Autumn Classics 2016

HPYC Classic Regatta 2016

The Haven Ports Yacht Club / Suffolk Yacht Harbour Autumn Classic Regatta took place on the weekend of the 3rd & 4th September.

Saturday’s race saw a mixed fleet of seven classics including two Stellas line up for the start in bright and breezy conditions. Just for a change (I wish…), Centaur was a little late for the start. The line was clear and the fleet headed down river and out into Harwich Harbour in a force four, occasionally five and bright sunshine. By the time we got out to the turning mark the fleet was spread out and conditions were getting a little lumpy. It was sunny and fairly warm though, so great fun – if a little wet! Centaur, by now, lost touch with Stardust but launched the spinnaker for an exciting reach back up river to the finish line. “Halloween” a West Solent One Design took line honours, retaining first place on corrected time. “Lady of Hamford”, a Vashi Class took second and Stardust a very creditable third.

Sunday was a totally different kettle of fish. The day dawned cooler, grey and windy – five gusting seven. This reduced the fleet to three – the two Stellas and Halloween. These were, interestingly, the three smallest boats in the fleet. I’m not sure whether that had more to do with guts, foolhardiness or simply the fact that they required smaller crews! Anyway, I was very glad that there were four of us on Centaur – the extra pairs of hands and weight on the rail came in very handy. We were sensibly set a fairly short river course and we all eschewed spinnakers on the downwind leg, still managing to hit over 6 knots. All very exciting and very wet stuff! My apologies to Stardust, by the way, for nearly ramming them before the start – it just goes to show what a moment’s lapse of concentration can do in those conditions… Halloween, once again, took line honours but Stardust won on corrected time with Centaur third (or last depending how you look at it..!).

Halloween won the regatta overall with Stardust second and Centaur third. A good result for the Stellas!



Centaur #100


Mersea Week 2016

Mersea Week 2016

by Mark and Helen Montgomery-Smith


What a memorable colourful spectacle and celebration of sailing prowess Mersea Week and part of the Stella World series this year proved to be.

The weather was glorious. Smacks, IRC, fast and slow cruisers, Sonatas, Squibs, white sail fleet and dinghies.  Over 200 boats with the proud and buoyant locals showing that this was the place where Olympic Gold medal winners come from. Saskia Clark was there at the prize giving and 1st prize for the whole week in the Classics and Gaffers B Fleet went to Tim on L’Etoile.

There was a photographic competition to capture the spirit, which really should have gone to Trevor on Stella Lyra for the picture above.

Lodestar was late for the first race on Tuesday and met up with Tim and his crew, merry on a runaway win by 8 minutes. The pretty ECOD, Wizard, was second and Stella Lyra 3rd.


We joined in the second day, and thought we were all set to show L’Etoile the way, squeezing Wizard out of the pin end with a perfect start, only to realize we too were squeezed out of the pin end by Aelfwyn, a Buchanan Saxon.  We both came around and crossed the line again inside the pin and had a fantastic race in the glorious sunshine trying to catch up the fleet and finished with L’Etoile first again, then Wizard, then Lodestar and Stella Lyra and then the other 6 boats in our fleet.


The next day was the first of the Stella Worlds and Stardust joined in so there were 4 Stellas in a 10-boat fleet.  The wind was light at the start, with Lodestar getting a good start up wind of Stardust then L’Etoile then Stella Lyra.  Halfway through the first windward leg the wind picked up and as it hit the leaders the gaps opened up in order and the order of the Stellas did not change. That evening we and the crew of L’Etoile were introduced to a new drink by Captain Stiletto ’’Dark and Stormy’’ which definitely didn’t describe the week.


Friday, we woke up on Lodestar with a fickle breeze and motored out to catch a buoy before we ran aground in Mersea mud due to being berthed on the piles so we could row ashore in our dinghy.

Just after the Smacks had set off first start, the wind disappeared and they had to be called back to restart all the races to wait for the light forecast wind. We all milled about and Trevor got out his camera again.

Once we were underway, L’Etoile and Stardust were battling neck and neck for 1st all the way round, as ever Trevor captured it beautifully.  The final positions were another Stella 1,2,3 L’Etoile, Stardust, Lodestar.



On Saturday we were treated to a proper sailing wind the high end of a force 4, and an exhilarating race, which was a great finale to the week. Trevor was too busy to get a shot but an excitable fleet meant there was a general restart and L’Etoile had a good second start and got line honours, with Lodestar and Stardust getting second and third.