Ajax Class Captains Report 2009.


There can be no argument that where racing is concerned 2009 has been the year of the Guillemot.  I have not had a chance to check out the official RYA policy on tobacco sponsorship, but if Imperial Tobacco ever wants to seek endorsement by a successful sportsman who actually uses their product they should at least make David an offer.

Guillemot won the summer series by a convincing margin and is in a similar position in the autumn series. She also won the Anita Trophy but Mars won the Nationals and Artemis the spring series.

The statistics showed a modest increase in race entries over 2009. However this was most notable in the summer series when less boats travelled to Falmouth as the championships were here. A total of 19 different boats have made at least one appearance in a race during the season. Typical races have had between 8 and 10 entries with 11 in the first 2 races in the summer series. There have been significantly less races to sea this year. There were fewer suitable tides and on at least one occasion too much wind. The DIY starting arrangements at Clamp House worked well and it is suggested that an early interface with John Block’s diary is essential.

17 boats came to the starting line in the Nationals which was in line with previous events at Harwich. We had 2 visitors from St Mawes although these were not the regular ones. We hope they enjoyed the experience and will be tempted to repeat it. Two notable changes from previous years was the absence from the front of the fleet of Avocet and Athena. In the case of Athena this was absolute as she never left St Mawes. In the case of Avocet it was temporary as she won the last race. I hardly dare say what the secret of this sudden turnaround was. It was pleasing to record that the social events were well attended over the Nationals weekend.

Another success was the mini-regatta over a weekend in July. 11 boats competed on the Saturday and 8 on the Sunday. The club agreed to allocate the Anita cup to this event which will henceforth be known as the Ajax Anniversary Regatta commemorating as it does the annual anniversary of the 40th anniversary regatta first held in 2008.

Another innovation was the fun race which seems to have been enjoyed by those that entered: so I guess it achieved its objective.

If the objective of the cruise to the Deben was to have Ajaxes sailing to the Deben this was not achieved. In the event the weather rendered the enterprise unwise but there was only one confirmed entrant anyway. If on the other hand the object was to give everyone a rest from racing then this was achieved. I leave my successor to decide whether this should appear in next year’s calendar. You can cruise to the Deben any time. It is only worth allocating a particular a day if it is supported in significant numbers. It has been suggested that this should coincide with the yacht cruise to the same destination but this cedes the ability to determine the date.

In terms of historic perspective however 2009 may be recorded as the year of Indefatigable. A consortium was put together to buy that half of Indefatigable that was not owned by Johnny Pack to bring it up from St Mawes. This alone might have been a notable achievement, but the subsequent sale of the whole boat to Rob and Laurie was a very satisfactory outcome to the enterprise. Rob and Laurie are very welcome additions to the class as too are the Shallows now appearing regularly aboard Teal..