Ajax 23 One Design Keel Boat – day racing at its best!
The Ajax fleet at the Royal Harwich Yacht club has a long history with some boats within the fleet for the last 50 years. The racing is frequently very close and provides competition and excitement both for regular top-finishers, crews aspiring to be at the top and sailors who want a close and fun race wherever they may finish.
A superb sea boat that looks after its crew, the Ajax is fast both to windward and with the spinnaker flying downwind. It is solid and stable and copes exceptionally well in strong winds, making it a pleasure to helm and to crew. The Ajax is normally raced with a crew of three, although two up is perfectly possible, especially in lighter winds.
The class has two fleets, one at RHYC (23 boats registered, about 13 actively racing) and the other at St Mawes (Falmouth). Each club holds the National Championships in alternate years. In 2018 two Royal Harwich boats travelled to St Mawes for the championships with one, Polly Oliver staying on for Falmouth week.
At the Royal Harwich Yacht Club we race on almost every weekend in the sailing season, making full use of the River Orwell, as well as going out to sea or up the lovely River Stour. An attraction of Ajax sailing is that we do not need a support boat for our racing, and this gives us great flexibility with our courses - sometimes choosing short, sharp racing (usually when windy) and sometimes using fair wind and tide to go further. Being a strict one-design keelboat means that what really counts is how the boat is sailed. While there is plenty of rivalry on the water, Ajax sailors are friendly and welcoming; always happy to help each other and new owners get the best out of their boat!
The main racing is in three series, The Spring Series from May to the fits weekend in June, the Summer Series then until the end of July followed by the Autumn Series. There are two short sharp series planned on Saturdays, the first for the Prosser Plate on 22nd June and the second on the 31st August. The Club’s regatta is on 3rd and 4th August with two races each day for the fleet. Finally in 2019 the Club are hosting the national championships with three days of racing in Dovercourt Bay from Friday 20th September to Sunday 22nd September.