Jonathon Colley, Alan Williams, Peter Wright, Richard & Jeannie Bown, Dudley Kennett, David Mathewson, Mike Conlin


Present: Cedric Thomas, David Liddington, Simone Kennett, Lindsey Thomas, Hilary Newton, Roger Wood, Claire Wood, Richard Chenery, Doug Sharps, Gordon Sutton, John Williams, Bob Tate, David Mayne, Kelvin Douglas, Giles Vincent-Wright, Mike Evans, Simon Avantrill, James Skellorn, Peter Skellorn, David Kerridge, Elaine Davey, Paul Davey, Ken Stowe, Jonathan Pack, Robin Edwards, Ewen Stamp


The Minutes of the 2007 meeting held at the Royal Harwich were reported and summarised by the Secretary.  They were deemed to be a true record of the meeting.  There were no matters arising that were not on the agenda.


Chairman’s Report: Cedric began with a particularly warm welcome to all those from Harwich and thanked them for making the journey.  He said that looking back on the past 12 months he had mixed feelings about the state of the fleet.  Two boats had travelled from St Mawes to Harwich for the 2007 National Championships – Athena and Nemesis and Doug Sharps had lent him Avocet.  17 boats contested the event that was won by Ian Sharps sailing Goosander owned by Jonny Pack.  Second was David Liddington in Athena, Thunderer sailed by John Williams third and Nemesis sailed by Robin Edwards fourth.  He added that the less said about Avocet’s performance, the better.


Falmouth Week followed with one day lost to excessive wind.  Special note needs to be made of the fact that Athena sailed by David Liddington won the even for the 11th year in succession, runner up was Amalthea sailed by Roger Wood and third Kali sailed by Oliver Edwards owned by Charles Emmett and just in weight(apparently!)


Two change sin the SW fleet – Indefatigable has been bought by Mark Cocking and Jonny Pack and Vim by Robin Richardson though yet to be seen racing.


The E Coast Championship was won by Thunderer and John Williams, second was Goosander with Ian Sharps and third Chris Brown and Mars.  A special race was held in the river Orwell to mark the 40th anniversary of Ajax sailing at Harwich.  This was won by David Mayne in Guillemot.  Turnouts for Harwich this year have been generally good, whereas turnouts at St Mawes have been pathetic.  This leads me to wonder if perhaps I have been in Office just a little too long and  it needs a change at the top to kickstart the fleet.


I must thank my fellow Officers for their work and support during the past year.  David Liddington for the professional way he deals with financial matters, computing results and organising the prizes; Simone for the huge amount of work she does on the secretarial side.  Without Simone I just would not function.


I hope you have an enjoyable weekend at the 2008 Nationals.



Treasurer’s Report:  David Liddington presented accounts that were yet to be audited.  They show a healthy balance as we no longer have to pay for the mould storage.  He noted that the increase in subscription to cover this cost was still only now feeding through and he would therefore be reluctant to change the amount. He suggested we should consider other ways of using the surplus – for example subsidising the Championships.  He noted that there had been a further premium bond win of £50.


John Williams proposed and Gordon Sutton seconded the motion that we should accept the accounts. This was agreed unanimously.


Weighing issues:  John Williams presented this item reflecting on the work that had been done by the E Coast group in considering weights and reminding everyone that the purpose of the Ajax racing was to race as a one-design fleet.


He read out rule 1.1 which says ‘…….these rules are intended to ensure that the boats of the class are as nearly as possible the same in all respects affecting their performance.’

He informed the meeting that there was currently a weight difference of 87 kilo between the lightest and heaviest boats on the East Coast.    He proposed that the minimum weight be increased from 873K to 900Kg which would reduce the difference to 60 kilo.  Only 3 boats on the East coast would then need lead to be added.  He felt that this would be cheaper and easier than spending thousands of pounds at a boatyard to take weight out. He said that no proposal to change the rule could be suggested until a significant number of SW boats had been weighed.


There was extensive discussion from the floor of this issue.  The more practical boat-owners saw no problem with keeping a boat’s weight down by thorough maintenance or grinding off the gel coat.  Others thought this unfair on those who would have to pay professionals to do the job at some considerable expense.  Concern was raised about the effect on secondhand boat prices if there was a choice between a light boat and a heavier one.  An analysis of the results of the ECoast boats plotted against their weights had shown a correlation coefficient of almost zero.  It was noted that Nemesis was one of the heaviest SW boats and Kali was the lightest yet they fought very close races. 


The E Coast fleet has bought a loadcell and would be happy to loan it to the SW fleet. It was noted that the local measurer had previously expressed a reluctance to add weighing to his duties.  Therefore the Chairman proposed that SW weighing was to be voluntary and he would start with the 2 Thomas boats.  It was thought that they should be weighed at the beginning of the season as were the ECoast boats rather than at the end.  John Williams will bring the loadcell down when he comes for Falmouth Week.


Election of Officers:  Proposed en bloc by JohnWilliams seconded by Bob Tate, carried unanimously.  Whilst accepting the office, Cedric gave 12 months notice of his intention to quit as Chairman.   (Secretary’s note post meeting – this applies to me as well.)



Extra bits:  Proposed that the AGM start earlier to allow those who live a distance away to stay after racing in order to attend.  This will be trialled.


The silence on the radio on the Friday was attributable to the Committee boat using VHF 72 whereas the instructions had said they would be on 77.  It will be corrected.


As this is the last year of Ron Medlyn’s contribution as Race Officer after many years of excellent and willing service, it was thought to be a nice gesture to present him with one of David Mayne’s half models of the Ajax.  This was agreed.