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J Composites 2020 - LEADERBOARD

50th anniversary regatta coming up for Starling

by Zoe Hawkins 14 Apr 21:27 PDT
Grace Still (orange cap) leads at Torbay in December 2020 © Richard Beauchamp

In the fifty years since the Starling Class held its first national championships many designs have come and gone. But the Des Townson-designed Starling has held its own as the preferred class for teenage sailors. It’s the perfect fit for their size, and the perfect design for not only fun and exhilaration but for true mastery of the traditional art of sailing.

Next week around 100 sailing teens – and some adults - will compete for one of NZ dinghy sailing’s biggest accolades at the Barfoot & Thompson Starling Nationals 2021.

The four day regatta offers up three races per day.

Last year’s national champion Nathan Vince has moved up to the Laser Class, leaving a vacancy for his title spot says class spokesperson Jonathan Gravit.

Of the favourites he says that that Jack Manning has been on form through the season, winning the summer Traveller’s Series, but that Josh Hyde and Tim Howse ha featured in the latter part of the season.

If conditions are light, he speculates that Tom Pilkington, Ted Houry and Grace Still could also show top form.

The age limit of 18 means that former Olympian Simon Cooke is ineligible for the overall title but he will also be a line honours contender.

Along with the main fleet of sailors, a fleet of around 20 sailors will compete in the Development Class, a special initiative to support new entrants to the class in learning what they need before taking part in top level racing. The Development Fleet races on a separate course under the watchful eye of race officer Kim Admore, and with support from coach Sam Bacon, and takes part in two races a day, including alternate passage races.

The Barfoot & Thompson Starling Nationals 2021 are hosted by Kohimarama Yacht Club and will run from 18-22 April 2021.

Details are at

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