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.

Spring Fling!

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.

See you there!


2019 Race Dates!!

2019 Stella Worlds

  • Race 1 – SYH Classic Regatta Saturday 22nd June
  • Race 2 – SYH Classic Regatta Saturday 22nd June
  • Race 3 – SYH Classic Regatta Sunday 23rd June
  • Race 4 – Mersea Week Sunday 11th August
  • Race 5 – Mersea Week Monday 12th August
  • Race 6 – Mersea Week Tuesday 13th August
  • Race 7 – SYH/HPYC Autumn Classic Regatta Saturday 7th September*
  • Race 8 – SYH/HPYC Autumn Classic Regatta Sunday 8th September*

*Date to be confirmed.

8 races, 7 to count – 1 discard.

Trans-Atlantic Thread…

Just before Christmas I had a delightful exchange of emails with a Long Island based visitor to our website. The thread follows and it’s really encouraging that Ally’s son, Adam has developed an interest in boats of his own volition and at a young age. Good luck to him! Take a look at the link he’s included – it’ll remind you of some knots you’ve forgotten and probably introduce you to some new ones!



Good Afternoon Mr. King,

My name is Ally Fuller, I just wanted to give some feedback and let you know my son Adam enjoyed the Sailing and nautical info on your page, . He recently did a project about the British navy, and the age of discovery, and learned quite a bit about sea-faring and ship building. It really got him hooked on sailing! He’s been doing quite a bit of research during his computer free time- he had mentioned your page a few times, and I thought you’d be glad to hear!

Adam has struggled to find hobbies and subjects that interest him lately, so I was thrilled when he expressed an interest in Sailing and boating!

We are going to get him some sailing lessons in the spring hopefully, but he wanted to send you a note and suggest an article to share on your page about various knots that are helpful for any sailor to know, , which he really enjoyed. I thought it was a really neat article, and was hoping you might be able to include it on your page? I would love to show him he could contribute another cool nautical article!

Thanks again for encouraging Adam’s interest in the high seas! Hope you enjoy the article, and if you end up being able to include it, please let me know! Have a wonderful holiday season and hope to speak again soon.

Alexandra Fuller



Hi Alexandra, 

Many thanks for your kind email. It’s wonderful to hear that Adam has developed a love of boats and the sea!

 He has actually gone on to our old website which will be closing fairly soon. Our current, up to date site is which I’m confident he will enjoy even more (I hope so…).

 I’d be happy to publish the article he has forwarded; maybe your email in full including the link as this would give context. What do you think? I’d also like to know where you’re based and how old Adam is.

 I look forward to hearing from you and to getting Adam’s thoughts on the “new” website. I’ll wait to hear back from you before I post anything. 

 Best regards,

Peter Dyson 

General Secretary, Stella Class Association



Good Morning Mr. Dyson!

Thanks so much for getting back to us, and thanks for pointing us towards your new site – it looks great – I am not sure how he found the old web site, but he wanted to let you know he thought the new one looks awesome and has a lot of really cool sailing resources! Adam really likes checking out old sailboats that have been restored and learning about their history.

That would be awesome if you wanted to include my email along with the article/link- maybe just remove our last name for privacy sake? Other than that, I would be so excited to show him, when you’ve had a chance to do so!!

Adam is 13 years old, and we live in Syosset, Long Island – so there is plenty of sailing around us, just not so much this time of year! I hope to get Adam lessons in the spring!

Thanks so much for getting back to us, and for encouraging his interest in sailing! I hope he wants to take lessons in the spring, I think he’d really love it!

Hope to speak again soon, and thanks again so much for taking the time to reply and encourage Adam’s interest in sailing!

Best Wishes,
Alexandra F



Hi Alexandra,

I will aim to get something posted on the website over the Christmas break and let you know. Oh, and it’s Peter by the way – we’re a friendly bunch!

Have a lovely Christmas!



Midlands Based Restoration Project – Offers?

The following extract from a recently received email explains Justisla’s current predicament…

Dear Sirs,
Regretfully I am no longer able to store my 1965 Tucker Brown Stella ‘JUSTISLA’ Sail No. 103.
I have had her in storage for well over 10 years with the hopes of one day renovating her back to Sail (or Sale!) – worthy condition but I have not been able to find the time to do the necessary work. I now need to sell her urgently as the space is required for other work. She has been listed on the Stella class site for some time with no interest. I recently advertised her on Facebook and have had several enquiries, but they are mainly wanting the road trailer which she is resting on. These buyers have offered to ‘take her off my hands’; but I am reluctant to relegate her to the scrap heap.
Condition wise, the hull is sound, having been coated with many coats of copper bot by the previous owner. The main work required is sanding and painting of the coach roof, varnishing or replacing the wooden mast (which has a slight bend) and cleaning and painting the interior.
Any advice or assistance which you could offer would be greatly appreciated.
Kind Regards,

A very doable restoration project of a late example of the class and ready to tow away if you purchase the road trailer! Contact and I will put you in touch with the owner. Take a look at her in the boats for sale section.


Stardust Regains Buxey Trophy!

Despite having to overcome considerable adversity,  Philip and Tessie Waring have regained their grip on the Buxey Trophy after another triumphant season.

General Secretary, Peter Dyson, presents Philip with the trophy at the recent AGM.

Scottish Restoration Project

Free to a good Highland home!

Stella number 85 “Vanella” is available at no cost to anyone who would like to take on an achievable restoration project. She was built in 1964 by Tucker Brown of Burnham-on-Crouch and is, I understand, in reasonable condition. She is currently residing on the Isle of Lewis.

Don’t hang about too long though or she could fall prey to the chainsaw… A very doable restoration project. Contact and I will put you in touch with the owner.