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A-Cat Worlds

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  • A-Cat Worlds

    A-Class Cats Fly at Takapuna on Day One of World Champs

    The 2014 A Class worlds kicked off on Monday with the practice race, the event drawing a record fleet of eighty one entries from twelve nations.

    The sailing world is now totally focused on catamarans, especially foiling catamarans, currently considered by many to be the hottest single handed class on the water. This year both Emirates Team New Zealand and Artemis have sent sailors to the A Class Worlds, this event being the ideal extension for any America’s Cup winter training.
    Emirates Team New Zealand has entered their two newest team members, Olympians Pete Burling and Blair Tuke, as well as 2013 America’s Cup team members, Glenn Ashby, tactician Ray Davies, Pete Melvin, Luc Dubois and Nat Shaver. Chris Nicholson, skipper of the team’s CAMPER entry in the Volvo Ocean Race was a late entrant skippering Dean Barker’s catamaran after Dean’s withdrawal so he can focus on the Extreme Sailing World Series which begins later this month in Singapore.

    All images © Richard Gladwell

    Artemis racing entered their helmsman Nathan Outteridge.
    Today, in typical near perfect Auckland sailing conditions, the wind dropped for the start of the first race turning light and shifty. Australia’s Nathan Outteridge seemed to have control of the race when he rounded the top mark with a lead of thirty seconds, before choosing the left hand side of the course where he sailed into a hole and dropped to an eventual twelfth place finish.

    Glen Ashby of Australia and Emirates Team New Zealand passed Outteridge to finish first ahead of Great Grand Master Scott Anderson (AUS) and Brad Collett (AUS).

    The wind increased slightly for the second race; the gauge showing a 7.2 knot average with gusts of 12 knots which saw those with more aggressive foils making the most of any increases in pressure.

    Outteridge dominated the second race providing another masterful sailing display on his downwind leg, and winning from Glen Ashby (AUS) with Steve Brewin (AUS) third. Later Peter Burling (NZL) was elevated to third when it was found that Steve Brewin was black flagged at the start. Nathan Outteridge stated that “the foils used today were aggressive and gave him a bit of extra lift.”

    In the overall points standings Glen Ashby leads (3) from Scott Anderson (7) Andrew Landenberger (11). Full results are available by clicking this Link.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    Day 2 Races 3 and 4

    "Race 3 belonged to Team New Zealand, who proved that they have the sailors, the equipment, and the organisation to dominate in the fresher conditions.

    The weather people were correct in their forecast regarding the wind direction, but there was an underestimation of the wind velocity, which pumped in at 18 to 20 knots rather than the predicted 10 to 12 knots.

    The offshore breeze meant that the sea was reasonably flat with just a small wind chop, more marked in the starting area, due to its more offshore location.

    All images © Chris Cameron & Paula Kopylowycz / Exploder

    Glenn Ashby had his second win of the regatta, with the New Zealand 49ner duo of Peter Burling, and Blair Tuke taking out 2nd and 3rd positions respectively. The Team Zealand tactician, Ray Davies was 4th.

    Mischa Heemskerk, the defending World Champion, enjoyed the stronger conditions, and demonstrated the skills that won him the title in Islamorada, to finish in 5th place.

    The top ranking amateur was Stephen Brayshaw in 6th place. Scott Anderson continues to perform well, and show that wisdom and experience still count for something against youth and muscular strength, finishing 7th.
    The top 10 was rounded out with Brad Collett 8th, Andrew Landenberger 9th, and Bruce Mahoney, from the Houston Yacht 10th.

    There was a degree of attrition amongst some of the other competitors, with a number of retirements due to breakages, collisions, and sailor fatigue.

    The wind had eased a little by the start of Race 4. Glenn Ashby’s seemingly endless match towards another World Championship was slowed with a broken rudder fitting, forcing his retirement.

    Nathan Outteridge was not having a good day either. A late start in Race 3, resulting from a broken outhaul system, led to an eventual 17th finish. His 4th race was plagued by more outhaul problems, a broken Trapeze wire retaining system, and a voluntary capsize to retrieve the trapeze wire. Somehow despite it all, he still managed to finish in 6th place.

    The race was won by Mischa Heemskirk, following up on 5th place in the previous race.

    Andrew Landeberger maintained his consistent form across this regatta to finish in 2nd place. Australia’s Adam

    Beattie, another quiet achiever at this regatta, finished 3rd.
    There are still 5 races ahead. With a drop, Glenn Ashby still leads overall, but without drops, the scoreboard reads as follows:

    1. Peter Burling 11, 3, 2, 5 (21 points)
    2. Andrew Landenberger 8, 4, 9, 2 (23 points)
    3. Scott Anderson 2, 5,7,14 (28 points)
    4. Blair Tuke 15,9,3,4 (31 points)
    5. Ray Davies 7,6,4,15 (32 points)
    6. Nathan Outteridge 12, 1, 17,6 (36 points)
    7. Adam Beattie 6, 8, 20, 3 (37 points)
    8. Brad Collett 3,19,8,8, (38 points)
    9. Stephen Brayshaw 14, 11, 6, 11 (42 points)
    10. Jacek Noetzel 5,14,11,13 (43 points)

    Full Results

    The important news away from the racing emerged from the A Class AGM. Several motions were put to change some of the Class Rules, to facilitate foiling.

