Welcome to the Starling Class Website
July Blog #1
As I write this its raining and cold outside. I am recovering from the flu, and have just completed an overhaul of my keeler which tried to sink a few weeks ago. On the brighter side I am off to Queensland for 3 weeks from Saturday and we have turned the corner to the next sailing season.
Things are moving along at pace. Committee members Rob Ebert and Ian Gardiner are making great progress with our new website based on Club Hub. I think we will end up with some very good features. We have a regatta programme already sorted with all the major regattas in place, thanks mainly to Debbie Howarth and we have the organisation of the match racing nationals well advanced.
You will find the NOR for the match racing nationals attached. Within that document you will find the contact details for the person in your region who has taken on the task of making sure there is some sort of selection process. If you want to know what when and where that is contact them. I am also attaching the rules for the Starling Match Racing Nationals and the definitions of the Regions. Some of these have changed in response to some of the issues which arose this year so make sure you are aware of them. For example we have moved to prevent sailors sailing in more than one trial in the hope of scoring a spot at the nationals. If you want to race in the selection series of more than one region you will need to decide, in advance, which one you want to be considered for.
Just a couple of other things I thought I would mention. Firstly there is no age limit for Starling sailors. That includes the match racing. At the Fleet Racing Nationals the Championship title and a few other age related prizes are age limited but there is nothing to stop light weight adults from competing. The other point is that there is no limit on the amount of gear you can use. You can have as many masts, sails, booms and foils as you like as long as they all measure. Until recently the number you could use was limited by the fact that you could only measure in one of each at the nationals. Now that there is no measuring of many of these items there is effectively no limit. The last AGM agreed that this was unlikely to cause much in the way of problems and might save a few expensive sails from being thrashed on the windy days. You might also like to consider fitting reef points in an old sail.
Going back to match racing again. It occurred to me that Starling sailors might like a Match Racing series during the winter months. There is not so much organisation / rescue boats required as racing happens in a small area. This might appeal to clubs which struggle with tides. The series could be spread over several clubs in any one area so if you would like me to coordinate something, let me know you are interested.
Last Updated (Thursday, 16 July 2015 17:52)
June Blog #1
I wonder if you have been watching the latest leg of the Volvo round the World race. its a great lesson in "hanging in" Just about every leg the all girls SCA team has been in last place. For much of each leg they have been there or thereabouts but there has always been a period when they sailed poorly and ended up last. This time on the short leg of 4 days from Lisbon to Lorient they mixed it with the fleet coming out into the Atlantic and tacking up the coast of Portugal. They got a lucky break and burst into the lead. Going on past form they could be expected to soon drift back into the bunch who were only a few miles behind. With some sound tactical decisions they have maintained their lead and as I write are just a few hours away from the finish. They will have gone from Hopeless to Heroines in one leg. You could argue its just one leg and may never be repeated. Even if that turns out to be true they will always have had that moment of glory, but I suspect they have finally learned what it takes to WIN. We see that in our dinghy sailors too and my message to all those "also ran" sailors who have yet to win the big one, Hang in there - your time will come.
Onto things Starling and my thanks to Debbie and Andrew Howarth and others who have put together the attached programme for next season. I have added a few events for other classes in case you have siblings or friends involved. I just want to clarify that the nationals at Naval Point will have racing on the Monday 18th to the Thursday 21st. Measuring will be on the previous Sunday 16th. The NOR will spell it out. You will have 2 days to travel once the school holidays start. For those of you who are also involved in the schools team racing you will have 2 days to get back up to Algies Bay. Originally when the dates were set it was expected that the Team Racing would also be in the South Island but no host could be found so it has reverted to Algies Bay.
The NI champs are at the Bay of Islands YC in Waitangi in mid January. We have made these a little later than we might have in order to avoid the worst of the holiday accommodation pressure but the P class are going to be there too with their Nationals so it will pay to book accommodation early.
The Match Racing Nationals will once again be at Glendowie. As usual entries will need to be in by mid December but you can hold your trials after that to select your representative. We have adjusted the Regions and some of the rules around this event so a copy of the new information is attached. Each region has a coordinator who will make sure selection is properly carried out. I will be contacting them shortly with details.
