From Yachts and Yachting - courtesy of Alex Collins
The 2015 nationals showed one very important thing for the Supernova, the growth of the class. Not many years ago the Supernova nationals would have only had around 30 boats but these days that many turn out for open meetings!
In the past few years the Supernova dinghy has increased massively in popularity with nationals turnouts of 55, 61 then 67. You could say this is due to the re design that was undertaken by the fantastic team at Hartley boats and also due to the vibrant activity of the Class Association on social media, and you would be right. Mark, Richard, Duncan, Paul, Adam and all the rest of the Hartley boats team have done wonders with our class as has the previous and current Association committee (who manage the official Facebook page 'Supernova Dinghy Class Association' and websitewww.Supernovadinghy.org).
It was a sight to see on the sunny English Rivera. 67 Supernovas racing side by side throughout the fleet for a 10 race series that sparked rivalries at sea and as always with Supernova class, friendships on shore. It's no secret that the conditions were, at times, tricky (to say the least) big shifts compromised possible victories for some and ruined races for others. These conditions however did allow for mid fleeters and sometimes tailenders to get right to the top of the fleet where these sailors capitalised on the shifts. This added to the bar banter on the Saturday night where 75 sailors and plus 1's enjoyed a fantastic social in the clubhouse.
Our sponsors also deserve a thank you. Hartley Boats once again supported the class by donating an incredibly generous prize, a brand new sail (won by Dave Hall at Haversham). They also assisted with all the other prizes and more than that, Adam and a Paul from the Hartley team ran a mini on site chandlery sorting out any problems or just providing advice. Most nights they could be seen in the boat park until way past 7, splicing ropes or fixing masts and we thank them for their outstanding hard work. For the team prize, Apex radio systems stepped in, providing a couple of high class VHF radios to accompany the team trophy (won by Cotswold SC). Finally, Limitless Imagery could be seen on the shore and on the water on Sunday. With their use of a drone and their expertise, Limitless Imagery gained some incredible shots which I'm sure the whole class cannot wait to see. As well as the use of the drone and on the water photos and video, Limitless Imagery will be helping edit a special promo video for the Association. This is a lot of work and we are very grateful for their contribution to the class.
As one of the competitors, I was extremely happy with how Paignton Sailing Club organised this incredible event. The first mention goes out to Vanessa Ripley and Jackie Gater. It was them who greeted the sailors on the Thursday afternoon and made sure the club was available for people to get into as well as assisting with the registration and results. Another thank you goes to Nick Ripley, the commodore, for organising his team of safety boat crews, galley staff and club volunteers. Overall a thank you goes to every single person that helped in running this event. There is no way the event could have gone so smoothly without the help of a large number of people.
Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the class and we have one aim... reach the 100 mark at the nationals (1-3 July Llandudno). Ambitious? Probably. But with Chris Hawley doing a brilliant job as Class Chairman, leading his team of committee members, we feel that this goal could be achieved. The Supernova really is the boat to be in at the moment and the class owes its thanks to every single one of our sailors who through their dedication, friendly attitude and loyalty to the Supernova, have helped us guide the class on the path to becoming one of the most successful dinghy classes in the UK.
The 2015 nationals may be over but the fun still goes on as the Noble Marine travellers' circuit continues to roll on with the next event being at Swarkstone in a couple of weeks time.