matt Biggs, Cliff Milliner, Mike Gibson and Tony Critchley. Biggs soon found his way to the front and was never challenged. The following places changed a few times as the sometimes 35 degree shifts played their part and the final result settled as Biggs, Critchley, Milliner, Gibson, Steve Hawley and Colin Anderson. Bronze fleet sailor, Mark Meadows had a great start to the championships with a creditable 11th.

Race 2

Race 2 followed back to back and got under way with Gavin Young leading the way closely followed by his Cotswold clubmate Milliner and the rest of the chasing pack, Biggs, Gibson, S. Hawley and Critchley. On the 3rd lap Biggs stayed out to the right on the beat and picked up a handy shift right to the windward mark and took the lead. Biggs stayed in front to claim his 2nd bullet of the day followed by Young and Milliner. The chasing trio of Gibson, S.Hawley and Critchley crossed the line virtually together and finished in that order. Silver fleet sailor Steve Johnson had one of his best championship races to finish an excellent 7th and Ellen Clancy sailed a great race to finish 14th. The other 4 ladies, Alison Lynnal, Amie KIng, Rachel Vaughn-Johns and Serena Stewardson had a close race to finish 32nd, 33rd, 36th and 40th respectively.

Race 3

After a short break ashore for a hearty lunch the fleet were eager to start again, a little too eager as the port bias had shifted making it difficult to cross on starboard with the inevitable mass trespass onto the course side causing the first general recall. An adjustment was made before the restart and the fleet got away cleanly. Current Inland and National champ Milliner needed to put in a top performance if he was to hold on to his title and he did just that to take his first win of the day. The wind started to play tricks with big shifts and lulls in strength and after many place changes in the chasing pack Gibson was 2nd, Critchley 3rd followed by Andy Flicroft, who hadfound his mojo, in 4th, Biggs 5th and Young 6th. Silver fleet sailor Mike Adams scored his best result of the competition with a great 7th place (in a Mark 1) and Frank McMullen also put in a best race result of 16th.

Race 4

The final race of the day got away cleanly in what was for a time the strongest breeze testing the strength and stamina of the fleet. The usual suspects lead from the line and with Milliner, again on form, taking the lead followed by Young and Critchley these 3 broke away from the pack. Some close racing between Young and Critchley allowed Milliner to pull out an unassailable lead and he took his 2nd race win with ease followed by Young then Critchley. Biggs was 4th followed by Paul Undrell in 5th who had been improving race by race and Flitcroft 6th. Ian Moodie put a decent race together with a 15th and likewise Nick Whiles with an 18th.

The championship was wide open with 2 races to follow the day after. Would we have the first new name on the trophy since 2007? Since then it's been shared between Milliner and Gibson, however the forecast was for very light winds and with an association championship rule of a 5 knot minimum wind strength, all the bar talk was centered around various apps on smartphones looking for the best forecast hoping that there would be enough to race.

The evening saw the customary class AGM which sailed through without any contentious items. We had a great meal in the clubhouse and there was plenty of bar banter in this all inclusive class.

Race 5

The first race was scheduled for 10am and at 9am it wasn't looking good but the wind filled in by 9.30 and the fleet launched. The wind was light and fickle with obvious holes appearing on the course and again the port bias line coupled with a light and shifty wind cause the second general recall of the event. The restart got the fleet away and a huge shift just after the start favoured the committee boat end and S. Hawley took full advantage and shot into the lead. Flitcroft and Milliner had got a clean pin end start and sailed out left to pick up a shift and joined the front runners. The wind shifts and differences in strength played havoc with the rest of the fleet and no one felt safe in any position with major wind shifts changing the fortunes and also frustrating the sailors. Milliner again sailed a steady race to take his 3rd bullet on the run followed by Gibson in 2nd who with one lap to go was down in the teens. Flitcroft continued his form to finish 3rd. Brian Smith, to his great delight, found himself finishing 4th with Biggs 5th and club treasurer Ian Casewell also equally delighted with 6th. Bronze fleet sailor Nigel Davies also did well in the conditions. He finished 18th improving his previous best result by 22 places.