You're always a winner if you sail a Starling
2016 Nationals at Naval Point Club, ChCh 18-21 April
Last Updated (Wednesday, 17 June 2015 17:31)
May Blog #1
Congratulations to our new National Champion Josh Armit. Not only did Josh win the nationals but won the Manly regatta, The Sir Peter Blake, The Wakatere regatta, The NI champs, The Auckland champs and a second in the Winter champs at Murrays Bay. As a result he also won the Traveller series. Not a bad effort for one so young. Congratulations also to podium winners, Jeremy Mitchell and Jackson Keon and to the top girls, Lola Stoodley(6th) and Ellie Lane just one point behind in 7th. Mention also needs to be made of the Silver Fleet winner, Graeme Wilson but Graeme did not accept the Howick Cup because that is listed as for under 19s. Instead the trophy goes to Will Martell who was top under 19 year old.
New Plymouth threw all it could at the fleet with either too much or too little wind and massive seas most of the time. It would be hard to find more of a contrast to last year's venue at Parua Bay. I also noted that the Opti Nationals, immediately before the Starlings at Worser Bay lost 2 days because of too much wind and the Secondary Schools team racing at Taupo had both too much for the bronze fleet one day and too little to race at times on others.
The AGM at New Plymouth saw me once again end up as Chairman despite my efforts to pass the job on. However this time there is a change to the committee in that most members have agreed to take on specific roles.
I have brought them all up to speed with "where we are at" and I am hoping they can take over those roles.
Traveller Series - Debbie Howarth
Website and database - Ian Gardiner
Membership - Alastair McGeorge
Fund Raising - Pater Mayo
Events - Andrew Howarth
General Members are -
The AGM also discussed regatta dates, especially those of the Auckland champs, the Match Racing Nationals and the NI champs, all of which are planned for January. As soon as we have a confirmed list it will be published on the website. If you have a regatta you would like included, now is the time to send me the details.
We now look forward to a winter programme. In Auckland this consists of a Sprint Series
For clubs outside of Auckland maybe you could consider a Match Racing series which requires few resources, short courses close to land, and something a bit different to sailing round trapezoids. Remember 50% of the sailors in a match race are winners - a new experience for some of our sailors. Please find attached a document I have written about how to run a match racing series. Enjoy!
Also attached are the draft rules and regions for the National Starling Class championship which were discussed briefly at the AGM and I was asked to re-circulate to members. Your comments are welcomed.
I also notice the South Island conference is to be held on June 6th, which will be the opportunity to try and establish a strong SI programme for Starlings. Personally I would like to see an accent on making the SI champs a major event so that our sailors in the SI do not have to cross the Cook Strait every time they want big fleet competition.
Last Updated (Thursday, 07 May 2015 22:17)
Howick Autumn Series 2015
Howick Sailing Club are reviving their Autumn Sailing Series. Here is the Flyer.
Last Updated (Thursday, 16 April 2015 07:32)
Starling Nationals 2015
The New Plymouth weather was the big winner in the 2015 Starling Nationals, dominating proceedings! Contestants arrived to a predominantly Northerly weather pattern. After several days of strong winds it was a dying breeze and lumpy left over seas for the first attempt to get the Champs underway. The fleet was sent out after a postponement. First start for the yellow fleet was a general recall, next start a black flag with many competitors over. Race abandoned, then racing postponed with the fleet, many of whom were sea sick, were sent ashore. After a delay of several hours racing was abandoned for the day. The development fleet of 11 boats had the best day, managing a final session in a late breeze.
Day two saw too much wind. After a couple of hours postponement waiting for the weather to declare itself, racing was abandoned for the day. That left two days to complete the contest. Bowling, movies, TV!
Saturday, sailing a last. Four races in Northerly, then Westerly conditions completed the qualifying series. Sunday, the last day. Westerlies, 15-25knots, steep seas and a bit of rain. Conditions proved a bit much for a number of competitors, but overall the fleet managed pretty well. The gold fleet managed three races and the third race for the silver fleet was underway when a 30knot squall ended racing for the day. Race management abandoned the silver fleet race and sent all competitors ashore. It was all handled very smoothly and all sailors quickly accounted for. It was an early prizegiving and then loading up for the trip home!
The 11 strong development fleet had the most sailing, managing a bit more time on the water in the shelter of the harbour.
A good job by NPYC in trying conditions!!
Congratulations to prizewinners in the 2015 Starling National Championships. See here for the full results.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 15 April 2015 20:49)