Festive Season 2023/24 Update

Happy New Year everyone and hoping that you had an enjoyable Christmas Break.We have been out there winter sailing on Lodestar which has mostly been up and down the Thames and on the Medway. Taking her up to Eel Pie Boatyard for works, and then to the Medway to test them out.  Blustery winds and making full use all our sails, using 3 reefs and our no 6 storm jib, tacking along Sea Reach and into the Medway.  One broken anchor shaft! An old Sowester plough anchor. 

Looking forward to the up and coming Spring season and meeting up with other Stellas, swapping stories and sailing together.Stella Worlds 2023- results

 At the 2022 AGM we decided that the worlds would be made up from any race in SYH Regatta, Mersea Week, Aldeburgh Week, or West Mersea  Town Regatta which resulted in two or more Stellas competing.
In the event, this only occurred at the Suffolk Yacht Harbour Regatta. And the Friday Night Race the day before.

Four Stellas entered the SYH Regatta:  Acamar *19, Lodestar *64, Persephone *6, and Timoa *91.
Three Stellas entered the Friday Night Before. Acamar *19, Lodestar *64 and Timoa *91

The resulting Stella Worlds table is:

Timoa is the winner of the Buxey Trophy.
At SYH, an extra prize is awarded to the Stella Class. The ‘Persephone Prize’  This year it was awarded to Lodestar.
Stella Rescues

During 2023 more Stellas have been rescued. Due to SYH generous offer to provide space it is possible that the fleet might start to grow rather than shrinking.
 Stella Munter, * 65, was going to be chopped up because the space it was on was required. She was sold for £1 to the Stella Association and transported by Keith Ballantyne and Mark Montgomery-Smith to SYH, where work has started on her restoration.

Starshell, * 2, which originally belonged to Kim Holman, was given to the association, and collected by Andrew and Ann Gilmour.  I understand that there is strong interest in Starshell already.

Celeste * 101 has been offered to the association by Weymouth Harbour, and Andrew Gilmour is making arrangements to collect this in 2024.

Massive thanks to all concerned.2024 Annual Gathering for Stella Owners and Friends.An opportunity for Stella owners, crew and friends to meet and discuss maintenance, cruising and racing plans for 2024 as well as a short AGM for Association matters.
A meal in the Lightship at Suffolk Yacht Harbour, Levington.

Friday 8th March 7pm
Best Wishes from Mark and Helen, Lodestar *64

October 22 Update

SYH Classics 11th and 12th June
There were thirty boats in the regatta. three Stellas.
Persephone, Stardust and Timoa.
Timoa came 5th overall, Persephone came 12th overall, and Stardust under new ownership came 23rd overall.
Lodestar had entered but on the way to Levington found a leak coming through a hood end that seemed too bad to continue with and she returned to Eel Pie Boatyard for repairs.

West Mersea Town Regatta, August 13th
Three Stellas entered WMTR. Scorpio, L’Etoile, and Stardust.
They raced in a fleet of 12.
L’Etoille came 2nd in the fleet, Scorpio came 3rd in the fleet, and Stardust came 9th in the fleet.

Mersea Week, August 15th, 16th 18th, 19th, 20th
three Stellas raced in a fleet of 12. Scorpio, L’Etoile, and Stardust.
Overall Scorpio came second in the fleet, L’Etoile came 6th in the fleet, and Stardust came 11th in the fleet.

I will do a proper spreadsheet and work out the placings but I think we can say that by winning 5 races at Mersea Week Scorpio has won the 2022 Stella Worlds! Well done Richard Matthews and team.

Also, how lovely to have L’Etoille return to the fray, and I am pleased to point out, show a return to form by being first Stella in West Mersea Town Regatta.

Other Events.

Round The Island Race
Two Stellas entered in IRC group 3, a group of 124 boats
Timoa had a good race in fairly heavy conditions and placed 7th in the fleet. Lodestar had an entertaining race, somewhat over an hour aground on Ryde Sands almost within sight of the finish line, and coming 115th in the fleet.

