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.
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
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.
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 Weekare 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.
Once again there were only four yachts on the line on Saturday, Illyria, Whisper, Vashti and Stardust. The wind was SW 3 to 4. We started from the club line in an easterly direction, the others, being closer winded were towards the N end of the line, I thought it was better to be out of the tide on the S side, we were third around Collimer then a beat down to Orwell No. 1. A lively spinnaker run followed before a close reach up to Bay, then back down the river and round again for a second lap. Whisper, Illyria, Stardust and Vashti was the finishing order. A very enjoyable canter round the river.
Benedict, my son, helmed on Sunday when the wind was a notch stronger, NW 3 to 5. Whisper had some spreader damage the day before and didn’t race. The course was in the same area as the previous day and Stardust was first around the windward mark but this time nobody hoisted a spinnaker The two larger boats overtook Stardust, three laps were completed and the race concluded with Illyria taking line honours, followed by Vashti with Stardust third in close order. Handicap results are awaited with interest.
Many of you will have learned of the sad passing on 20th August of Don Pye of Holman and Pye fame.
His Cremation will take place at Colchester Crematorium at 12.30 on Thursday 19th September. The family request no flowers and informal dress only please.
There will be a memorial celebration at West Mersea Yacht Club at 18.00 on Friday 20th September.
The following tribute by Richard Matthews has appeared widely in the yachting press.
Yacht designer Don Pye passes away
by Richard Matthews 24 Aug 15:44 BST
Eight Bells – Designer Don Pye
The flag atop the West Mersea Yacht Club was at half-mast this week noting the passing of yacht designer Don Pye who, following a heart attack, passed away on 20th August aged 93.
In partnership with Kim Holman in 1960, and later with David Cooper, the firm of Holman & Pye was respected throughout the sailing word for designing practical, sea-kindly yachts with lovely lines and excellent performance.
In addition to one-off custom yachts, Holman & Pye designed for several production yards including Bowman, Wauquiez, Seamaster, Hustler and Oyster.
The Oyster-UFO 34 design won its class in the infamous 1979 Fastnet race. As proof of their suitability for blue water ocean passage making, six of the eighteen yachts taking part in the 2018 Golden Globe race around the world were Holman & Pye designed Rustler 36’s, which went on to finish first, second and third.
Some 5,000 yachts from the Holman & Pye office are sailing the world and, thanks to Don Pye’s creativity, and their renowned longevity, these lovely yachts will be giving pleasure to their owners and crews for many generations.
Having moved back to early August, this year’s Mersea Week still seemed to manage a mixed bag of weather. Sunday’s race was a breezy affair with the remains of Saturday’s westerly still very much in evidence, Monday’s race was postponed due to lack of wind and the remaining days enjoyed good sailing breezes.
Once again, the Stellas were incorporated into the Classics and Gaffers B Division. The first three races of the week counted as races 4, 5 and 6 for the Stella Championship and were contested by three Stellas: Stardust, Stella Lyra and Lodestar.
Stella Lyra and Lodestar took part in Sunday’s race, the DSC Regatta, with Lodestar prevailing and achieving a very creditable third overall. Stella Lyra achieved a well-deserved fifth overall.
By Monday the wind had gone completely, and after a postponement, the day’s racing was abandoned. This meant that Mersea week Points 1 would need to be raced later in the week if possible. Fingers were crossed in the Stella fleet in the hopes that it would take place on Tuesday, thus keeping it within the Stella Championship remit.
Tuesday dawned bright and breezy and Mersea Week Points 2 went ahead around one of the pre-set westerly courses. Stardust, Stella Lyra and Lodestar took part with Stardust winning the Stellas, Lodestar coming second and Stella Lyra third. This order followed through to the day’s overall results placing them fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. Unfortunately, it was decided that Mersea Week Points 1 would be run later in the week therefore putting it outside the race days that counted towards the Championships.
So, Stardust prevailed in the two races that counted for the Stella Worlds, with Lodestar second and StellaLyra third. Stardust continued racing on the Wednesday and Thursday and enjoyed some excellent conditions, finishing a very creditable seventh overall for the week on 31 points. Well done all!