Ajax Class - Falmouth Week 2006
5th – 12th August
Twenty eight boats entered, including four boats from the East Coast Fleet. The week started with the Angela Beaman Trophy. Nine boats sailed to Mylor and competed in the triathlon (general knowledge, dressing upon the theme of Old McDonald’s Farm and cramming as many feet and paws in the boat as possible) the crews of Aquila and Ajax were declared joint winners.
The Helford race on Sunday produced a force 3 northerly. East Coast boats Avocet (Doug Sharps) and Pegasus (David Kerridge) led at the weather mark, pursued by Amalthea (Roger and Clare Wood), Ajax (David Mathewson) and Athena (David Liddington). On the run, Avocet and Pegasus found more breeze down the Pendennis shore to pull away. On the beat, Avocet went in towards St Mawes. Pegasus stayed in the channel, went past her and held on to win. Athena was third.
On Monday, the Mylor race was out in the bay in a challenging northerly force 4 which varied in direction, causing big gains and losses on the beat between Rosemullion and Gyllingvase. On the first beat, it paid to go left and tack along the shore. Athena led from Ajax and Atalanta (Elaine Davey). On the second beat there were gains to be made by going right, and Amalthea came through to third and Gannet (Bob Tate) to fourth. After a long close fetch to St Anthony and a testing beat to the finish off Pendennis the order stayed the same.
The Restronguet race on Tuesday offered a tour round the harbour, involving all fleets. A fine day and a force 2 southerly saw the biggest turnout of 26 Ajaxes. From the start by Trefusis, Athena led at the first mark from Ajax, Pegasus and Gannet. Pegasus passed Ajax on the way to Pendennis. A tricky crossing of the harbour mouth to Carricknath brought Troy (Cedric Thomas) through to second with Avocet third. Between Bohella and Castle buoy Pegasus got back past Ajax and Avocet to third. After Castle the working boats and other fleets (including offshore yachts) converged with the Ajaxes and the wind got lighter. In the battle for clear wind Athena pulled away into a big lead from Troy and Ajax recovered to third and then passed Troy. Thunderer (John Williams) came through to fourth. Around St Just buoy the wind dropped leaving a big fleet becalmed. The leaders carried the last of the southerly breeze to Pill buoy and then the first of a new northerly breeze to the finish. The rest of the fleet got becalmed around the course before the northerly breeze spread down the harbour.
Flushing day brought a fresh northerly and cancellation of racing. St Mawes day brought 22 knots of wind out of the northwest. A reduced fleet sailed a challenging course involving tricky beats to Trefusis and planing spinnaker runs to Black Rock Buoy. Athena led initially from Amalthea, Avocet and Nemesis (Robin Edwards). Amalthea passed Athena on the second beat to record their first Falmouth Week race win. Avocet just held off Nemesis to retain third place.
On Friday, the Royal Cornwall race produced a northerly breeze of slightly less strength. At the weather mark it was Athena, Avocet, Nemesis and Ajax, and these four pulled away a little. Avocet passed Athena on the run to Black Rock Buoy and went on to win from Athena, Nemesis and Ajax.
A fresh wind on Saturday morning led to another cancellation, so only five races were completed. Overall it was a windy week. David Liddington has won Falmouth Week for the past ten years – a remarkable performance in the face of strong competition.
1 Athena (David Liddington) ((3), 1, 1, 2, 2) 6 pts
2 Avocet (Doug Sharps) (2, (6), 5, 3, 1) 11 pts
3 Ajax (David Mathewson) (4, 2, 2, (6), 4) 12 pts
4 Amalthea (Roger Wood) (5, 3, (7), 1, 5) 14 pts
5 Pegasus (David Kerridge) (1, 8, 6, (9), 6) 21 pts
F:\ClaireV\JJS\WSC\Falmouth Week 2006 210806.doc