Classic Channel Regatta
Lodestar entered the Grande Regatta Classique Manche Atlantique, an event comprising the Classic Channel Regatta from Dartmouth to Paimpol,and supplementary races from Paimpol to Camuret sur Mer, and the Camuret sur Mer to La Rochelle. In perfect for a Stella light airs most of the time, Lodestar managed the highest score overall of all boats in the regatta in all classes, and won her class of small boats.

Rescuing Stellas

So far two Stellas have been brought back to SYH for safekeeping. Do contact us if you want to take one on!

Facebook. There is a Stella Facebook Group, which has been running this year. It is gently gathering new members. Please have a look and join in.

News from facebook

Moonspinner *105 has been bought and photos uploaded on facebook, in the Orkneys! Check out the facebook group for more details.  Moonspinner is the featured image above this news item.

Fibreglassed Stellas

We have two sheathed Stellas regularly sailing now. Timoa and Acamar.

February 2022 Update


Timoa is nearing completion, epoxy sheathed to enable her to be trailed to different regattas.  She is looking super.

Lodestar demonstrating 2 reefs and a number 5 jib at Queenborough in Feb 22


STEORRA, Stella no 26, unfinished project, is looking for a good home.   She is in Brixham. She was taken out of the water in sept 2019. She had some planking done. The interior was taken out, and kept. We are told she has been sprayed with water every month inside and out.  As far as we know she is complete minus an engine, but needs re-assembling. But anyone with any hands on wooden boat experience knows there will be more.  The space where she is stored is needed this summer.

Any interest? Please contact the Stella Sec Mark Montgomery-Smith in the first instance.

Timoa success in Round the Island Race 2021

Andrew Gilmour entered Timoa in the Round the Island Race this year in the IRC class and won the  ROYAL THAMES CHALLENGE TROPHY & SALVER – Third O/A IRC

Timoa RTI Crew 2021

77 seconds behind the first place, 33 seconds behind the second place, 288 seconds in front of the fourth place boat on corrected time!   After just over 9 hours of racing!   So very well done indeed.

The crew were Andrew Gilmour, Jonathan Thompson( a previous Stella owner), Robert Bellfield and son in law Luke Porter.

The Needles, RTI 2021

Andrew kitted Timoa out with high tech sails for this. Andrew explained that they are the same dimensions as the standard Stella sails. IRC do not rate sail material, only the linear measurements.  The measured IRC handicap Andrew was racing to is almost identical to that used in SYH regatta, different by 4 seconds per hour of sailing.  Andrew reports that the difference in performance gained by using laminate sails is considerably more than that, with very clear improvements particularly in pointing ability.

Those who have raced against Andrew in Timoa will know that it takes more then modern sails to very nearly win the RTI race though. Congratulations. And wonderful that a standard Stella, with a polished bottom, fitted with high tech sails, and very well sailed, can take on all comers in the modern arena.

Spiniker RTI 2021



Suffolk Yacht Harbour Classics 2021 Report

What a gas and a great opportunity for Stella‘s to shine!
The team at Suffolk always put on a great event.
4 races planned for the weekend!


Six Stellas were present, : Persephone *6, Acamar *19, Rollicker *42, Lodestar *64, Stardust *89, Timoa *91.  There were 28 classics in all. 


Persephone and Stardust



Friday evening was a stand alone race for those who could make it. Stardust and Timoa both made it and had great fun. They got soaked in a downpour but enjoyed the delights of a stunning double rainbow setting the scene for the first event for many since lockdown. Both were seen hanging their spinnakers up to dry on  the beautiful sunny Saturday morning.

Saturday morning, fickle light wind, flood tide, an upwind uptide start at Beacon Hill.

The wind was so light and holey that many boats in the previous start were still trying to cross the line when we started. But we mostly made it across the start line! and two of us, Stardust and Lodestar, made it past the Harwich breakwater, sneaking along out of the tide and popping past the swirly whirlpool just off the end, when the race was cancelled! Simply too many boats in the following start could not even make the start line.

Persephone at the first start

The race was then restarted an hour or so later at Pye End Buoy, with a reasonable steady F2 breeze, and we all 6 had a great two laps a round a course which lasted nearly three hours and all six of us finished with 20 minutes of each other, and all in the top half of the Regatta Fleet as a whole, So Well Done Everybody! 

Rollicker rollicking

This in the end was the only race of the weekend that counted!