The wind finally gave out and was moving 180 degrees at a time so Race 6 was cancelled and the event was concluded with 5 sailed and 4 to count.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubFleetDivisionR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st1245Cliff Milliner GoldStandard‑331116
2nd1175Matt Biggs  Master11‑54511
3rd1127Mike GibsonBartleyGoldMaster442‑9212
4th1246Tony CritchleyBoltonGoldVeteran2633‑814
5th1192Gavin YoungCotswoldGoldStandard7262‑917
6th1071Andy FlitcroftBoltonBronzeMaster‑18846321
7th1133Steve HowleyBartleyGoldStandard55‑97724
8th1160Paul UdrellCotswoldGoldVeteran131285‑2538
9th1224Chris HawleyBartleyGoldStandard10910‑111140
10th1036Colin AndersonBlithfieldSilverStandard6‑211581746
11th1139Dana ChurchNottsSilverVeteran16‑2411101249
12th1189Tom ChadfieldBlithfieldSilverVeteran9131812‑2052
13th1203Steve JohnsonCotswoldSilverVeteran‑22719171053
14th1090Iain BarlowBurtonSilverStandard‑351113131653
15th552Mike AdamsBexhillSilverVeteran1510722‑3954
16th1184Garry ButterfieldBartleyGoldMaster8‑1717161354
17th1179Chris HobbsBowmoorSilverMaster‑282314141566
18th1130Ed JohnsonGirtonSilverMaster122224‑281472
19th1069Brian SmithBowmoorSilverVeteran2129‑3724478
20th1254Tony BleasdaleGirtonGoldMaster26161225‑2779
21st1223Jon PeabodyHuntsSilverMaster14252121‑2881
22nd1141Ellen ClancyCotswoldSilverLady29142019‑3082
23rd1080James GerwatFeldhamSilverMaster‑341922202182
24th1235John WalpoleExeSilverVeteran1720‑30232484
25th1242Frank McMullenBoltonSilverMaster202616(DNF)2385
26th1234Nick WhilesAttenborough Master27‑3425181989
27th1057Ian CasewellCotswoldSilverVeteran313029‑33696
28th1159Phil DaviesScammonden Water Veteran23183226‑3699
29th1035Ian MoodieBoltonSilverVeteran30392315(DNC)107
30th1171Mark MeadowsTeesdaleBronzeVeteran112827(DNC)DNC113
31st1134Tom BaldwinCarsingtonSilverMaster‑3731263029116
32nd1180David StephenBartleyBronzeStandard33273129‑40120
33rd1008Norman CarterHollowellSilverVeteran‑3635283133127
34th1112Pete JacksonHollowellSilverStandard1915(DNC)DNCDNC128
35th1083Serena StewardsonEmberton ParkSilverLady2440‑413232128
36th1062Andrew GoodmanAttenboroughSilverStandard25413827(DNC)131
37th582Amie KingGirton Lady32333335(DNC)133
38th1191Rachel Vaughn‑JohnsBowmoorBronzeLady‑4036393922136
39th1019Alison LinnellHollowellSilverLady413236‑4231140
40th1007Steve SwainHavershamBronzeVeteran‑4545353726143
41st1167Stuart StephenBartleyBronzeVeteran393734‑4334144
42nd1103Nigel DavisTamworthBronzeMaster43‑46444018145
43rd1063Keith RixChipsteadBronzeVeteran38‑42423441155
44th1177Pete BinghamBowmoorSilverVeteran4438‑453835155
45th1227James AdairHykehamBronzeVeteran42‑44433637158
46th598John HumanEmberton ParkBronzeMaster‑4643404138162

Other category winners:

Master Matt Biggs (Blithfield)
Veteran Tony Critchley (Bolton)
Ladies Ellen Clancy (Cotswold)
Silver Dana Church (Notts)
Bronze Rachel Vaughan-Jones (Bowmoor)
Mark 1 Mike Adams (Bexhill)

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