Ajax Class Eastern Championships 2006
17th – 18th June
Thirteen boats turned out for four races in bright sunshine and a gentle SE force 2-3 in Dovercourt Bay.
In the first race Artemis (new owner Malcolm Mackley) led at the weather mark from Avocet (Ian Sharps) and Mars (Chris Brown). A spinnaker pole problem held Artemis back, and Avocet established a big lead to win from Mars and Thunderer (Richard Williams) who pulled through as the race progressed. In the second race Dionysius (Team Archer) bounced back from arriving late for the first race, and led at the first mark from Avocet and Thunderer. Dionysius fell back into the chasing pack leaving Avocet to win from Thunderer and Mars.
On Sunday the conditions were unchanged. In the first race a bias to the pin end on the start line produced two general recalls. On the third start Thunderer got away from the pin end, tacked, crossed the fleet and led round the weather mark from Mars, Avocet and Prometheus. Thunderer had a good lead, which they needed to hold off Avocet at the finish of a shortened race. Mars was third. In the final race, Thunderer had to win to have a chance of beating Avocet overall. However, Mars led from the pin end, and Avocet kept tabs on Thunderer as she went up the right hand side of the beat. Thunderer was down in seventh at the first mark, as Mars led from Dionysius and Avocet. As the race progressed, Thunderer worked her way up to third, but Avocet passed Mars at the top of the third beat and sailed away to win the race and the regatta. Ian Sharps crewed by his father Doug Sharps and Richard Chenery was distinctly quicker than the rest all weekend, but Richard Williams gave him a run for his money.
The fleet are grateful to Doug Brown for once again acting as a very able race officer for the weekend. Thanks also to class captain Kelvin Douglas for organising a very smooth running weekend, so that in particular the minimum amount of time was spent hanging around in the lock at Shotley.
1 Avocet (Ian Sharps) (1121) 4 pts
2 Thunderer (Richard Williams) (3213) 6 pts
3 Mars (Chris Brown) (2332) 7 pts
4 Guillemot (David Mayne) (5445) 13 pts
F:\ClaireV\JJS\WSC\Ajax Class Eastern Chapionships 2006..doc