Saturday evening in SYH was a triumph of organisation beating the Covid rules by having boxes of beer and gin and tonic widely distributed by the organisers around the boats, music playing over a tannoy, and Pizzas being cooked to order , so we had a really nice party on our boats without breaking any rules.

Around the Lightship

Sundays race was very different. It was an almost dead downwind start in a fresh F4 which grew into a F5, veering to a reach, for the first mark, Penny Hole.
Rollicker found their bilge pump unequal to the day, and retired before the start.  Stellas are great but they can be rather leaky when worked other then gently.
Timoa shot across the start line with the Spinniker up, milliseconds  after the gun, the rest of us followed very close behind and hoisted our kites in short order, and had a wonderful chase . Then it got more interesting as the wind picked up and veered! We saw a kite ahead from the previous start, blow to shreds, and took that as a cue to hoist the No 3 and drop the kite while still somewhat under control. Everybody managed to get their kites down one way or the other.  Timoa was first around Pennyhole for a beat to Outer Ridge, then Acamar, then I can’t remember the order!   On Lodestar we were very happy to have chosen a small headsail and had a wonderful time , initially chasing after Timoa, then tacking towards the windward mark, successfully crossing the bows of the rest of the fleet, feeling very pleased with ourselves,  completely oblivious to the news that the race was abandoned at some point !  We finally took notice of the squawking radio once we had rounded Outer Ridge and made our way back to harbour with everyone else. 

Acamar Stardust and Persephone

Despite there only actually being one completed race on Saturday and Sunday it felt like a very successful Classics and it was really nice to see Acamar and Rollicker join in the racing, it feels like there is a rolling programme of Stellas being restored and raced over the years since we bought Lodestar in 2011.

Actual Results, in order from 1st to 6th, Timoa, Stardust, Lodestar, Persephone, Rollicker, Acamar.

Sailing 2021

Dates for Stella Events so far this year

Suffolk Yacht Harbour Classics

Friday 25th to Sunday 27th June

Mersea Week

Sunday 8th to Friday 13th August

Some fun fit out pictures:

Timoa *91 2021

Lodestar *64, 2021


Acamar *19, 2021

Celeste *101, 2021


Sailing Footage from Recent Years

Sailing Footage from Recent Years, taken by Stella Lyra, 2017

We recieved an exciting package with 2 memory sticks with Stella sailing footage!  Thank you mystery sender!

Whilst none of us are able to get out sailing we are taking the opportunity to put a few videos on the website to keep our spirits up. One at a time!

Best wishes, Mark and Helen, Lodestar * 64

Here is a photo of Celeste. No 101. She lives in the Solent and mainly cruises between Chichester and Poole, and clearly spends a good amount of time being scraped, painted and varnished!

Celeste on Posts at Del Quay

January 2020 Update

Happy New Year Everybody!

Lodestar(64) had a lovely restful Christmas and New Year  sitting unused on her muddy mid river mooring in the River Medway so that when she was re introduced to the joys of sailing on January 11th she wasn’t leaking a drop.  It was also a test of using a large dry crystals de-humidifier.   She was really dry inside, no condensation. So either thats just how the weather has been or the dehumidifier is working a treat.  The experiment continues.

We had a glorious sail to Burnham on saturday afternoon/ evening, in a good 2 reefs south westerly breeze, arriving in time to get served a meal in The White Hart. An 0545 departure on Sunday gave us a fantastic return trip into a 1 reef south wester, back at Hoo Ness YC in time for a 5pm  pint.

Winter Sail video click to play

If anyone else would like to share any winter trips or fit out stories I would be very happy to put them on the website.

The November AGM included a lively discussion about the calender.

2020 Racing Calendar

14 races. 7 to count.

SYH Classic Regatta. 4 races in all  fri 12th,  sat 13th, sun 14th June

During the day on fri 12th , there is a plan to have a Stella Pursuit Race, with start times based on previous SYH results. A case of Stella to the winner!

Mersea Week. 5 races  Sun16th Aug to Fri 21st Aug, no race wed.

