Falmouth Week 2004 - Ajax Class
A record turn out of 27 boats (including four visitors from the East Coat) enjoyed eight races covering everything from light breezes to force 5 and also included one day racing in Falmouth Bay: a welcome innovation. In accordance with tradition, the week opened with the Angela Beaman trophy. About ten boats sailed over to Mylor for tea, crewed by miscellaneous crews of wizards, children, dogs, spiders etc on the theme of ‘Harry Potter’. Troy won the general knowledge, and Osprey won overall, including points for fancy dress and number of legs in the boat.
Sunday produced a wet SW force 4 with poor visibility, so the passage race to Helford was cancelled. Instead a race was held in Carrick Roads in the afternoon, by which time the wind dropped to a fickle force 2. Nemesis (Bob Edwards), Avocet (Doug Sharps) and Athena (David Liddington) reached Governor Buoy first. However, on the second beat Aquila (with former champion David Mattheson as guest helm) found a way through to take the lead and win the race.
Monday brought bright sun and a moderate southerly breeze. Athena led at the windward mark from Pegasus (David Kerridge). Avocet and Aquila (Lindsay Thomas) worked their way past Pegasus in the later stages of the race to take second and third.
Tuesday offered two windward/leeward courses in Falmouth Bay in bright sun and a moderate south easterly wind. In the first race Athena led all the way round from Avocet and Nemesis. In the second race Pegasus led from Athena and Nemesis. However, Athena passed her on the last run and Avocet came through to take second on the last beat.
A fresh southerly on Wednesday meant that the fleet raced in Carrick Roads instead of going out into the bay again. A full force 5 and a big course made for surfing spinnaker reaches. Avocet showed her heavy weather speed to win from Athena and Nemesis. Gannet (Bob Tate) put in a strong performance to take fourth. Thursday brought calms and a fickle northerly. Aquila and Osprey crept away from the pin end pursued by Athena, Pegasus and Atalanta (a welcome return to the fleet by Elaine Davey). Aquila led round the weather mark, but ran into a hole by Penarrow, and it was Pegasus and Atalanta who were first into a fresh south westerly blowing from Falmouth. Athena eventually passed both of them to take a firm hold on the series.
Friday brought a fresh westerly. Avocet led initially, but on the second beat Athena and Pegasus passed her. Avocet got back to second place towards the end of a hard race. Atalanta broke her mast just short of the finish line, but crossed the line 22nd with the remains of her rig. She fitted a new mast overnight to turn out for Saturday’s trophy race complete with Olympic sailor Cathy Foster as crew.
Saturday brought a moderate southerly and rain showers for the Falmouth Town Regatta. A pin end start and short tacking down the St Mawes shore brought Avocet (Ian Sharps) to the front, pursued by Pegasus, Samaki (Alan Williams) and Athena (Paul Liddington). Athena came through to third, but retired over a start line incident, so that Nemesis was third and Sandpiper (Glenn Litherland) fourth. Athena won the week from Avocet, with Nemesis and Pegasus some way back for third and fourth. David Liddington has won Falmouth Week Ajax class for the last seven years at least: a formidable record against strong competition.
The Thomas family hosted a splendid barbecue for the prize giving. Cedric Thomas’ imaginative efforts in holding the championship one week before Falmouth Week were well rewarded and produced record turnouts for both events.
1 Athena (David Liddington – SMSC) 11 points
2 Avocet (Doug Sharps – RHYC) 13 points
3 Nemesis (Bob Edwards – SMSC) 25 points
4 Pegasus (David Kerridge – RHYC) 26 points
5 Troy (Cedric Thomas – SMSC) 45 points