Ajax 23 One Design Class Association


2003 Chairman’s Report


Chairman                                Treasurer                                 Secretary

John Williams                                     David Liddington                       Peter Wright



Dear Member                                                                                       June 2003


The National Championships. 

David Kerridge has very kindly agreed to be the Royal Harwich Class Captain this year again, and he will therefore be organising the event.  We are hoping to see several South West boats travel to our part of the world this year to see if they can retrieve the trophy.



AGM Matters.  The minutes of the last AGM (St. Mawes 2002) are enclosed.  As you will see, the rule change (10.1.5) containing two clauses, was put to the AGM and they were both approved.  That hopefully brings to an end the current crop of rule changes.

Members should also note that certain types of Tacktic compasses have been deemed illegal. 


News from East Coast.  Richard Chenery (Class Captain 2004) and Doug Sharps in Avocet dominated the 2002 Spring and Autumn series.


Spring                                       Summer                                                Autumn


1st         Avocet                                     Mars                                                    Avocet

2nd        Guillemot                                  Storm Petrel                                          Pegasus

3rd        Pegasus                                    Telamon                                               Guillemot



The East Coast Championships (2002)were won by Doug Sharps sailing Avocet followed by David Kerridge in Pegasus and John Williams in Thunderer.  The entry was disappointing at only nine.  Discussions at the fleet AGM in October suggested that the very early date reduced the possible entry and the Championships have been put back to late July for this reason.  Doug Brown again did an excellent job as Race Officer and the organisation by David Kerridge was first class.  We all had a pleasant weekend with varied courses and winds.


The Orwell regatta (2002) provided 5 good races.  David Mayne and Kelvin Douglas in Guillemot won the event.  They received the Prosser Plate kindly donated by Jeremy Prosser in memory of his father who was the first owner of Thunderer.  The East Coast fleet had been delighted when Jeremy presented the trophy at the Class AGM in 2001.


The fleet is very pleased to report that David Pearce in Puffin has been going very well in his first season and should be troubling the front-runners in 2003.


Johnny Pack in Goosander has been launched after a lengthy de-osmosing refit.      We are looking forward to great things with his National 12 jockey!


News from Falmouth.  The turnout for Falmouth week (2002) was excellent at a total of 24 over seven days. 


The battle for first place was very close between David Liddington and David Kerridge.  The result was decided on the last race.


1st David Liddington                 Athena

2nd David Kerridge                   Pegasus

3rd Anthony Armitage                Hermes

4th Bob Edwards                      Nemesis

5th Cedric Thomas                    Troy



Cedric Thomas had an interesting trip with David Porter up to Bangor in N Ireland via Stranraer, to buy Aquila (No. 53).  This Ajax had apparently been owned by one family since new, and has all the original documentation.


Several boats have changed hands in St Mawes.


Primavera ( now Aeolus)  bought by Simone Kennett ( a past owner)

Aquila                                                                   Claire & Lindsey Thomas

Nimrod                                                Richard & Suzanne Holbrook

Samaki                                                 Alan Williams

Osprey                                                 Malcolm Hitchins

Redoubtable                                         David Newton

Diomedes                                             ???





Sunday Series results                                                Thursday Series


1st Bob Edwards          Nemesis                                   1st Bob Edwards          Nemesis

2nd David Porter           Ajax                                         2nd David Porter           Ajax

3rd Cedric Thomas        Troy                                         3rd Cedric Thomas        Troy




Ajax National Championship 2002 Falmouth



Richard Chenery in Avocet won the last two races to win a very closely fought championship.  Nineteen boats contested the event in perfect conditions in Falmouth Bay over 19th-21st July.  There were five boats visiting from the Royal Harwich YC fleet from the East Coast to do battle with 14 boats from the hosts, St Mawes Sailing Club.  Pegasus (David Kerridge) won the first race in a moderate breeze, beating Avocet (Richard Chenery) narrowly with defending champion Mandalay (Guy Wallhead) third.


