Description: C:\Users\John\Documents\John\Ajax\Ajax web page\Ajax01.jpg  Description: C:\Users\John\Documents\John\Ajax\Ajax web page\Ajax03.jpg

Ajaxes racing in the River Orwell and Dovercourt Bay


In 1967, a new keel boat, the Ajax 23 was produced. It had been designed by Oliver Lee and constructed in GRP by Halmatic. The class was introduced to the RHYC by former Club Commodore Dick Mayon-White. This popular modern keel boat class was adopted by the Club. By 1969 there were ten boats in the fleet. The numbers quickly rose to twenty odd in the 1970's and to a fleet of twenty four by 1993.


The Ajax is a 23 ft open keelboat first conceived by Oliver Lee of Burnham in 1966.  Most of the boats were however built in 1968 with one or two more in recent years.  As a result of the strict One Design rules, the Class enjoys excellent racing and is well known for the friendly and helpful owners.  Indeed, many of the boats are owned by one, two or even three co-owners and this helps to keep the costs down.  There is an active Class Association.


LOA 23ft 3in (7.07 metres), LWL 19ft 2in (5.97 m), Beam 6ft 5in (1.95 m), Draught 3ft 8in (1.12 m) Displacement 1900 lb (854 Kg), Sail area 215 sq ft (20 sq m), Spinnaker 220 sq ft (20.62 sq m)

Fleet size

Currently there are about 22 boats active in the RHYC, with a similar number situated at Falmouth.  The Championships are held alternate years at the RHYC and St Mawes, and each year several boats trail to the Championship from the non-host Club.


The Ajax Class is one of the keenest racing classes in the RHYC with good turnouts of up to 16 boats during the season.  Racing is held throughout the summer season and takes place both in the River Orwell and in Dovercourt Bay.  By tradition the Championships are held in the Bay. St Mawes also has a strong fleet, especially during Falmouth Week, where fleets of 22 boats can be seen.


On occasions boats sail further a-field as they are good seaboats. One has crossed the Channel double-handed, and sailed from Falmouth to Poole Harbour single handed!



Class Captain RHYC

See ‘Contacts’ on index page


Class Association Chairman

See ‘Contacts’ on Index page



John Williams

See ‘Contacts’ on Index page