Ajax 23 Keelboat Class Association


Held at

St Mawes Sailing Club on 24 July 2014


Chairman: Bob Tate


The meeting opened at 21:30

Members present

1.              Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Richard Burnford, Julian Molyneux, John Williams, Kelvin Douglas, David Mayne, John Selby, Elaine Davey and Adrian Haxby.

2.††††††††††† Minutes of last meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as a true record.


3.††††††††††† Matters arising

The proposed rule change regarding spinnaker poles was covered under item 6.


4.††††††††††† Chairmanís report (attached)

See written report.


5.††††††††††† Treasurerís report

The income for the year comprising subscriptions and a tiny amount of deposit interest was £1,070.35.There had been no premium bond win this year.There had been virtually no activity or expenditure and so the bank balance had simply increased.A question was raised as to why the class has two current accounts.David Liddington explained that the reasons are historic and arise from efforts to find an interest-bearing account.The old account has to be kept open as some standing orders pay subscriptions to that account.The Lloyds account is the newer account which is used for transactions.It was proposed that a distribution of £500 each should be made to each fleet *I made this proposal, but it was not adopted on advice from the treasurer and it was decided to keep the funds in reserve until there was a pressing need from either of the fleets. .The Royal Harwich fleet had been using the funds to refurbish the launching trailer for Ajaxís and


further works are required to the A-frame and launching trailer.A vote of thanks was passed to David Liddington for his work as treasurer and Dudley Kennett for auditing the accounts.


6.††††††††††† Proposed Rule Changes

David Liddington has proposed a rule change allowing twin spinnaker poles for all Ajax racing.This follows the rule change made last year allowing experimental use of twin poles.David Liddington made a careful explanation of this proposal.He said he had explained it in detail last year and at the South West AGM.The system is popular in other fleets.He stressed the safety aspect of keeping the crew in the cockpit on a heavy weather gybe.He appreciated that the design of the system was not yet perfected and understood reluctance on the part of some owners to take it on.A general discussion followed.It was asked whether David Liddington thought it gave any advantage.He said it made it easier for a less experienced crew to handle the spinnaker.It made no difference for a good crew but it was an advantage for a less skilled crew.A question was raised about the cost of the poles.David Kerridge said he had built a carbon pole for £340.It depended to an extent on what fittings were used.David Liddington said a basic pole is about £200 for an aluminium pole.Obviously, a carbon fibre pole is lighter.Hereward Tressider asked whether both poles were used at the same time at any point.David Liddington said only one pole is connected to the spinnaker at any time.The gybing procedure is to disconnect the old pole, gybe the main and then set the new pole.Herewardís objection to the proposal is that the Ajaxís are simple three sail one design keel boat and this was an expensive change to the equipment on the boat which could create a split in the fleet.It is important to bring young people into the class and he felt it important to keep the challenge of spinnaker handling in heavy weather.He believes it would confer on an advantage on boats that had twin poles.Lindsey Thomas disagreed.It is a one design class and for the sake of the fleet we sometimes need to develop the boat.The spinnaker system does put inexperienced crews off.She said she often took out inexperienced crews and their tendency then is not to fly the spinnaker.The twin pole would make it easier for her to take out inexperienced crews.She said in practice there were many differences between boats whether they had new sails or old sails, whether or not they had tactick compasses etc.John Howard commented that if both poles were aluminium they would only cost about £200 each.David Kerridge said that it would put too much weight on the boon (distorting the set at the mains sale) to have two aluminium poles.Alex Davey said he was undecided about the proposal.He acknowledged it was alarming to go up on the fore deck to handle the spinnaker pole in a big breeze.Hereward Tressider repeated his view that it militated against the concept of a one design class.If safety is an issue, then it would be possible to do what happened in the south-west championship last year when above a certain wind speed on the racecourse the race officer could specific that spinnakers should not be flown.It was felt that this put unfair pressure on the race officer.


Jeannie Bown asked how it was that the twin pole system avoided the need to go on the foredeck.David Liddington explained that the new pole is rigged without going onto the foredeck and can be rigged using the control lines and worked from the cockpit.

Bob Tate called a vote.He reminded everyone that there was one vote per boat.In voting on the new proposed rule 10.3.5 there were 11 votes in the room in favour, 3 votes in the room against and 3 proxies against.There were two abstentions.Accordingly, the motion was carried and it was pointed out that the rule was effective immediately so that twin poles could be used in the championship.


7.††††††††††† Championship Notices

Lindsey Thomas had already dealt with championship notices before the meeting.


8.††††††††††† Dates for 2015 Championships

The Nationals will be held at Royal Harwich Yacht Club and as usual the possible dates are late June and depend on finding a weekend where it is low water in the middle of the day at Harwich.Lindsey Thomas pointed out that the South-western Championships were scheduled for 4 July so it would be helpful if the Nationals were not the weekend immediately before that.Dates for championships next year need to be set and publicised as soon as possible to enable people to plan for sailing at them.


9.††††††††††† Election of Officers

David Liddington was prepared to continue as treasurer and was unanimously elected.Bob Tate and Kelvin Douglas have completed their five year terms as chairman and secretary and by tradition the new chairman and secretary should come from the South-west fleet.There were no people proposed for either secretary or chairman.After discussion, Ian Reid (Nemesis) agreed to act as chairman and agreed to find a secretary. He was proposed and elected unanimously.


10.††††††††† The next AGM will be held during the championships at Royal Harwich next year.


11.††††††††† Any Other business

A motion of thanks to Bob Tate and Kelvin Douglas for their work as chairman and secretary was passed, in particular for their work in publishing the Ajax handbook.

The meeting closed at 20:12