Chairman’s Report  2012

The last AGM was held on Friday 24 June 2011 at the RHYC after the first day of racing in the 2011 National Championships. We were very pleased to welcome Dudley Kennett in Odysseus from St Mawes ably crewed by Cedric Thomas and we used the new format of 8 races over 3 days, which worked well.  Saturday however brought 20 knots of wind with severe 29 knot gusts, which provided a test for the fleet, especially when 2 Thames Barges in a match race reached across the course at speed causing Thunderer to crash gybe 4 times to avoid them. In spite of this John  Williams in Thunderer went on to win the Championships by 3 points from Alex Davey in Atalanta with Artemis(Malcolm Mackley)3rd, Pegasus(David Kerridge)4th and Teal(Bob Tate) 5th. 

Falmouth Week in 2011 saw an entry of 23 Ajax’s. No boats from the East Coast were able to make it to Falmouth last year, but David Kerridge and the Pegasus crew ventured down to compete in Aquila, kindly loaned by Lindsey. Conditions were testing with squally winds especially on the first 2 days. The competition was very keen in the 9 races sailed and the series was wide open after 8 races with several boats separated by one point. After an exciting final race Aeolus held off Amalthea to win the series with Amalthea 2nd, Samaki 3rd and Athena 4th. A full write up by Lindsey was published in Yachts & Yachting on 14.8.11.

In  the East Coast fleet we said goodbye to Malcolm Mackley at the end on the 2011 season and Artemis has been exported and sold to Ian Woods in the St Mawes fleet. Mike Clayton and Bob Portway are proving very competitive in Polly Oliver this year in their second season. Goosander has been sold to the Dickinson family and we are looking forward to seeing her race in the fleet again. Indefatigable was sold to Will Patten a few weeks ago and is already proving very competitive. The East Coast Champs were held at the end of June. 13 boats came to the line in very breezy conditions with a 19 knot wind gusting 25 knots. 3 short windward/leeward courses were set on each of the 2 days and much stamina was needed to complete the courses in these testing conditions. Polly Oliver (Mike Clayton) won the series, Indefatigable (Will Patten) came second with Mandalay (Peter Nicholls and Doug Sharps) third and Thunderer (John Williams) fourth. It is remarkable that the 2 newest additions to the fleet came 1st and 2nd . It is good to see that some of our younger sailors are now taking an interest in the Ajax Fleet, which is the strongest racing fleet at the RHYC and is providing some very close competition. The turnout has also been good this year with up to 15 boats coming to the line for Club racing. The spring series was won by Guillemot (David Mayne) with Pegasus (David Kerridge) 2nd and Teal (Bob Tate) 3rd.  

Lindsey Thomas, the South West Class Captain writes:

“I am pleased to report that the South West fleet is currently in a very healthy state with several new local owners helping to boost the numbers in Club racing. Unfortunately the weather during the spring did not inspire many folks to start working on their boats early, and numbers at the start of the race season this year were disappointingly low. However, over the last couple of weeks numbers have started to increase and we are now in double figures for club racing on a regular basis.

This winter saw no boats on the market for the first time in many years after a very busy 2010 and spring 2011 where over 6 boats changed hands.



The regatta season is now well underway although again, the windy weather has seen the cancellation of some of the early ones, along with the cancellation of 4 club races which has been disappointing. We have all been entered into the St Mawes Town Regatta this Saturday so a little more incentive to go out all guns blazing and win the first race.

We have all been saddened to hear of David Liddington’s illness, and I know I speak on behalf of all the fleet in wishing him a speedy and full recovery. It will not be the same without him on the start line.

We are delighted to be hosting the National Championships this year and it is lovely to see such a good representation of the East Coast Fleet.”

We have at long last managed to produce a new Ajax 23 Association Handbook and copies have been sent to all members of the Association. We have tried to make it as comprehensive as possible with some good photographs and we are indebted to Tony James, one of the original owners, who has contributed an excellent history of the Ajax Class. The Handbook has been subsidised by the National Fleet and we took the opportunity of printing extra copies,which are available from the Class Captains to non-members for a small donation to defray expenses. It has been difficult to make sure all the data is correct and we know that there are a few errata especially Email addresses for which we apologise. Please let me or the Secretary, Kelvin Douglas, know of any amendments or additions, which we can correct on the database.

All the Ajax sailors in Teal, Pegasus, Mandalay and Widgeon, who have come down from the East Coast for the National Championships this year are very grateful for the warm welcome and hospitality provided by Lindsey and her team. We are looking forward to some excellent racing as always.


Bob Tate                                                   

Chairman                                                                                         July 2012