2013 Update

A new season is just around corner although writing this in mid January may lead one to think otherwise, freezing temperatures with snow & ice; definitely not conducive to thoughts of varnishing and painting.

This year sees the 60th anniversary of AOD No.1 Whimbrel. To celebrate the occasion the AOD class will hold a Diamond Jubilee Regatta over the weekend of  21st – 23rd June. The event will be a combination of both sea and river races with some social activities mixed in. It hoped that all seven of the class will participate, there will be individual prizes for races and overall cups for both original AODs and new builds post 2000.

Looking back over last year one can safely say the 2012 was not the best seasons, however the usual activities were programmed and despite the weather most were accomplished. Of the nine programmed river races seven were sailed along with the ever popular Harbour race. The first race was cancelled due to a fresh south westerly which even on the river produced conditions more akin to a bleak winter’s afternoon; similarly race three suffered from that ‘exceptional’ June weather.  The two most popular races were the Harbour race in early August and Round the Island race at the end of August. The Harbour race provides excellent spectator value and with the added complication of the cruisers returning from their Bay race, made for interesting interpretations regarding the rule of the road!

The results for 2012 were as follows, Mike & Jane Calvert came out on top with Teal winning both the overall river series – The River Shield and the AOD’s trophy – the Jack Drew Cup, is there no stopping them? By the way Mike should also be congratulated on his performance at the Merlin Rocket nationals in Lyme during late August 2012. With very stiff competition in the form of the recent Olympic medallists, he still managed a very creditable 11th overall position. Back to the AODs, in second place was Gemini, sailed by Bryan Davis, third went to Whimbrel, sailed by Nigel Daniel.

The usual visit to Fowey Classics incurred mixed weather which unfortunately curtailed some of the activities. Three AODs along with Pete & Di Taylor in their Burnham 12 entered this year. Our support vessel in the form of Eric Gordon’s Spintail was sadly missed last year, Eric having decided to hang up his sea boots.  Although Eric will continue to maintain a close connection with the Classics in the form of the Spintail Award which endows £100 each year to help a young person enjoy our maritime heritage.

In early September two Axmouth based AODs met up with the two Solent based AODs for a weekend on the Beaulieu River. This makes for a great venue, easy launching, lovely river and friendly club (the RSYC at Gins Farm).  Whilst exploring the lower reaches of the river new territory was claimed – as will be seen from the  accompanying photos – its at times like this that one needs to carry a Union Flag aboard, although his Lordship might have other views!

The year was rounded off by the AODs sponsoring and rigging a Christmas tree in the Axmouth church Christmas tree festival – unsurprisingly a nautical theme prevailed…

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