Starling Training Programme

Sean Herbert, a consecutive two time Starling national champion and two time O’pen Bic World Champion, is now offering to share his knowledge and experience with you in an unique programme we would like to share with you. The OTB Training Programme has been designed to prepare a select group of passionate budding sailors, recognized for their potential and proven skills in the class for the 2019 Starling National Championship. We are limiting the number of sailors in the programme to 8 providing a good balance between time with the coach and competition on the water to push you or your sailor and help develop skills.


Basic description

A programme for the best up and coming Starling sailors by the countries top Starling sailor.

Session location

Manly (may include other Auckland locations including Wakatere, Torbay, Murrays Bay and Gulf Harbour)


Sean Herbert is a consecutive, two time Starling National Champion (2017 & 2018) 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.

Our Aim

Following the success of the OTB Training Programme we’ve run in the lead up to the 2019 O’pen Bic World Champs, we have had inquiries in a similar Starling programme. We want to bring together a team of passionate sailors who want to be competitive at this season’s Starling National Champs. Sean believes that he can help a group of capable sailors to finish in the top 20% of the fleet. If you share that goal, this is the ultimate programme for you to succeed in achieving it.


In the programme we aim to cover an extensive syllabus which will be tailored further to help the your sailor develop most effectively in preparation for the National Championship. 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. Below you will find an outlining 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 tiering 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/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:

    • Round marks
    • Course Bias


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)

The coaching is very much sailor driven in a way which a sailors feedback and journaled development point are focuses of the following session so you can see you are progressing in a pathway that fulfills you. As aforementioned we don’t cover everything exclusively in the training session but also bridge together session with exclusive content on our team portal, a library where debrief notes, video clips, guides and more are available and will continue to be added to over the course of the programme.  


As a member of the OTB Team you will be eligible for a 25% discount on gear and equipment from OTB Marine New Zealand. We are working to secure further sponsorship and a putting together a team kit.


The training programme has been broken 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. Option 2 is the more flexible choice allowing you to choose which sessions you come to and which you miss. Option 2 is the all in option giving you the ability to do every weekend on the schedule.


We hope you like our plan and would like to join us for this great program. If you would like to register your interest, great! Please complete this form (linked here) and we will finalise your registration with you pending numbers. Thank you!