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A Class 2012 Australian Championship - an amazing field

by Bob Griffits & Rob Kothe on 29 Dec 2011
A Class Catamarans in action .
2012 John Cootes Furniture Australian A Class Championships which get underway Monday January 3 at the Wangi Amateur Sailing Club has attracted a stellar field,possibly the best in the world for a major multihull event in recent times.

These Championships will be a unique event on the World Sailing scene bringing a slew of America's Cup sailors along together three current World Champions: Tom Slingsby (Four times Laser World Champion) from Gosford, Nathan Outteridge (Three times 49er World Champion) from Wangi Wangi, and Steve Brewin, A-Class World champion sailing on these high performance, high tech A Class 18 foot catamarans.

From the America's Cup scene come four sailors from Oracle America’s Cup Syndicate (Australian James Spithill, skipper of 2010 America’s Cup winner BMW Oracle, John Kostecki, with ten World Championships, U.S. Olympic silver medalist tactician on 2010 America’s Cup winning BMW Oracle , his brother in law Dirk de Ridder, Volvo Ocean Racer, BMW Oracle and Oracle AC45 mainsheet trimmer, Australian’s Darren Bundock, 14 catamaran world titles, two Olympic Silver Medals. Glen Ashby from Emirates Team New Zealand, with 14 multihull word titles and two Olympic Silver medals, as the three former Olympic medalists Andrew Landenberger, Chris Cairns and Scott Anderson

The form guide suggests that this will be a very tightly fought series, and the top ten places should be quite a battle. Ashby, with seven A Class World Championships to his resume, remains the favourite for the event.

Bob Bier, the current European champion, will be competing on a chartered DNA, adding his name to the Northern Hemisphere contingent.

Simon McKeon, who is the current Australian of the Year, will be taking a break from his official duties to compete.

The practice race will be held late (around 3pm) in the afternoon on January 2, with the nine race series commencing the following day under the watchful eye of PRO Tony Outteridge.

Until late this past week, it was touch and go with regards to whether or not the shipping container transporting six DNA A Class Catamarans from the Netherlands, would arrive in sufficient time for the 2012 John Cootes Furniture Australian A Class Championships which get underway January 3 at the Wangi Amateur Sailing Club.

Fortunately, the container has safely arrived at Lake Macquarie. Glenn Ashby, James Spithill, John Kosteki, Dirk de Ridder, Tom Slingsby and Nathan Outteridge are now busy preparing their boats for the event. They should have the next four days to familiarise themselves with the attributes of their boats.

International A Class Catamaran website

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