Summer Update 2017

Welcome to the Summer update 2017. It’s been a busy spring and I’m afraid the spring update became somewhat subsumed by gainful employment and seemingly endless hours spent working on Centaur! Apologies for the omission!


The Season So Far…

 All in all, the weather has been pretty kind so far with plenty of opportunities for some cracking sailing.

As I write this the Suffolk Yacht Harbour 2017 Classic Regatta was just a couple of days ago and what a weekend that was! I’d mentioned previously that as Jonathan Dyke, SYH’s MD and driving force behind the regatta has been so supportive of the Stella class, I wanted to see a really good turnout from ourselves. Well you didn’t let me down! Thanks guys. 10 Stellas signed up for the event, the first of the Stella Worlds series, with only L’Etoile, sadly, not making it to the start line. It would have been great to have seen (in the distance…) TW and crew battling it out with Timoa and Scorpio. A full race report will be posted on the website shortly as will the full race results, but suffice it to say it was a truly wonderful weekend. The sailing conditions were perfect (especially for Stellas!), the weather was hot and the three courses set were spot on. Stellas featured heavily in the top half of the results for the regatta overall with Timoa only very narrowly getting pipped to the top spot – not bad at all considering there were 35 boats on the water! The results for the weekend are on the SYH website, and photos should be on there too within the next couple of days.

Talking of photos of the event, did anyone get any? Our normal snappers appear to have been preoccupied with the racing, which is entirely reasonable. Trevor Spero got a few and Helen Montgomery-Smith got one (of Centaur…). Emily Harris and Den Phillips were both covering the event, but as they were both commissioned their work isn’t available for me to publish elsewhere. If you could email anything you have to me that would be great.

The Haven Ports Yacht Club Lightship Series on Wednesday evenings is now underway with two Stellas, Timoa and Centaur taking part. Unfortunately, both boats had to miss the first week’s race due to other commitments – not least preparing for the Levington Classics! The series has been well supported with a mixed fleet of around twenty boats and in the second race Timoa won by a country mile with Centaur coming sixth.

Earlier in the year we talked about a spring social event of some kind. I said I’d organise something if there was sufficient response. Unfortunately, only two members contacted me, so that was a bit of a non-starter. I’m sure there will be other opportunities to get together though during the season and outside the obvious racing events. If you have any ideas, please let me know and I’ll put up a spreadsheet on the website showing what’s going on and who’s up for it. Come on – you know you want to! Whilst on the subject of things social, I was a little disappointed that most of the Stella crews did their own thing on the Saturday evening of the Classics. It would have been nice if we could have all stuck around at The Lightship and had a big Stella table for dinner! One to bear in mind for next year.


Stellas at Risk

There seems to have been a bit of a rash of Stellas coming up for sale lately. A couple are “giveaways” and one or two are very pretty boats. The latter are with brokers who tell me that there has been solid interest, so fingers crossed that the sales are completed and we are soon welcoming new members. As for those requiring a lot of love, I will continue to work hard at placing them and would appreciate any ideas you might have as to suitable future custodians.


Fighting Fund

 This leads me on to the fighting fund. Many thanks to those who have contributed so far, I really do appreciate it. Unfortunately though, as is often the way with charitable giving, pledges have not turned into pounds in every case. If you can, please do give to the cause – it doesn’t matter how much or how little but it will ensure that when the next Stella Vogel type situation arises we won’t have to dip into reserves and funds will be available for a swift rescue operation.

As I had explained previously, we will not be in the business of buying boats or funding restorations, merely helping where we can with logistics, short term storage, marketing etc. If you would like to contribute, please contact our treasurer, Peter Haldane, . Our bank details are Stella Class Association, sort code 20-67-90, account number 60020192, payment reference “Fighting Fund”. All contributions will remain anonymous and none will be considered too small (or too big!). Thank you.


Stella Vogel

She’s home!

The venerable old girl arrived at the farm on May 10th, the whole operation having gone without a hitch. She was then lifted (in a very farmer like way… eek!!) onto another trailer, kindly leant by Bruce Johnson, owner of Starfox, and put in the barn along with Timoa and Centaur. Jack and friends will start the lengthy process of restoration in a few months when other commitments permit. Good luck Team Vogel. I’ll keep you posted on progress.


 Publicity and Marketing

 As hoped, we’ve had a good little run publicity wise. You may well have notice that I got 300 words and a picture (perhaps not the one I’d have chosen…) in the April/May edition of Classic Sailor and Helen Porter, Andrew Gilmour’s daughter, got a piece on Rollicker in the June edition of Classic Boat.

Dan Houston, Classic Sailor’s editor, has promised me more space in forthcoming issues and Emily Harris’s coverage of the Levington Classics will feature in the next issue of Classic Boat and hopefully include some superb Stella photos.

Going forward, I will be talking to Emily shortly about how she can help the Stella cause. We had a brief meeting at the Classics, she is a real Stella enthusiast and is keen to help.


 Website and Communication

 Once again, Christian and I continue to try to make the website as lively and up to date as we can but, as ever, we could really do with more input from yourselves. Anything newsy, of general interest, amusing, technical – whatever, is gratefully received. Keep it coming!


 Have a great season – hope the weather stays kind…


All the best,


Centaur #100