by Brian Peet
Gold fleet start at the 2005 Starling Nationals at Tauranga where 150 boats competed.
The Starling Class is pleased to announce it has been accepted into the 2009 Singapore Airlines Sail Auckland Regatta from Feb 4-8 2009.
Under the umbrella of the Sail Auckland Regatta, the Starling Class will hold the Sleepyhead Asia Pacific Starling Championship. Invitations have been extended to youth sailors from nine sailing countries around the Pacific Basin to compete in boats provided for the regatta by MacKay Boats and the Glendowie Boating Club.
Already sailors from Noumea, Australia and Korea have indicated an intention to attend. With MacKay Boats actively pursuing Starling sales opportunities through their Pacific distributors, it is hoped this initiative will create interest in this class as the principal stepping stone youth boat for ex Optimist sailors in the Pacific region.
In parallel, a sponsorship deal from the Sleepyhead Bedding Company has been arranged to fund the entry of foreign Starling sailors in the Sail Auckland regatta. Director, Graeme Turner, a former Tornado sailor and national representative has agreed to support the class enabling assistance to be provided for visitors and prize money for competitors.
A number of significant New Zealand marine companies have also given support for the initiative to establish the class outside New Zealand. MacKay Boats, Southern Spars, North Sails and Adhesive Technologies have backed this vision to create a Pacific rim youth series based on the Starling Class.
In early December the President of the Korean Sailing Association Pil-Sung Lee came to NZ to discuss Starlings and youth exchange opportunities. Signs are promising Korean team will come for the Sleepyhead Asia Pacific Starling Championships. Sailors from Noumea and Australia have also expressed interest.
For notice of race click on www.sailauckland.co.nz and for detailed information on the Starling Class visit www.gcbyachting.org.nz/starling