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.
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.
Suffolk Yacht Harbour’s 19th annual Classic Regatta, run in conjunction with Haven Ports Yacht Club took place over the weekend of 22nd-23rd June. The event sees classic yachts from across East Anglia and further afield – this year including a beautiful Spirit DH63 up from Guernsey – race in three classes; Fast, Slow and Stellas. Racing takes place across two days in Dovercourt Bay, Harwich Harbour, and the Orwell and Stour river estuaries.
Gaffers, Stellas and modern classics gathered at SYH on Friday 21st for pre-regatta drinks and socialising, before crews were up early for briefing and bacon sandwiches on Saturday morning. After a postponed start to allow all the yachts to get out to the line (including Stealaway who had an unfortunate engine failure on the way out), the slow, Stella and fast classes all set off in 5-7 knots without a hitch.
With the tide now flooding and the wind shifting out of the east / south east, the yachts negotiated oncoming currents on their way upwind to Foxes. Rounding the mark to starboard and hoisting spinnakers as they went, the fleet reached down to a shortened course finish line at Stone Banks. Timoa finished first with Scorpio second and Stardust third. Lyra finished fourth, Centaur fifth, Persephone sixth and Rollicker seventh.
After lunch on the water, afternoon racing commenced in 15 knots of wind. From a Stone Banks start, it was a beat up to Mark X to port followed by a reach across to Foxes. Unfortunately, Lyra and Rollicker had a port and starboard “coming together” during the beat and both retired with Rollicker having sustained significant damage. Rounding the mark to port, the remaining Stellas hoisted spinnakers and set a course for Penny Hole.
After some debate on the radio, the race committee confirmed a starboard mark rounding to keep things interesting! Spinnakers were dropped on the approach and the yachts made a 270 degree turn of Penny Hole before heading up and tacking round onto a reach down to Stone Banks. From there, it was champagne sailing under spinnaker all the way to the finish at the Beacon Hill line. First, second and third places were as race one, with Centaur Fourth and Persephone fifth.
Upon its return to SYH, the fleet was greeted by music from local musician Peter Hepworth drifting across the sunny harbour. Haven Ports Yacht Club lightship was bathed in afternoon sunshine as crews gathered for socialising and the usual post-racing analysis in the bar and on the dockside.
Day two began with light wind out of the east / north east and the three classes set off on time from the Beacon Hill line against the tide down to Stone Banks. A few yachts could be seen making the most of the tight reach and flying spinnakers and code zeros in an effort to get ahead on the long leg down to the mark.
By the time the fleet had hardened up around Fox’s to port, the sun was out, and the breeze had kicked in and made for a fairly wet ride!
Bearing away around Foxes, spinnakers were hoisted en route to Penny Hole. Rounding the mark to starboard, the fleet headed upwind to Outer Ridge, avoiding the channel on the leg home to the Beacon Hill line.
Scorpio prevailed in this race, with Timoa second, Stardust third, Lyra fourth, Persephone fifth and Centaur failing to finish.
Stella results overall: Timoa first, Scorpio second, Stardust third. With three boats finishing on sixteen points, the Sailwave scoring system placed the remaining boats in the following order; Lyra fourth, Centaur fifth, Persephone sixth and Rollicker seventh. Well done all for being there and contributing, once again, to a wonderful, memorable weekend.
Following the success of last year’s event, Philip and Tessie Waring have organised another early season get together at the Lightship on Saturday 4th May. Watch this space for more detail as I get it. A great way to kick off the 60th Anniversary Season and once again, a big thank-you to Philip and Tessie for organising it.