The second race on Friday afternoon saw the easterly wind drop to force 1-2.  Mandalay took a long tack left towards Pendennis Castle and came out with a big lead.  Local boats Sandpiper (Glenn Litherland) and Nemesis (Bob Edwards) battled it out for second.  A left over lop made conditions difficult, especially downwind.  Mandalay won a shortened race by a big margin from Sandpiper and Nemesis.


The wind swung to the north on Saturday morning and strengthened to 3-4.  A late shift put a strong port bias on the start line and Athena (David Liddington) took full advantage to lead all the way round in a shifting breeze.  Nemesis was second and Mandalay third.  It was beginning to look like a successful defence for Mandalay, but a much stronger force 5 breeze on Saturday afternoon brought a change of fortunes.  A big lift on the left hand side of the course brought Polyphemus (Roger Boyle) to the mark first, pursued by Avocet and then a group of five boats battling for third.  Avocet went into the lead by the leeward mark, and Pegasus emerged from the pack to take third, and then passed Polyphemus on the second beat.  Despite major spinnaker problems, and a crew shinning halfway up the mast, Athena battled through to third.  Avocet won comfortably from Pegasus.


After four races, five boats were in contention to win overall.  Four of them needed only to win the last race to lift the championship.  The first beat was critical.  The breeze was northerly 3-4, shifting in a range of 20o. 

After a tense beat, Avocet led by a length at the mark from Nemesis and Pegasus.  Pegasus had a spinnaker tangle, and fell back. 

Avocet gradually built a comfortable lead to win overall.  Nemesis finished second, to take fourth place overall and Mandalay finished third, to make them second overall.  Ron Medlyn as race officer organised an excellent set of races and Cedric Thomas for St Mawes SC organised the most closely fought and most enjoyable championship for many years.



Results:             1.         Avocet (Richard Chenery)        9 pts

                        2.         Mandalay (Guy Wallhead)        10 pts

                        3.         Pegasus (David Kerridge)         11 pts

                        4.         Nemesis (Bob Edwards)           12 pts

                        5.         Athena (David Liddington)        13 pts


The Spring series (2003) at RHYC has started well with several very close races and an average turnout of 9 boats.  (10 for the last 3 races)


Other Matters.


Steve Hall, a member of RHYC, regular crew and occasional helm on Vim, and brother to Josh, died suddenly at a very young age last year.  His family presented a splendid goblet to the RHYC as a trophy for the Ajax class in his memory.  The trophy will be awarded to the winning helm in the Icicle Race each year.  (In this race, boats are helmed by regular crews only.)  On behalf of the Ajax class I would like to thank the Hall family for this kind gesture and we will remember Steve each year at this time.


There are copies of the most recent Ajax Handbook available.  If you would like one, please get in touch with David Liddington (Class Treasurer).


Tony James, after many years of stalwart service to the class has asked to step down from the committee.  We are all greatly indebted to him for his years as Chairman and for his help with redrafting the rules.


Doug Sharps has kindly agreed to replace him.


Discussions took place at the East Coast AGM about radios. 


The feeling of the meeting was that the East Coast fleet would encourage radios to be carried during racing for safety reasons, as well as notification of courses between races on “back to back race days”. 

One would have to remember to turn them off at the 5-minute gun so as to not infringe the “outside assistance rule”.  We would need to be careful that members without radios were not disadvantaged.  I would welcome any feed back on this issue.




John Williams    





Measurement Matters


May I (yet again) put on my measurer’s hat briefly to remind the membership about the importance of the black bands on the mast and boom. 


In the old days (pre 1988), mainsails were measured on the luff, the leach and along the foot.  After this time we fell into line with the IYRU and now we only measure the leach and the cross widths at ¼, ½ and ¾ heights. 


This means that the only limitations on the luff and foot are the black bands.  Any boats that pull their sails beyond the inner edge of the black band are effectively using a sail that is oversized.  Please, therefore, check your bands (position and presence!) before the Championships and set your sails within them.

The measurement committee will be measuring black bands and other items at the championships.