Ajax 23 One Design Class Association


2005 Chairman’s Report


Chairman                                Treasurer                                            Secretary

John Williams                                     David Liddington                                   Peter Wright


Dear Member                                                                                       May 2005


The National Championships will be held at Harwich this year.  We are hoping to see several South West boats travel to this part of the world.



The National Championships            17th June – 19th June             Harwich

(Lee Trophy if enough SW boats appear on 16th June)


Annual General Meeting                        18th June                                  Harwich


SW Championships                              15th – 17th July                         St Mawes


Falmouth Week                                    6th-13th   August                       Falmouth


AGM Matters.  The minutes of the last AGM (St Mawes 2004) are enclosed.


The change in subscription, which was agreed, is being implemented and you should have received your mandate forms to change your standing orders.


There were discussions regarding owner’s addresses.  We do not yet have written agreement to circulate these yet, but there is a boat list on the web site, (which does not have addresses or telephone numbers) for the present.


News from East Coast.  David Mayne and Kelvin Douglas won the Spring series but Richard Chenery (Class Captain 2004) and Doug Sharps in Avocet won almost all the other trophies this year and were second in the Spring series.



Spring                                       Summer                                                Autumn


1st         Guillemot                                  Avocet                                                 Avocet

2nd        Avocet                                     Guillemot                                              Telamon

3rd        Goosander                                Storm Petrel                                          Guillemot


The Harwich Regatta provided 5 good races.  Richard Chenery and Doug Sharps in Avocet won from David Kerridge in Pegasus.  They received the Prosser Plate.

Harwich Regatta

1st        Avocet,            2nd        Pegasus,           3rd        Mars


The Pin Mill Regatta was won by Doug Sharps and Richard Chenery in Avocet.



The East Coast Championships took place in Dovercourt Bay and report follows.


Ajax 23 - East Coast Championships 2004


The Ajax East Coast Championships were held over the weekend of the 26th and 27th June in wonderful conditions with steady winds and sun. As always with this fleet of keel-boats the racing was extremely close and final conditions were not decided until the last race of a four race series – two on the Saturday and two on the Sunday.


Due to social commitments several of the fleet were unable to make the Championships but the ten boats that did enter were rewarded with very well set courses out in Dovercourt Bay set by Doug Brown, the Race Officer.


Two races were held on Saturday in a very steady force 3 from the South.


Race 1 saw confusion at the start with Thunderer and Storm Petrel forced over the line early, by Telamon, and thus having to return to restart. This effectively put an end to Storm Petrel’s race. The race was won by Avocet who passed Telamon on the second beat and held position from there. In the closing stages of the race, Thunderer caught up the leaders and was in a position to challenge Telamon at the final leeward mark but was unable to break through.


Race 2 saw a clean start for the whole of the fleet with Telamon and Avocet making the early running.  Telamon got well away from the fleet but Thunderer made up distance on the first reach of the last lap and, gybing inside Avocet at the mark, were able to hold the overlap all the way to the leeward mark, to round just ahead.  Avocet was forced to the outside during this manoeuvre and in some disarray was passed by Goosander just before the line.


Sunday produced a force 2 from the West on a lovely sunny day.  The wind off the land was unsteady and variable.


Race 3 produced a heavy Starboard end bias as the wind flicked right just before the start.  This led to congestion at the committee boat end with at least one boat shut out at the start.  Goosander made the early running and built a significant lead of about 100 yards until sailing into a hole on the right side of the course.  This dropped her to fifth.  Large gains and losses were frequent as the breeze flicked left and right.  Avocet and Telamon made better decisions than the rest of the fleet and finished first and second with Thunderer third again after Guillemot lost her spinnaker halyard up the mast, having been in a comfortable third place.  Kelvin Douglas gamely climbed the mast between races and retrieved the halyard and was presented with a bottle of wine by his helmsman at the prize giving.


Race 4 saw a clean start on a square line.  Half the fleet went left and half went right with a large gap between.  The ‘left handers’ got a good header and tacked back and looked to be crossing the others easily only to see a huge right hand lift helping those on the right.  Avocet and Telamon were in the right place again and rounded comfortably ahead.

Going down the final run Avocet held a small lead from Telamon and Thunderer. Telemon with a 2nd, 1st and 2nd knew that they had to pull something out of the bag to beat Avocet’s 1st, 4th and 1st and therefore attacked Avocet aggressively at the leeward mark.  This manoeuvre failed amidst a great deal of shouting and gesticulating, allowing Avocet to hold on for a win and well deserved overall victory.




1st Avocet: Richard Chenery, Doug Sharps, Michael Archer.

2nd Telamon: Ian Sharps, Sam Sutton, Tony Jarman.

3rd Thunderer: John Williams, Hugh Williams, Richard Williams.

