Minutes of Ajax 23 One Design Class Association 2010 AGM


Held at St Mawes SC on Thursday, 22 July 2010 at 8.45pm


  1. Present: James Skellorn, Bob Tate, David Liddington, David Mathewson, David Mayne, John Williams, Malcolm Mackley Cedric Thomas, Elaine Davey, David Kerridge, Lindsey Thomas, Jonathan Kneale, Rob Geddes-Brown, Mike Evans, Glen Litherland, Charles Emmett, Gary Crawford, Hugh Williams, Ewen Stamp, Ken Stowe, Hilary Newton, Doug Sharps, Alan Williams, Mike Black, Chris Burnett Oliver Edwards, J and C Colley, John Howard, Richard Beaman Roger Wood, Claire Wood, Jeannie Bown, Richard Bown, Kelvin Douglas


  1. Apologies for absence: Peter Wright, Kim Mathewson


  1. The minutes of the last meeting were agreed as a correct record of the meeting. There were no matters arising.


  1. Chairmanís Report: (report circulated) Bob Tate said he wished to spend some of the association funds on producing a new class handbook. Kelvin Douglas has been working on this. It is to be of higher quality than in the past with photographs. The meeting approved expenditure of up to £500 on the handbook.


  1. Treasurerís Report:David Liddington presented the report. Ewen Stamp asked how the premium bonds were held. David Liddington said they were registered in his name. There is a declaration they are held on behalf of the Association, and the numbers of the bonds are in the records of the association. There have been two £50 wins in the three years, though nothing has been won this year.


  1. Rule Change: Dr Chris Brown had tabled two proposals:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

A)     That 15.1.2 be abolished(requirement to carry two one minute flares). Chris Brown was not present. Bob Tate said flares had not been used in a keelboat in a distress situation as far as records showed. A recent article in Yachting Monthly which had been circulated by email, indicated flares had been downgraded as safety equipment. David Mathewson said they are dangerous things to carry on a boat. There has been at least one incident where the flares caused significant injury. Bearing in mind the sort of racing Ajaxes do, almost always supported by RIBs etc, it is hard to imagine a situation where an Ajax would find flares useful, with support boats, VHF and mobile phones available. There was a discussion as to how useful flares were for triangulating the position of a boat as opposed to phone, EPIRB, etc. Glen Litherland said it was hard to recommend abandoning any safety device. Ewen Stamp said we could take flares out of the class rules and leave it to event organisers to decide what was appropriate. David Kerridge asked what was the insurers view. Vote proposer : Dr Chris Brown(by proxy), Seconder: Cedric Thomas. For: 15 boatsAgainst: 4 boatsAbstentions: 1 boat.†† Bob Tate said the rule change would be effective from 1st January 2011. It was emphasised flares can still be carried if sailors wish.

B)     Abolish Rule 15.1.2 (carry 36M of anchor warp and chain and anchor, and substitute a rule saying anchor and adequate warp should be carried) Bob Tate introduced this proposal. 36M is an excessive length of warp for the east coast and it would be better to have a flexible rule allowing for a longer warp to be carried in the south west. However when it became apparent that the replacement rule had not been fully formulated or proposed (so abolishing 15.1.2 would leave no rule on anchors in place) there was little support for this proposal. Vote proposer: Dr Chris Brown(by proxy), Seconder: Ewen Stamp. For: 1 boatAgainst: 14 boatsAbstentions: 3 boatsNo change to 15.1.2.


7. Possible future rule changes:

††††††††††† A) Rule 17.1.11 iphones: John Howard pointed out that iphones (now owned by many sailors) can be used as a GPS (all smart phones have a GPS facility). They can also be used simply to record the boatís track and speed around the course and the datacan be reviewed after the race. It was noted that the use of GPS while racing is currently outside the class rules.

††††††††††† B) Raise minimum weight to 900kg (from 873kg). John Williams said Rule 1.1 says boats should be as nearly the same as possible. When east coast boats were weighed a couple of years ago, there was 90kg difference between the lightest and the heaviest. There is not much current information on the weight of the south west boats. However, on the east coast, only four boats would have to carry correctors. Currently Dionysius has 90kg of correctors and Kali has 60kg. David Kerridge said he had investigated the weight issue on a number of boats. In general it was caused by osmosis or water being held in the plywood parts of the boat (eg, the floors) and coats of paint on the inside of the hull. In his experience, boats could be brought back down to weight if these points were remedied. There is not much evidence in the class that the lighter boats are more successful.

Richard Beaman said in the SB3 class weight had turned out to be absolutely critical and hulls and keels were routinely weighed to keep weights of boats within a few kilos of being identical.

There is a problem with Ajaxes because the weights of the keels are not known. They are thought to vary in weight significantly. A light boat may have a light keel. Charles Emmett thought this was the case with Kali.

It was acknowledged that the rule that correctors have to be placed in locations which penalise boats carrying them, should be amended. Correctors should be carried in places which have a neutral effect on performance.

On a consultative vote on increasing the minimum weight, 9 boats voted in favour, 5 boats voted against and 5 abstained.

It was acknowledged data is needed on the weight of boats in the SW fleet, and it is a major problem that the weight of keels is unknown.

††††††††††† C) Have a more One Design boat (ego one sailmaker, one mast maker, etc.). David Mathewson said he felt the class was becoming less One Design. At least four different masts are in use. He wanted to encourage having a single manufacturer for masts and for sails.

John Williams said the idea of a single sailmaker had been proposed and rejected before. In his experience a single sailmaker often does not do a good job for the class if they have no competition.

Richard Beaman said performance differences on masts and sails seemed to be very slight and this area did not seem to be a problem for the class.

It was acknowledged heavy crews and light crews needed different sails. The class should keep its options open with tight rules.

It was pointed out that Ajax sails must be made in the UK (rule 13.1.1). Many sailmakers (eg Hyde, Dolphin) have sails made abroad now. It was suggested that this rule be scrapped at the next AGM.


8. Lindsey Thomas confirmed details of the social events over the next three days for the Championship.


9. Format of the Nationals. The format for this year is changed so that there are three one hour races on Friday and Saturday and two one hour races on Sunday. The class is keen to get feedback on this format.


10. Election of Officers. John Williams proposed that all the existing officers be re-elected and this was passed unanimously.


11. Any Other Business

††††††††††† 1. Furling gear. James Skellorn asked whether class rules permitted use of jib furling gear. John Williams and others said that boats had furling gear many years ago. It was legal and the jib could be furled while racing, but the forestay location point must not be changed, and there must be no hole in the foredeck.

††††††††††† 2.Trophies. It was pointed out that the Gimpel Trophy is solid silver and worth several thousand pounds. The Association does not insure the trophies. The following ideas are to be considered:

††††††††††††††††††††††† a) The Association will investigate insuring the trophies.

††††††††††††††††††††††† b) Championship trophies could be kept in the trophy cabinet of the club of the boats that win them, instead of at the homes of winning skippers or crews.


12. Date for 2011 National Championship at Royal Harwich Yacht Club

Boats from the south west expressed a preference for late June. Provisionally, the championship will be 24th-26th June 2011.

Meeting closed at 10.33pm.