The Starcross Steamer, a winter-months 2½-hour pursuit race for monohulls, has become one of the classic British open sailing events, drawing competitors from the length and breadth of Britain. 

In the Eighties the popularity of the Pompey Perisher and Bloody Mary annual pursuit races, attracting large entries of small boat racers, emphasised the vacuum of a similar event in the South West. The first Starcross Steamer was created in the early months of 1991 by SYC’s then Flag Captain, Nigel Bath. It has now been repeated in the early months of the New Year since that time. The 2020 event was therefore the 30th.

Organisation of the event is gladly taken on annually by the SYC Multihull Fleet in their day of enforced idleness (!), but the event itself has relied for many years principally on the organisational skills of one man, John Donovan, Hurricane sailor extraordinary. 

John's understanding of the organisational issues, and his attention to detail, have brought the Steamer to its present high status in the UK racing calendar. After many years at the helm, John is standing down from front-line Steamer organisation with effect from January 2020.

John's enormous input of effort was recognised after Club racing on 1 March 2020 with the informal presentation by Commodore Ian Purvis in the Clubhouse of a photograph by Garnett Showell of a scene from the 2020 race.

Thank you, John!