4th Guillemot: David Mayne, Kelvin Douglas, Tim Hunt.


There was an excellent turnout for the Nationals.  The report written by James Skellorn follows.

Ajax National Championships 2004


Twenty four Ajax 23 foot keelboats gathered at St Mawes to contest a championship in light winds over three days (30th July – 1st August).  The series had to be shortened to four races.  The championship came down to a close battle between Bob Edwards in Nemesis for the home club and Doug Sharps in Avocet from Royal Harwich YC, which was only decided on the second beat of the last race.


Five boats from Royal Harwich Yacht Club travelled the 400 miles to do battle with the St Mawes fleet.  On Thursday the team match for the Oliver Lee trophy was held off St Mawes under grey skies in rain squalls.  St Mawes narrowly beat Royal Harwich to win the trophy for the first time in some years.


Friday brought a light northerly for the first race in Falmouth Bay.  Those who went right found more breeze funnelling out of Carrick Roads.  At the first mark Avocet (Doug Sharps) led from Nemesis (Bob Edwards), Troy (St Mawes Class Captain Cedric Thomas) and Goosander (Robin Edwards and John Pack).  Two slow reaches in a dying breeze led race officer Ron Medlyn to shorten the race at the end of the second beat.  The order remained the same, except Samaki (Alan Williams) took fourth place from Goosander.  The breeze died in the bay and the race officer tried to set a course for the second race in Carrick Roads, but to no avail.


On Saturday the sea breeze filled in before the start giving a south/south westerly force 2.  Nemesis, Indefatigable (Chris Thomas) and Pegasus (David Kerridge) went right, found the better breeze and reached the weather mark in that order.  Pegasus rolled over Indefatigable on the first reach to take second place.  As the race progressed Goosander and Athena (David Liddington) extracted themselves from the chasing pack and passed Indefatigable to take third and fourth.


In the afternoon race in similar conditions many boats went right but Goosander went left and led at the weather mark from a bunch of five boats:  Athena, Nemesis, Pegasus, Victory (Mike Conlin) and Aquila (Lindsay Thomas).  Goosander built a handy lead on the reaches she went right on the second beat but sailed into lighter breezes.  Athena and Avocet went left and made big gains, getting past Goosander.  Avocet took the lead to win, and Nemesis passed Goosander to take third.


There was hope that two races could be held on Sunday to complete the five race series, but in the event it was only possible to hold one in a light to moderate easterly breeze.  The championship lay between Avocet (1, 6, 1) and Nemesis (2, 1, 3).  Those who went left found a good shift, but a strong foul tide on the weather mark caused problems for many.  Nemesis was round first followed by Redoubtable (Neil Cameron) then Avocet and Pegasus.  Avocet was second at the leeward mark.  The leaders went right on the second boat and Avocet rolled over Nemesis to take the lead and the championship.  Meanwhile Athena came through to third, and third place overall.  It was a good championship in light breezes with the biggest turnout for many years.


Overall Results:


1.             Avocet (Doug Sharps / Richard Chenery) (1, (6), 1, 1)                   3 points                  (RHYC)

2.             Nemesis (Bob Edwards) (2, 1, (3), 2)                                                  5 points                  (SMSC)

3.             Athena (David Liddington) ((8), 4, 2, 3)                                            9 points                 (SMSC)

4.             Goosander (Robin Edwards / John Pack (5, 3, 4, (14))                   12 points                (RHYC)

5.             Pegasus (David Kerridge / James Skellorn) (7, 2, (14), 5)               14 points                (RHYC)


News from St Mawes. 


Dudley Kennett has retrieved Ajax No. 12 from Switzerland and trailed her home.  She was kept on lake Geneva since 1967.  She has recently been named Odysseus.  The whole story is on the web site.


Osprey has been sold and is now owned by Paul Smart.


The turnout for Falmouth week was excellent at a total of 27 over seven days. 




1          Athena (David Liddington –                 SMSC)                        11 points

2          Avocet (Doug Sharps –                        RHYC)                        13 points

3          Nemesis (Bob Edwards –                     SMSC)                        25 points

4          Pegasus (David Kerridge –                  RHYC)                        26 points

5          Troy (Cedric Thomas –                        SMSC)                        45 points


Ajax Mould.

I have attached a discussion document about this issue.  As you will see, the rules are very specific about the Association having to give a license to a builder in order to build a new boat.  There will be a few specific questions to be voted on at the 2005 AGM.  I would be grateful if members could send feedback or thoughts to me. 


We also need to decide what to do with the mould if no new boats are to be built.  It is currently costing the Association about £400 per annum for storage.


I would like to remind the association that the Chairmanship returns to the SW after the 2005 AGM, so a new Chairman and a new Secretary will be elected at the AGM.


John Williams     


Web site                  http://ajax23class.users.btopenworld.com