Noble Marine Travellers Trophy (TT)
SUPERNOVA TRAVELLER, LLANGORSE SAILING CLUB 5-6TH OCTOBER 2019
Llangorse Lake provided the 13th venue of the 2019 Noble Marine Supernova Traveller Series. It was an enormous pleasure welcoming back the Supernova fleet to our wonderful stretch of water after such a long absence. Sixteen boats took to the water for a two day format, with three back to back races a day. The late start on Saturday and early finish on Sunday allowed for some long distance travelling sailors to be able to make the event, as well as being able to watch England triumph over Argentina in the rugby world cup..
Saturdays forecast was for some light drifty sailing however we were blessed with a good breeze which led to some good, consistent racing.
Colin Fletcher, the Race Officer, set a great course around the club marks, led out with a pathfinding RIB. The wind was very stable at 6/8kts. Race 1 saw a clean getaway and a good fair beat. By the time the fleet reached the third leg a noticeable gap was appearing with the front four pulling away (something that would be repeated all weekend), eventually seeing Gavin Young (Cotswold) taking the win from his clubmate Matt Williams and close on the line was Class newcomer Ben Hollis (Blithfield) pipping our farthest traveller, Tony Critchley (Bolton).
Race 2 saw a slight tweak to the course and an interesting left shift at the windward mark, squeezing out a few boats on the first mark rounding. Young, Williams, Critchley and Hollis got away and fought it out for the top spots, eventually finishing in that order. The next group was tightly contested all weekend. Garry Butterfield (Bartley) taking 5th ahead of Steve Johnson (Cotswold) and myself, Jonny Everett (Llangorse) in 7th. Further down the field, James Adams (Llandegfedd), sailing a Mark 1 and new to the class, was making his presence felt amongst a competitive group, eventually finishing ahead of David Stephen (Bartley) 9th and Brian Smith (Bowmoor) 10th.
Race 3 Saw the first Individual recall of the weekend, Hollis took the medicine for that one and could never get back to the leaders, reflecting the competitiveness of the sailing through the fleet. The wind remained as stable as it had for the first two races and Critchley went on to take line honours from Young and then Williams. James Gerwat (Felpham) suffered a mechanical failure and struggled back in 14th place, quickly getting ashore to fix his craft relishing the breezier forecast for the following day. A good supply of sustenance and banter was to be found in the local bar that evening and only a short walk back to the campsite next to the sailing club.
Day 2 saw a 180 degree change in the wind direction to NW however the forecast 14kts didn’t materialise as early as some hoped and Race 4 took place in about 6kts. There were more holes in the breeze than the previous day and it was easy to find yourself parked with a tiny lapse in concentration. Not so for James Adams who tacked onto port at the committee end of the line and then proceeded to sail over the entire fleet to round Mk1 30m ahead of the lead group which included another class newcomer, Tom Walden (Llangorse) enjoying his first introduction to the Supernova.
Eventually Adams was overhauled, finishing 6th, with Young taking the win from Williams and then Critchley.
Race 5 saw the wind finally beginning to build and the racing began with a recall for myself and quite a few capsizes around the course, which kept juggling positions to the very end. The top three were the same as Race 4 which saw Young take his 4th bullet of the weekend. Paul Undrell (Cotswold) was back in the mix with a 4th and Johnson, Butterfield, Gerwat and Smith fought out a very closely contested group. John Mason(Llangorse) decided it had got too much for him and after a great weekend’s sailing headed into the shelter of the club.
Race 6 proved to be a breezier affair, building to a 15kt base with some big gusts on top. 4 more sailors retired from this one Smith, Stuart Stephen(Bartley) and Tony Bleasdale(Girton) deciding it had built too much. Disappointingly James Gerwat also retired, in conditions that he’d been waiting for all weekend, with a broken tiller extension…
The heavier wind made for some long tough beats with exhilarating reaches and after much to-ing and fro-ing Young took the win from Williams, Everett and Critchley.Overall event honours went to Gavin Young(Cotswold) with 5 bullets. Matt Williams(Cotswold) 2nd and Tony Critchley(Bolton) in 3rd.
As always, the racing was tight right through the fleet, 6 races over 2 days, with just about every wind type catered for. A cracking event to mark the Supernova’s return to Llangorse Sailing Club. Many thanks to all those who travelled and assisted in running the event. See you all next year.
Words Jonny Everett
Photos Seren Gomm
Location: Llangorse SC