Ajax East Coast Championship 2008


28th/29th June




Fresh westerly winds made exciting racing for the thirteen Ajax 23-foot keelboats that contested the main sea regatta for the East Coast fleet in Dovercourt Bay.


The championship was organised by Royal Harwich Yacht Club.The first race was a windward/leeward course.Initially Goosander (Ian Sharps and John Pack) led from Mars (Chris Brown), Thunderer (John Williams) and the newly refurbished Teal (Bob Tate).On the third run Thunderer caught up with Goosander, but after an incident Thunderer took a penalty turn so Goosander won from Thunderer.Avocet (Richard Chenery) came through to third, with Teal fourth.


The afternoon race was an Olympic course.It was a duel between Mars and Guillemot (David Mayne).Mars led up wind, but Guillemot was quicker downwind.They swapped places several times before Mars won.Behind them Pegasus (David Kerridge) got up to third, but then broached spectacularly at the gybe mark.Goosander took third place with Pegasus fourth.After the first day, Goosander led on points from Mars with Thunderer third.


On Sunday the sun shone and the wind shifted to the southwest and strengthened a little.The morning race was an Olympic course.Thunderer led at the first mark from Telamon (Gordon Sutton).The gybe was tricky for most, and several leading boats dropped their spinnakers for the second reach.The wind gusted up and those with spinnakers still up were in trouble.On Goosander John Pack went overboard briefly as he tried to get the spinnaker down.Thunderer and Telamon profited by getting their kits down before the squall and were first and second from Pegasus at the bottom mark.Thunderer pulled away to win from Pegasus and Telamon, with Artemis (Malcolm Mackley) fourth.


Goosander was fifth, leaving her equal on points with Thunderer before the last race.


The last race was windward/leeward.Thunderer led from the start, pursued by Mars and Goosander.This order stayed the same to the finish, with Guillemot fourth.Thundererís brace of wins on the Sunday won them the championship.John Williams was crewed by his brother Hugh and son Richard.Once again, race officer Doug Brown provided excellent racing.


Results: ††††††††††† 1††††††††† Thunderer†††††††† (John Williams) ††††††††††† ††††††††††† 4 points

††††††††††††††††††††††† 2††††††††† Goosander ††††† (Ian Sharps/John Pack) ††††††††††† 7 points

††††††††††††††††††††††† 3††††††††† Mars††††††††††††††† (Chris Brown)††††††††††††††††††††††††† 8 points

††††††††††††††††††††††† 4††††††††† Pegasus††††††††††† (David Kerridge)††††††††††††††††††††† 11 points