AJAX ONE DESIGN CLASS ASSOCIATION
MINUTES OF THE 35TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE ASSOCIATION HELD AT THE ROYAL HARWICH YACHT CLUB WOOLVERSTONE ON SATURDAY 16 JUNE 2001 AT 1845.
The Chairman opened by apologising for the change of meeting date because of the clash with the Championship Social Event.
1. Apologies had been received from Peter Wright (Secretary), Bob Tate, George Josselyn & Delia Hazell.
2. Minutes. The Minutes of the previous AGM held at St Mawes on 7 July 2000 were approved and signed. (proposed Ken Stowe, seconded Doug Sharps)
3. Matters arising. There were no matters arising from the Minutes.
4. Chairman’s Report. This had been circulated to all members. It was noted that Tom Hill became Class Champion at Falmouth in the year 2000.
There were no questions on the report.
5. Treasurer’s Report & Accounts. The Accounts had been circulated with the Chairman’s Report. There was no requirement to increase the subscription because funds in hand were now £767, an increase of £37 on the previous year. The Accounts were formally approved (proposed Tony James, seconded Ewen Stamp).
6. Election of Officers & Committee. The following were re-elected for the ensuing year:-
Chairman John Williams East Coast
Hon. Secretary Peter Wright East Coast
Hon Treasurer David Liddington South West
Tony James )
Frank Norman ) East Coast
David Mayne )
Bob Edwards )
Cedric Thomas) South West
Anthony West )
Hon Auditor Anthony West South West
7. 2002 Championships. These would be held at St Mawes at a date to be confirmed.
8. Rule Changes. There were two proposed rule changes tabled by the East Coast Fleet.
a) To Rule 10.1.3. – Mast. To increase the maximum fore & aft measurement of the mast to 109mm from 106mm.
The Chairman summarised the position at an East Coast level. The local supplier was Z Spars who gave the Class a very good service. Their Z170 section had proved too light for the Ajax but the Z190 heavier section did not fit the current rules by 3mm. One yacht was using a Z190 section but this had been physically squeezed by the owners some years ago to fit the rules.
This was not considered to be an effective answer for most owners wishing to replace a mast and Z Spars would not now supply a section which had been amended in this manner. This left the Proctor spar as the only section which complied with our existing rule book. The Class either had to accept one sole supplier being Proctor or change the rule to admit the larger Z Spar section.
A discussion ensued into the various merits and demerits of the situation. David Kerridge was prepared to buy a Z190 section and squeeze it to fit if the rule was unchanged. This was not thought desirable as the internal specification had changed since the previously replaced mast had been squeezed. Henry Baker thought that one sole supplier (Proctor) would retain the Class One Design principle.
Others considered that there would then be no competition for Proctors who would be able to ratchet up the price without fear of an alternative. It was pointed out that in fact Z Spars were supplying Proctor masts via the local Selden agent and that the service was good. The South West Fleet were currently only replacing the original Holt Allen mast with Proctor Spars.
The matter was put to the vote. 10 voted for the change with one against. The Chairman said he had received 3 discretionary proxies and would cast them for the change, the final vote being 13 for and 1 against.
b) To Rule 10.1.5. – To amend the rule – “The mast shall have one set of spreaders for the upper shrouds which may be fixed, swinging or partly swinging.”
The Chairman said that the spreaders had originally been fixed (and the rules specified “Fixed”), but over the years, because of their design (tubes over cones), they had become swinging within limits. The rewriting of the rules in 1995 had tried to reflect this and the wording was changed to “Swinging”.
The recent proposed change was to permit total discretion to each owner to have the spreaders as desired. This was following advice from Z Spar after the failure of Bob Tate’s mast in a force 3 in the river.
The feeling of the meeting was that the proposed change had not been thought through. No definition of the configuration of fixed spreaders was in place and various angles, planes and limitations on rake aft should be stated. There was concern that spreaders which were fixed aft at an angle, could be used to induce pre bend.
The objective was to achieve a mast that would not invert in a strong breeze. Effectively limited swing spreaders were the answer. By a majority of 13 to 1 including the proxy votes, the meeting asked the measurement committee to review the rule again and bring its further recommendations to the next Annual General Meeting.
8. Any other business. Chris Brown raised the position regarding “wedges” and “chafing pieces” at deck level round the mast support. These could effectively stiffen the mast which was a fundamental change to the present concept. It was agreed that chafing pieces or carpet round or by the mast were allowable. Wedges were not allowed. The line between the two was blurred and the Committee was asked to consider the matter in order for the potential loophole to be addressed.
There being no other business, the meeting closed at 1930.