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.





HPYC – SYH Autumn Classic Regatta 2019 Race Report

HPYC – SYH Autumn Classic Regatta 2019 Race Report

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.

Philip Waring, Stardust

Final Race Results – Stardust Retains the Buxey Trophy!

Stella 2019 Worlds
SYH Classic Regatta Mersea Week SYH/HPYC Classics Points Place
Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Race 7 Race 8
Sail No Boat Name Owner 22 Jun 22 Jun 23 Jun 11 Aug 12 Aug 13 Aug 31 Aug 1 Sep
89 Stardust Phillip Waring / Jeffrey Bowles 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 DNC 3.0 DNC 1.0 1.0 1.0 18.0 1
75 Stella Lyra Trevor Spero 4.0 8.0 DNF 4.0 2.0 3.0 DNC 3.0 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 46.0 2
64 Lodestar Mark Montgomery-Smith 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 1 3.0 DNC 2 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 58.0 3
91 Timoa Andrew Gilmour 1.0 1.0 2.0 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 59.0 4
90 Scorpio Richard Matthews 2.0 2.0 1.0 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 60.0 5
6 Persephone Roger Reid 6.0 5.0 6.0 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 72.0 6
100 Centaur Peter Dyson 5.0 4.0 8.0 DNF 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 72.0 7
12 Rollicker Keith Ballantine 7.0 8.0 DNF 10.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 80.0 8
1 La Vie En Rose Peter Haldane 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 85.0 9
19 Acamar Julian Young 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 85.0 10

Well done(again!) Philip and crew!

Race report to follow

Don Pye Passes Away

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.

2019 SYH Classic Regatta Race Report

SYH Classic Regatta 2019 – Race Report

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.