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Supernova Sea Championship at Exe Sailing Club

by Alex Horlock and Nick Coombes 4 Jun 2021 08:50 BST 22-23 May 2021
Great turnout for the Supernova Sea Championship at Exe © Maurice Chittock

Despite the stormy conditions that ran across the country on the Thursday and Friday before the event, 32 sailors took to the water on Saturday 22nd May at Exe Sailing Club for the 2021 Supernova Sea Championship.

Race 1: The first race started in a relatively light F3 - 4, an underlying southerly swell combined with northerly chop to make for some tricky conditions where it was easy to make gains and losses. A significant left hand wind shift at the start of the race added to an already slightly biased pin end meaning boats that were on the left end of the line were able to tack straight away and head off on port. It was John Knight however who made it to the first mark first, steaming in from the right-hand side to round well ahead of the rest of the fleet. By the end of the first downwind he'd been caught up by Alex Horlock, closely followed by Gavin Young.

Up the beat John extended again, closely followed by Alex and Robin Kirby. Alex squeezed round John on the final reach to take the gun on the shortened course by just 1 boat length with Robin finishing 3rd.

Race 2: A more even start meant groups got away from both sides, Cliff Milliner and Gavin lead from the committee boat end, but it was Bob Horlock who showed the fleet the way round the first lap having established a significant lead at the top mark. Slowly Alex and Gavin reeled him in up the second beat in the building breeze. The fleet were sent on round for a 3rd lap, Alex was able to extend on for the win leaving a close battle for second and third. Robin's new legs, forged from a winter on the mountain bike, were able to overthrow the old guard of Cliff and Gavin to take second.

Race 3: The final race was sailed in a steady F4 with some bigger gusts, treating the whole fleet to some exciting (yet tiring) sailing. Jon Everett struck out from the middle of the line with most of the pack starting on the right-hand side. Cliff got the better of Gavin in the initial sprint off the line, but it was Alex that made it to the windward mark first and was never caught. Iain Horlock, John Knight, Robin and Cliff battled away for second place with Cliff ending up taking the all-important place over Robin to end up second overall on countback.

Little did the fleet know that the hardest part was yet to come as they beat back against the famous outgoing Exmouth tide in a still increasing breeze. Thankfully everyone made it in and were rewarded with a good spread of cake and a well deserved pint at the club!

The returning tail of the storm put paid to Sunday's racing, so the morning was spent having a light breakfast, followed by more cake and tea and a prize-giving ceremony.

Overall Results:

1st Alex Horlock (Exe SC)
2nd Cliff Milliner (Cotswold SC)
3rd Robin Kirby (Warsash SC)

1st Lady - Ellen Clancey (Cotswold SC)
1st Master - John Knight (Bartley SC)
1st Veteran - Mike Gibson (Bartley SC)
1st MK 1 - Malcolm Crundwell (Exe SC)

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