    All these motions were defeated, due to failure to gain the necessary thirds of the vote required to permit change.

    A dedicated band of foiler’s has already emerged, and a significant numbers of others have indicated a wish to follow suit. It is likely that foiling is here to stay. It still needs further technical development, and for the moment it must continue within a restrictive framework.

    So far we have seen DNA’s “J” boards, the Windrush “flexi C boards”, the Exploder “L” boards, and the Exploder “Cassette” system. No doubt other technical solutions will result.

    Bob Griffits.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


    • #3
      Those A-cats are skittish all by themselves, must be quite a challenge with the foiling foils.


      • #4
        I did not notice any separation between the two, is there one?


        • #5
          A-Cat WOrlds Day 3

          Auckland, New Zealand (February 13, 2014) – The third day of the A-Class World Championship saw similar conditions as yesterday, with the offshore Westerly wind just a little stronger. The start was delayed to allow for a succession of wind squalls to abate. The racing was underway as soon as the winds had dropped below the upper class limit of 22knots.

          The story of the racing for the fifth and sixth contest continued to highlight the lads from Team New Zealand as they dominated the races, although Andrew Landenberger once again Gate Crashed their party.

          With the scores now including one discard, Glenn Ashby solidified his position as the regatta leader, finishing the day with a first and second, avoiding the gear breakages that impeded his sailing performance on day two.

          images © Paula Kopylowycz/Exploder.

          Peter Burling led the fifth race virtually from beginning to end, with the conditions remaining very much the same for the second race. Glenn Ashby inherited the lead on the first downwind leg and went on to win, with Burling breaking a centreboard, struggling to eventually finish 15th.

          With wind stay in just within the upper class limits, some rigging and appendage failure became apparent on a number of boats, forcing retirement. The most catastrophic failure was main beam breakage on one boat, which led to the boat breaking in half. Another sustained a broken mast.

          Significant safety incidents included one sailor whom became separated from his boats, and another whom remained connected to his boat by a trailing trapeze wire, as his craft was blown downwind for some 30 minutes.

          Tomorrow (Friday) will be a rest day, with a further two races to be sailed Saturday, with one final race on Sunday.

          Bob Griffits

          Day Three Results (Top 10 of 81; 6 races, 1 discard)
          1. Glenn Ashby (AUS), 1-2-1-(82/DNF)-2-1; 7 points
          2. Blair Tuke (NZL), (15)-9-3-4-3-2; 21
          3. Peter Burling (NZL), 11-3-2-5-1-(15); 22
          4. Andrew Landenberger (AUS), 8-4-(9)-2-4-4; 22
          5. Ray Davies (NZL), 7-6-4-(15)-10-3; 30
          6. Scott Anderson (AUS), 2-5-7-14-(15)-8; 36
          7. Brad Collett (AUS), 3-(19)-8-8-13-6; 38
          8. Mischa Heemskerk (NED), 24-(32)-5-1-7-5; 42
          9. Nathan Outteridge (AUS), 12-1-17-6-6-(48); 42
          10. Adam Beattie (AUS), 6-8-(20)-3-8-18; 43 Click here for full results after day three. Click here for day three photo gallery by Paula Kopylowycz/Exploder. -

          Emirates Team New Zealand Crew Nail Another Clean Sweep

          Race Five and Six were sailed today in the heaviest conditions of the regatta thus far, the wind prior to the first race was gusting to 18.3 so the race committee waited for several big puffs to pass through before starting.

          The fleet got away into relatively steady breeze in the 15 to 17 knot range. The Emirates team immediately broke free from the fleet, favouring the left hand side of the course. At the first rounding of the bottom mark there were two distinct fleets, the Emirates boys and the rest.

          Peter Burling led the Emirates crew and dominated the first race, finally leading his teammates Glenn Ashby and Blair Tuke across the line.
          ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going,’ is probably the only saying that fits the conditions that the competitors raced in today. Spectators who were able to view the race were treated to a masterclass of control and speed displayed by the frontrunners.

          Race Two started in more consistent breeze which built close to the wind limit of twenty two knots towards the end of the race.

          The boats got off to a clean start with most of the fleet again favouring the left hand side of the course. Peter Burling rounded the bottom mark first followed closely by Glenn Ashby and Blair Tuke. Blair took the right hand side of the course hoping for a shift which could allow him to pass the leaders on the beat.

          By the second rounding of the bottom mark the race was clearly split in to two groups once more; the Emirates peloton some minutes ahead of the chasing pack.
          Nathan Outteridge had another shocker today with a sixth and a forty eighth due to a broken rudder bungee. resulting in a drop to ninth place overall. Many sailors would have given up, but not Nathan. He sailed the entire second race with only his starboard rudder functional. He simply never gives up.