Mersea Town Regatta. 1 race Sat 22nd Aug

Maldon Town Regatta. 2 races Sat 19th Sept

HPYC Autumn Classic Regatta. 2 races. Sat 29th, sun 30th Aug

Spring Fling

To be organised.  For the past two years it has been at The Lightship.  Previously it has been in West Mersea. I would be very pleased to receive suggestions of places and dates, destinations should be possible to reach by Stella.





Autumn Update 2019

Stella Worlds …

The SYH Classic Regatta back in June was, yet again, a wonderful event with excellent conditions on both days and all three races. Seven Stellas took part, up on last year, and an encouraging sign for the future. Andrew Gilmour and crew on Timoa once again won the Stella class but didn’t have it all their own way this year with Richard Matthews and crew on Scorpio beating them into second place in Sunday’s race.

Mersea Week was, once again, attended by three Stellas, this time Stardust, Stella Lyra, and Loadstar. The week was a mixed bag weather wise with Sundays race a very windy affair and Monday’s being postponed due to lack of wind and thus resulting in a DNC for all three boats. Tuesday’s race went ahead as planned to result in Lodestar finishing on top with a first, a second and a DNC, Stardust second with a first and two DNCs and Lyra third with a second a third and a DNC.

HPYC/SYH Autumn Classic Regatta was, once again, poorly attended despite Mersea Week moving forward to leave a clear gap between the two. Again, just four classic yachts attended, only one of which was a Stella, Stardust. 

Overall that meant that Phillip Waring and Stardust retained the Buxey Trophy by quite a margin. Trevor Spero’s Stella Lyra was second for the second year running and Mark Montgomery-Smith’s Lodestar finished in third place. 

2019 Stella Calendar 

I think that the SYH Classic Regatta and Mersea Week  are well enough supported to warrant their continued inclusion in the Stella Worlds. The last couple of seasons, however, have brought into question the SYH/HPYC Autumn Classics. Clearly this event has ceased to be popular, and not just with Stella owners. I don’t actually know why that is, as I would certainly have taken part had work commitments not have prevented me from doing so. One to think about and discuss at the AGM perhaps.

On the social side of things, the “Spring Fling” was repeated this year and with great success! An event that will, I hope, now become an annual fixture.

It would also be nice’ once again, to arrange something for mid-summer in the hiatus between the Spring Classics and Mersea week. Something to give some thought to perhaps. The 2020 programme will be an agenda item at next month’s AGM, so it would be greatly appreciated if members come with some proposals.

Diamond Jubilee Rally

Back in July, Philip Waring and team put a great deal of work into organising a rally to Burnham , the birthplace of the Stella, to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the class. Unfortunately, the weather had plans of it’s own! After discussing the atrocious forecast in the days leading up to the event, the reluctant decision was taken to cancel.  The house party at No 1 The Quay, by kind invitation of Ed and Frances Maggs went ahead however and was a great success with an excellent evening enjoyed by all!

Website and Communication

Okay, broken record time (for those old enough to remember such arcane methods of music production…) As ever, I need input from yourselves to liven the website up. Thinking caps on and pens to paper or fingers to keyboards or whatever please! It doesn’t matter if it’s just in note form – I don’t mind knocking it into shape. And don’t forget that you can comment on any of the articles published or place adverts, request crew, look for a crewing position etc. etc. etc.… Just email me or Christian, our website manager. Thanks.

Annual General Meeting 2019

The 2019 AGM will take place in the upstairs room of The Butt & Oyster, Pin Mill on Friday 22nd November. 18.30 for prompt 19.00 start.  Please ensure that you arrive in plenty of time as, although at this stage, it doesn’t appear that we will have a packed agenda to deal with, I want to get the business of the evening out of the way before we eat at 20.30. To this end, once again, I intend to keep the pace of the meeting fairly brisk so please make all comments concise and through the chair… Thanks. If you have any items that you would like added to the agenda, please email me ASAP. This is obviously a much more efficient way to conduct the meeting than relying on AOB and running out of time!

I should have the appropriate documents with you in the next week or so, but in the meantime, I will e-mail out the Butt & Oyster’s pre-order menu as soon as I have it. Please email your choices to me ASAP and I will collate them and forward them to the Butt. Thanks.

Happy laying-up… See you at the AGM,

All the best,


Centaur #100