Starling Training 2020

High-Performance Racing & Tactics Coaching

Sean Herbert, is now a consecutive three time Starling national champion and two time O’pen Bic World Champion, is now offering to share his unprecedented knowledge and experience with you in a unique program over the to help you prepare for nationals and from review take action to improve for next season. 

This program will help polish your skills for the national championship in Nelson and get your training off to a strong start to follow through your efforts to realise your potential.


Basic description

The Kiwi Sailing Training Program has been designed the push a group of passionate budding sailors and give them the tools to train effectively and recognized for their potential and skills going forward. The program is limited to 12 sailors with the aim of keeping the numbers to a level where we can provide a high level of coaching while also inducing a more competitive environment to better simulate the real world situations and introduce new ways for us to help you develop.

Session locations

Manly & Wakatere.


Sean Herbert is the first sailor to perform a ‘three-peat’ at the Starling National Championships (2017, 2018 & 2019) winning the Starling Traveller Series in 2017 too. Sean has had successes outside the Starling in the O’pen Bic, winning the 2012 World Champs in Miami at the age of 10 and the 2017 World Champs in Lake Garda, Italy with a dominant 19 point lead. His plethora of knowledge is going to be the best tool to fast track your development by understanding the Starling and refining your tactics and technique.

Josh Bull has had high-level experience in a variety of classes including Laser, 29er and 420. Recently Josh has been focused on the Waszp, competing at the Waszp Games in Perth and is currently one of the top in the class. Josh has had a large amount of coaching experience and shares his passion and knowledge of the sport with those he supports. Josh was a helm in our 2017 Interdominion School Team Racing clean sweep in Melbourne, with hundreds of hours training with the Herberts he has a wide range of tactical and performance sailing knowledge he can use to mentor you.

Liam Herbert has been there to push Sean the whole time. He has won several New Zealand and Australian titles in the O’pen Bic. In the 2017 Secondary Schools Teams Racing Interdominion Championship Liam led Wentworth College to a clean sweep over Austalia’s and New Zealand’s top teams, a victory never previously recorded. After sailing a waszp for the 2 seasons and competing in three New Zealand Nationals; an Australian Nationals and the 2019 Waszp World Championships in Perth, Liam has moved into Windfoiling. In a short time he has sailed with New Zealand’s top windsurfers, learning from them and climbed into the rankings top 5 youth in New Zealand.

You will not find a better team of coaches to support you.

Our Aim

We have seen individuals grow substantially in a short amount of time and others learn technical details to add to a strong skillset. To see everyone learning something and use that to improve their abilities is our starting point in our performance training program. As a measurement, we aim to help capable sailors break into the top 20% of the fleet. We can see the potential in so many sailors and if you share our goal and are passionate to work this is the ultimate platform to see you realise those goals.


In the program, we aim to cover an extensive syllabus which will be tailored further to help your sailor develop most effectively in preparation for nationals and the new season. Our targeted content is not purely an on-water boat handling, though of course, it is a significant part, also aims to include other essential topics going into a significant regatta such as rules, tactics, mindset, preparation and setup. A new focus in this edition is how to train effectively so that you get as much from coaching sessions but also from your individual sailing. Below you will find an outline of the areas aiming to be covered.


How should the controls be used to best control your boat and rigged to get the best out of each:

    • Vang
    • Outhaul
    • Cunningham & halyard
    • Rigging
    • Other (centerboard, hiking strap…)


Don’t make a race an uphill battle from the start. Getting your starts sorted gives you the best opportunity to secure good standings in any regatta:

    • Planning
    • Positioning
    • Timing


Often a very long and tiring part of a race, getting the technique sorted to make this an easier part of the race gives you more time to think tactically and increases your endurance to get through a long day and ultimately regatta:

    • Tacking (Rolling, speed, weight, sheeting, timing)
    • Hiking
    • Steering (pressure, waves, other boats)
    • Sheeting


Though downwind is seen as the easier part of the race course there are substantial opportunities to make gains on your competition. Minimizing mistakes is critical as small mistake often result in a larger loss of ground and provides a big setback you don’t want in the middle of your race:

    • Gybing (Rolling, speed, weight, sheeting, timing, centerboard)
    • Surfing
    • Canting
    • Soaking


Tactics can help a lot to get you back in the game and keep you ahead in a race. Even small changes can add up to a sizable change in performance:

    • Rounding marks
    • Course Bias
    • Positioning


These parts are important for keeping you in good from and not having unnecessary issues during your regatta:

    • Rules
    • Care and maintenance
    • Rigging splicing
    • Essential knots
    • Journaling
    • Regatta Management (The mindset behind how to approach races)

Coaching is very much sailor driven, a sailors feedback and journaled development point are focuses of the following sessions so you can see you are progressing in a pathway that fulfills you. We don’t cover everything exclusively in the training session simply because there is just not enough time to do it justice, our solution is to also bridge together sessions with exclusive content on our team portal, a library where debrief notes, video clips, guides and other helpful pieces are available and will continue to be added to over the duration of the program.


Members of the Kiwi Sailing Team are eligible for a 15% discount on gear and equipment from Kiwi Sailing. 

We have a vision for what these programs could become and are working to improve towards that. If you or your business would like to be involved with what we are doing we would be open to discussing how we could work together to further benefit our sailors going forward with your support. Partnerships >


I have found this coaching programme most successful and it was a very valuable programme to be a part of. I have made huge gains coming out of each session as each training has been filled with me learning new information to help me go forward and excel in my sailing as a whole. I have thoroughly enjoyed every coaching session and have learnt all about the starling and have improved sailing in racing conditions, as well as taking away what I have learnt and seeing now what it opens up for me looking forward. I am very impressed by the amount of focus and effort that was poured into every training and to see how much everyone improved overall is all thanks to the Herbert’s. I can’t wait to continue coaching with them in the future.


Many thanks.

Chloe Salthouse

Sean & Liam were a great pair of coaches and have helped me so much in both the Bic and the Starling.

Caleb Newton

I have found both the coaching and the articles/videos very helpful. I was improving at a slower pace doing club coaching but the style of your training sessions seemed to be much better for me.

Flynn Wilson


We know everybody is not in the same position in terms of time to commit to a program like this that is why we have broken the training program down into two options for the number of sessions to provide you with the commitment level suitable for you and timetable and to compete in more regattas as you choose.

Our full option gives you everything on offer with some extra perks and the ability to do every weekend on the schedule. The flex option has the benefit to you of having the flexibility to choose the sessions you can make and which ones you will miss. 


We hope you like our plan and would like to join us for this great program. If you would like to register your interest a reserve your spot please complete the form below and will contact you to finalise your registration pending numbers. Thank you!