Supernova 2018 Winter Championships - Bowmoor Sailing Club
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: http://www.supernovadinghy.org
Oxford Carriers: http://www.oxfordcarriers.co.uk/
Force 4 Chandlery: https://www.force4.co.uk
Peter Mackin Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/147818589@N03/albums/with/72157664093779137