Please select your home edition
Ocean Safety 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Ajax National Championship at Royal Harwich Yacht Club

by Mike Clayton 22 Jun 2017 08:26 BST 16-18 June 2017
Ajax Nationals in Dovercourt Bay © Will Patten

There were nine entries for the 2017 Ajax class championships sailed in Dovercourt Bay, Harwich from 16th to 18th June. Conditions were ideal for racing in the bay with the first day providing a shifty west north west wind from the shore that provided opportunities upwind for overtaking, with the second two days sailed in a sea breeze from the south.

The first race was probably the most dramatic with a number of place changes. Telamon led at the first mark and was caught by Thunderer on the run. On the second beat Polly Oliver gained the lead and held on to take the win with Telamon second and Thunderer third. Race 2 was set as an triangle, sausage course. Thunderer won the start with Polly Oliver looking lost on port and over the line. At the windward mark Puffin, Telamon and Guillemot were in contention. Thunderer had a comfortable lead and with the next group of boats going wide at the gybe mark Polly Oliver was able to gybe inside and gain second place. Guillemot extracted herself first from the group of boats and held on for third place.

The final race of the day had a slight pin end advantage and Polly Oliver ducked under Guillemot to win the pin with Thunderer starting closer to the Committee Boat. A shift on the first beat allowed Polly Oliver to tack clear and lead round the first mark followed by Thunderer and Dionysius. The first two boats remained clear but there was a tight battle for third with Dionysius loosing out to both Telamon and Guillemot on the short beat to the finish.

Day two started with a light westerly wind. Guillemot started at the Committee Boat end and went right up the beat and Polly Oliver led the remaining boats up the left side. As the windward mark approached Guillemot took advantage of a favourable shift to lead round the mark with Polly Oliver second and the consistent Thunderer third. On the run the wind died and the sea breeze filled in. This did not alter the places with Guillemot holding on to win and Polly Oliver second.

After a short break to allow the new wind to settle Race 5 was started. Polly Oliver again led away from the start with Thunderer and Guillemot behind. Teal was also in the mix and at the second windward mark rounding these three boats were close. Thunderer managed to get away down wind with a slick spinnaker hoist with Guillemot in third. For the final race of day two Thunderer had the best start and led from start to finish. Polly Oliver was again over the line avoiding an aggressive Telamon but was able to recover to second by the windward mark by benefitting from a favourable shift on the right hand side of the beat. This left the overall championship position as advantage Polly Oliver with Thunderer needing to win both races on the final day. It was also close for third between Telamon and Guillemot.

The final days sailing was sunshine and a force three sea breeze from the start time of the first race. The bay was alive with boats, including the classic yacht regatta. For race seven three boats had good starts, Polly Oliver, Thunderer and Telamon. Telamon was able to lead around the first mark and with Polly Oliver covering Thunderer up the second beat Telamon held on to win and by keeping Thunderer back in third Polly Oliver was able to secure the championship with a race to spare.

The final race was again led by Polly Oliver for the first lap but she overstood the windward mark on the second beat allowing Thunderer to take the lead which she kept to the finish. Behind these two Telamon confirmed her third place with another third.

The championships were well organised by the Royal Harwich Yacht Club and with the weather and the wind conditions being ideal for racing in the sheltered waters of Dovercourt Bay. The crews of the leading boats were:

  • Polly Oliver – Mike Clayton, Bob Portway and John Gill
  • Thunderer – John Williams, Hugh Williams, James Williams
  • Telamon – Gordon Sutton, Mike Moore, Philip Codling

Overall Results:
If you took part in the Ajax nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosBoat NameSail NoR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1stPolly Oliver171‑212122211

Related Articles

Ajax class at Falmouth Week
One knitting pattern of a course that would have baffled Tom Daley Westerly breeze that varied between F3 and F5 led to an interesting conundrum for the race officer with an ever-increasing incoming southerly spring tide, the result was a knitting pattern of a course that would have baffled Tom Daley. Posted on 17 Aug
Ajax Nationals at St. Mawes
A breezy start to the event as Storm Evert barrelled up the north Cornwall coast The morning of Friday July 30th was somewhat inclement, Storm Evert was barrelling up the north Cornwall coast and the wise decision from the race officer was to postpone for 3 hours before setting out into the bay. Posted on 5 Aug
Ajax East Coast Championship at Royal Harwich
Four different race winners in the 5 race series Thirteen boats entered the 2021 East Coast Championships for the class sailed in Dovercourt Bay on the 17th and 18th of July. The weekend had light winds and sunshine and over the five race series there were 4 different race winners. Posted on 22 Jul
Ajax Nationals at Harwich
Defending champions from St Mawes join nine local boats The defending champions from St Mawes joined nine local boats for the eight race series sailed in Dovercourt Bay, Harwich. The St Mawes crew chartered Mandalay, one of the three Ajax's donated to the Royal Harwich Yacht Club earlier in the year. Posted on 24 Sep 2019
Ajax class at Falmouth Week 2019
An incredibly testing week with big breeze and unstable winds An incredibly testing week with big breeze and unstable winds meaning very hard work for helms and crews alike. Posted on 19 Aug 2019
Falmouth Week offers a new range of options
A shorter event for Bay fleet boats that can't do a whole 7 days The group that organise Falmouth's annual festival of sailing are set to make some radical changes for this year's event set to take place from August 11-17. Posted on 18 Jan 2019
Ajax East Coast Championship
Held at Royal Harwich Yacht Club over the weekend The Royal Harwich Yacht Club held the Ajax class East Coast Championship on 1st and 2nd of September using Shotley Marina as the base. The first day's racing sailed in brilliant sunshine in Dovercourt Bay. Posted on 3 Sep 2018
Ajax class at Falmouth Week 2018
A stunning performance from the team on Polly Oliver Huge congratulations to the crew of Polly Oliver for a stunning performance throughout week. Posted on 20 Aug 2018
Ajax National Championships
Battle of the gods: Artemis beats Persephone A light southerly breeze greeted the fourteen entries including two visiting yachts from Royal Harwich Yacht Club: Polly Oliver, the 2017 national champion, and Telemon. Posted on 31 Jul 2018
Birketts Decanter at Royal Harwich
An increasingly competitive event The annual Birketts Decanter sailing event run by law firm Birketts LLP took place on 15 September 2015 at Royal Harwich Yacht Club. Posted on 21 Sep 2015