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

Race Results – The Latest

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 16.0 1
75 Stella Lyra Trevor Spero 4.0 8.0 DNF 4.0 2.0 3.0 DNC 3.0 24.0 2
64 Lodestar Mark Montgomery-Smith 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 1 3.0 DNC 2 36.0 3
91 Timoa Andrew Gilmour 1.0 1.0 2.0 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 37.0 4
90 Scorpio Richard Matthews 2.0 2.0 1.0 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 38.0 5
6 Persephone Roger Reid 6.0 5.0 6.0 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 50.0 6
100 Centaur Peter Dyson 5.0 4.0 8.0 DNF 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 50.0 7
12 Rollicker Keith Ballantine 7.0 8.0 DNF 10.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 58.0 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 66.0 9
19 Acamar Julian Young 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 11.0 DNC 66.0 10

West Mersea Week 2019 Race Report

Stellas at Mersea Week 2019

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 Stella Lyra 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!

Revised Race Dates!

The HPYC/SYH Autumn Classic Regatta has now been confirmed as 31st August & 1st September. Full revised calendar now as follows:

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 31st August
  • Race 8 – SYH/HPYC Autumn Classic Regatta Sunday 1st September*

8 races, 7 to count – 1 discard.

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!


Diamond Jubilee Celebrations!

Plans are taking shape for a  Diamond Jubilee Celebration at Burnham-on-Crouch, the birthplace of the Stella, over the weekend of 20th & 21st July!

Philip Waring has been working hard with others on this and the good will and co-operation he has encountered prove, once again, just how highly regarded our class is! Plans are still in discussion but, suffice it to say, are shaping up well. The tides are good and a very warm welcome is assured. Put the dates in your diary now – this is definitely not one to be missed!

Watch the website for more detail as plans get firmed up.

See you there…


Sad Loss of Theo Rye

Dear All,

Those of you who, like me, read Classic Boat each month will have been saddened to read of the loss of its Technical Editor, Theo Rye at the tragically young age of just 48. Over the years Classic Boat has run many articles on the Stella, but possibly none better informed than that mentioned below in a brief tribute I emailed to the magazine on our behalf. I immediately received a reply from Steffan Meyric Hughes, their Associate Editor, thanking me and assuring me that it will be added to the on-line tributes.


Dear Steffan,

It was with great sadness that I learned today of Theo’s untimely passing. I am sure that I speak for all the Stella fraternity in conveying our sense of loss together with our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

I have just re-read his wonderful appraisal of the Stella, published in the June issue of Classic Boat as part of his extraordinarily learned but highly readable Classic Designs series. Theo really took the trouble to understand the Stella and the man behind it, not merely dismissing it as a Folkboat derivative. This was typical of his well-researched writing and hugely appreciated by those of us devoted to these quintessentially East Coast classics. The classic boat world is much the poorer for our loss.

 Yours sincerely,

Peter Dyson

‘Centaur’ #100

 General Secretary, Stella Class Association