          There was carnage across the fleet with damage hitting many crews. For Alexis Reeves it was armageddon when a gybe went badly wrong resulting in a broken forward beam which saw the boat split in two. The three major components of the boat were eventually rounded up, rescued and brought back to the beach. The clear consensus of the many experts gathered on the beach was that Alexis’s regatta was over.

          Again the Team New Zealand crew dominated, with Glenn Ashby crossing first ahead of Blair Tuke and Ray Davies. Peter Burling ended up fifteenth after suffering a broken starboard foil on the run to the finish.

          Andrew Landenberger and Mischa Heemskerk continued to impress with rock steady performances coming in fourth and fifth.

          Quotes of the Day.

          Ray Davies NZL
          It’s great to see the young guys going so well, I’m pleased to be within striking distance going into the final races.

          Alexis Reeves GBR – The 3 piece A Class
          I gybed and dug the nose in, the port hull tried to go one way and the starboard hull tried to go the other, then forward beam broke.

          Glen Ashby AUS
          The last race was one of those races where the finish couldn’t come quick enough.

          Blair Tuke NZL
          I haven’t won one yet but I’m going a lot quicker upwind.

          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

 Photo Gallery


          • #6
            A-Class Act in Lighter Conditions

            The stars of the fleet shone again on the world of A Class sailors today in race seven and eight of the 2014 A Class Catamaran World Championships. To the relief of many after Thursday’s heavy slog the two races were sailed in excellent conditions with flat water and steady breeze. Sailors had spent the morning changing the set up of their boats because light airs were predicted for the day, but once the boats left the beach, the conditions changed, and by the time they made it to the start line the wind was between eight and ten knots with puffs a little higher. With about fifteen minutes to go many elected to modify the settings for somewhere about halfway between what they’d had for the last day of racing and where things had been set this morning.
            The first race got away with most of the fleet favouring the pin end of the line. Glen Ashby and Chris Nicholson made a break for the front. Blair Tuke found a hold in the middle of the line following left. By the top mark Andrew Landenberger was in the lead followed closely by Glen Ashby, Brad Collett and Scott Anderson. Blair Tuke worked up from tenth at the second bottom mark to an eventual forth. By the race end Glenn Ashby crossed ahead of Andrew Landenberger, and Brad Collett took third from Blair Tuke and Scott Anderson.

            Aussie Chris Cairns (AUS 980) had a tough day when he hit the top mark buoy which settled in between the hulls, jamming against the forward beam. He got off after walking the hull back off the buoy, finally floating clear and sailing to a clear space where he duly completed his penalty.

            The breeze was up and down the whole day and the course was shortened after the first bottom mark, with the new course length in effect for the balance of the races.
            Race Two got off in about eight knots. Glenn Ashby led the pack over the line at the pin end but said later that the puff died after he crossed the line. At the first bottom mark rounding he overtook Peter Burling who was coming through slowly from the right side of the course. Glenn gybed and had enough speed to get ahead, leaving Peter rather flat and slow to respond. They were followed by Blair Tuke and Nathan Outteridge, with Ray Davies and Andrew Landenberger rounding together close behind.
            At the second rounding of the bottom mark Glenn Ashby still led Peter Burling, followed by Blair Tuke about two hundred meters back. Next was Nathan Outteridge with an even a larger gap back to Ray Davies. There was a tough battle all the way up the course and back down to the finish where Blair Tuke got to the layline earlier than

            Nathan Outteridge who had to do a final gybe just before the line. Blair Tuke took his first win of the competition with Nathan Outteridge second followed by Glenn Ashby in a rare third place. Peter Burling finished fourth from Ray Davies, Scott Anderson and Steve Brewin.

            In the overall standings Glenn Ashby (AUS) is in the lead on 11 points, with a gap back to Blair Tuke (NZL) on 26 from Andrew Landenberger (AUS) on 33. Peter Burling (NZL) sits on 35 and Ray Davies (NZL) on 46.

            Quotes from today’s racing;
            We asked Glen Ashby how he planned to sail in tomorrow’s final race and he replied; “I struggle to sail conservatively. I’ll go out tomorrow and try to sail my best race.”
            When asked about the failures of rudders, he said.

            “Downwind, when the boats clearing the water, when you’re steering reasonably aggressively to keep the boat in control and flying, basically the hull is not taking any of the side load like it used to, so its all going through the bottom rudder gudgeon. The load has increased probably fifty to seventy percent compared to what there used to be, so we’re finding that we’re busting things that previously have never broken.”

            Nathan Outteridge was asked about the finish of the second race.
            “The second race was good. It was a bit lighter so the boat was going nicely, I was hanging on the tail of the first three and just waiting for a bit of puff to get up and basically ahead of Glenn, and then Blair ripped round the outside of us both just at the finish.”

            Kerry Ellis
            Event Director
            Sailing Events Takapuna
            " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

   Photo Gallery