†††††† AJAX 23CLASS ASSOCIATION

†††††††††††††††††††††† ††††† Chairmanís Report2014

The AGM last year was held on the Friday evening of the National Championships at the RHYC before the dinner. At this stage Alex Davey in Atalanta had won the first 3 races and was in a commanding position.There was unfortunately no racing on the Saturday owing to force 6 winds, but there were a further 2 races on Sunday. Atalanta came 4th in the fourth race and won the fifth race, so Alex and his crew Nigel Walker and Fran Gifford won the Championship comfortably from Athena 2nd, Ajax 3rd and Thunderer 4th. Alex is keen to defend his title this year in the Nationals at St Mawes and will be sailing Fringila.

The Spring Series at RHYC this year was well supported and keenly fought. The results were very close and it all depended on the last race. Success went to John Williams in Thunderer by one point with Bob Tate in Teal 2nd and Gordon Sutton in Telemon 3rd.

There was a more limited turn out for the SW fleet Spring Series and this was won by Charles Emmett in Kali with Simone Kennett runner up in Osprey.

The East Coast Championships this year were held on 21/22 June. 11 boats turned out for 5 races. In light shifting winds there were many position changes in all races and congratulations to Mike Clayton and Bob Portway in Polly Oliver who eventually won with John Williams in Thunderer second and David Kerridge in Pegasus third. There were only 3 points between the winner and 3rd boat. Polly Oliverís win was all the more impressive because she suffered extensive damage when a tree fell on her in a winter storm needing a new rig and hull repairs and she was only launched on the day before the Championships.

We are very please to welcome Tim Archer and his daughter, Spanni, to the East Coast fleet this year, having acquired Prometheus No. 62. They made an impressive start in the first race of the EC Champs and were first to the weather mark, but unfortunately faded after that.

Some of you may remember that we found one of the long lost Ajaxes, Poseidon No. 35, in Nova Scotia, Canada about 5 years ago and we had negotiated to buy her from her elderly owner, Mr Rafuse, through our East Coast Ajax syndicate, but unfortunately she was withdrawn from sale at the last moment. We were approached by Mr Rafuseís son recently to see if we were still interested. We got as far as arranging to import her via a roll-on roll-off ferry from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Liverpool, when we had a message that the trailer had split in two and Poseidon had rolled off gently on to her side. Without a trailer the project was again abandoned, but it might still be possible to import her back to the UK at a later date, if we can figure out how to transport her.

5 Ajaxes are planning to make the journey from the East Coast to take part in the National Championships this year: Teal, Pegasus, Guillemot, Dionysius and Widgeon with Alex Davey planning to defend his title in Fringila. We are all looking forward to some excellent competition. We are also hoping to reinstate Team Racing for the Lee Trophy.

The Ajax 23 Class is still a very active and competitive class, both in the South West and on the East Coast. I believe this is largely because it is a simple traditional 3 sail racing keelboat kept strictly to One Design principles. Although we only publish Handbooks occasionally, I should point out that comprehensive information about the Fleet including class rules, reports, AGM minutes, list of owners, current and historical results are all available on our website:www.ajax23class.co.uk†† Many thanks to John Williams who keeps it up to date.

Congratulations to Lindsey Thomas who is still at the helm of the SW fleet for yet another year as Class Captain. Kelvin Douglas and I have enjoyed steering the Ajax Class very much over the last 5 years, but it is time now to hand over the reigns to a new Chairman and Secretary from the SW Fleet.

 

Bob Tate††††† Chairman†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† July 2014