Class Rep:  See our Class Reps page.
Coaching: Thursday Afternoons

The Starling dinghy is designed to be a transitional youth class, offering exciting and more technical singlehanded sailing, for sailors who are ready to move on from the younger group in Optimist or P class.

Usually, once a sailor is tipping the scales at 50kg or over, then it is time to consider moving up to Starling. Some sailors sail in both P Class and Starling for a season or two. The upper guideline for sailor weight is 70kg.

Murrays Bay Sailing Club welcomes sailors of all abilities, but recommend that attending at least a ’Learn to Sail’ coaching program in Optimist or similar, is a minimum starting point. If needed, some ‘one on one’ coaching can be arranged to help the newer sailor with skills and confidence. Our fleet is large enough (and still growing!) to be split into at least two groups, to accommodate skill levels and the necessary type of coaching.



Coaching is arranged for Thursday afternoons. The sailor and boat need to be rigged and ready, prior to the briefing sessions which start at 4.30pm.

There is club racing, arranged for all club classes, that runs every Sunday afternoon, through the summer season. This is a great way to get accustomed to fleet racing and improving the skills on a busy start line!

Typically, there are a number of regattas throughout the summer that can be raced in Starling i.e. MBSC Winter Champs, Auckland Champs, North Island Champs and the Sir Peter Blake Regatta, culminating in a major Nationals event around Easter. There is also a match racing event hosted by Glendowie Boating Club.



Starling History 

The Starling class yacht was conceived and the design commissioned by John Peet in the late 1960s.  At the time there were no single-handed boats available to teenagers for bridging the gap between the P class and the adult Finn, OK, Cherokee and Zephyr classes. A set of criteria was formulated for the proposed class: -
Crew weight of approximately 50 – 70 kgs

  • The boat should be easily handled in fresh conditions, plane readily and have good windward performance
  • The appearance of the boat to be of high priority
  • Buoyancy to be of P class standard
  • Very close restrictions so that all boats to have equal performance. e.g. masts from standard aluminium extrusion, sails from the same material and same loft

 Des Townson, the designer of the successful Zephyr, Mistral and Dart yachts of the period was approached to design the boat and he completed this in June 1969.  To confirm the simplicity of the construction concept, teenager David Peet built the prototype as his first boat-building project.  The Starling was launched at Westhaven, Auckland on Anzac weekend 1970.  



Key Events:
National Match Racing Champs:
North Island Champs: Taipa on 18-20 January 2019
Auckland Champs: Maraetai on 26-28 January 2019
National Champs: Taipa on 14-17 April 2019

Starling Traveller Series

A feature of the Starlings is the Traveller Series, a series of regattas that you often travel to, including a few in the South Island for those very keen. This year there are local regattas at MBSC, Manly, Torbay, Wakatere, Kohimarama and Maraetai, as well as away regatta weekends at Taupo, Bay of Islands and Wellington. It is exciting to sail on different waters plus you get to meet other sailors and their boats. 

Here are the first brand new dates for 2018/2019:

  1. Camp Bentzon Kawau Island, 22 - 24 June 2018
  2. North Island Champs, Taipa, 18 - 20 Jan 2019
  3. Auckland Champs, Maraetai, 26 - 28 Jan 2019
  4. Nationals, Taipa, 14 - 17 Apr 2019