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Ajax East Coast Championships at Royal Harwich Yacht Club

by Malcolm Mackley 23 Jun 2010 08:19 BST 19-20 June 2010
Ajax Thunderer on her way to winning the East Coast Championships © Frank Norman

The Ajax East Coast Championships was held under the burgee of the Royal Harwich Yacht Club over the weekend of 19/20th June. The skies were grey, the temperature low and the wind at times, quite astonishing.

On the Saturday, some Ajax sailors wisely stayed ashore, whilst others ventured out into Dovercourt Bay. Race officer, Doug Brown set a windward leeward course and on the second beat of an exciting race, a 38 knot Northerly line squall hit the fleet with Pegasus (David Kerridge) a casualty and others left struggling. Eventually the wind moderated a little and Thunderer (John Williams) won the race from Ajax veteran, Mars (Chris Brown).

The second race on Saturday was equally exciting but this time a line squall hit the fleet on the run with all spinnakers set. This resulted in some spectacular high speed planing for the fleet of 23ft Ajax keelboats. The race was again won by Thunderer sailed by the Williams trio of John, Richard and Hugh.

The winds moderated somewhat on Sunday and the first race involved a modified Olympic course. Thunderer once again stormed off into the distance leaving the rest of the fleet to fight for the minor places. Artemis (Malcolm Mackley) secured a close second from Guillemot sailed by David Mayne, Tim Hunt and Michael Prosser.

The final race reverted to windward leeward and here Mandalay (helmed in different races by Peter Nicholls and Doug Sharps) went on to win a tight contest from Mars.

The Williams team secured a resounding overall win and a tie break separated Mandalay from Mars with Artemis fourth.

Overall Results:

1st Thunderer, John, Richard and Hugh Williams (1,1,1,8)
2nd Mandalay, Peter Nicholls/Doug Sharps, Jon Pack, Joe Hunt (4,2,4,1)
3rd Mars, Chris Brown, Alex Davey, Mark Blackwell (2,3,5,2)
4th Artemis, Malcolm Mackley, Mike Moore, Joff Hudson (3,4,2,4)

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