AJAX NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012
Four visitors from the Royal Harwich fleet joined the home fleet of eighteen St Mawes SC boats for the Championship. The visitors brought summer weather with them, and the fleet enjoyed three days of light weather racing with race officer Neil Andrew.
Friday was overcast with a light westerly, force 2. All the races comprised two laps of a windward/leeward course.
In the first race the order at the first mark was Amalthea (Roger Wood) from Samaki (Alan Williams), Mary B (Rob Geddes-Brown) and Mandalay (Peter Nicholls) and this was the order at the finish.
In Race 2 Artemis led from Mary B, Amalthea and Teal (Bob Tate). On the second beat the wind dropped and filled in from the north. Artemis held on to her lead but on the ensuing shy spinnaker reach Amalthea took the lead to win with Mary B third and Teal fourth.
In Race 3 Kali (Rob Edwards/Charles Emmett) took big advantage of a wind shift just before the start to head left from the pin end and lead all the way round. Chasing her were Persephone (Paul Scullion) Samaki, Aquila (Lindsey Thomas) and Amalthea. Once again Amalthea improved as the race went on. She finished second from Persephone and Samaki.
Saturday brought bright sunshine and light winds. The first race was for the St Mawes Town Regatta Cup. Neil Andrews was able to lay a course south of St Anthony’s light in a northerly force 2-3. On the beat it was quicker to go right, under the headland, and Mary B led from Aeolus (John Howard), Persephone and Samaki. Once again, Amalthea showed great powers of recovery to take third behind Mary B and Aeolus.
The fleet then moved west to an area off the Helford in the hope the sea breeze would establish itself. Instead a light northerly blew fitfully from Falmouth. Neil Andrew started Race 5 and Aeolus went up the left side to take a big lead from Pintail (Richard Bown) and Amalthea. However, the wind kept dropping away to nothing and racing was abandoned for the day.
Three races were scheduled for Sunday in bright sun and force 2-3 southerly. In (re-sailed) Race 5, Samaki led from Aeolus and Pintail, with Ajax (David Matthewson) fourth and Amalthea fifth recording her worst result. In race 6, it seemed quickest to go right on the beat and Amalthea won from Persephone and Samaki. This win gave Amalthea the championship.
In race 7, Mary B won from Ajax with Pintail third and Osprey (Simone Kennett) fourth. This secured second place for Mary B.
Throughout the regatta, the racing was tight with places won and lost right to the finish line. For the last two races on Sunday, Neil Andrew set a gate for the leeward mark which proved educational for those who had not used gate marks before. There were numerous general recalls but the fleet invariable got away at the second attempt. Race organisation went very smoothly in fickle conditions and it was an excellent and closely fought championship.
1. Amalthea (Roger and Claire Wood) 8 points
2. Mary B (Rob Geddes-Brown) 12 points
3. Samaki (Alan Williams) 14 points
4. Ajax (David Matthewson) 27 points
5. Persephone (Paul Scullion) 28 points
Amalthea used Pinnell & Bax sails, Mary B used Doyle, Samaki had a North jib and Collins main. Ajax used North and Persephone used Parker (aka Quantum).
3 August 2012