A Class Worlds- Strong Emirates Team NZ turn-out at Takapuna
by Warren Douglas on 5 Feb 2014
A strong Emirates Team New Zealand connection will be evident when the World A Class Catamaran championships is raced off Takapuna Beach, Auckland.
Emirates Team New Zealand sailors prepare their A Class catamarans for the upcoming National championships and World championships regattas being sailed at Takapuna in Auckland Chris Cameron/ETNZ© http://www.chriscameron.co.nz
The worlds, which start next Monday, will be preceded by the New Zealand Nationals which start Wednesday.
Eight of the 79 international entries are:
Ray Davies and Glenn Ashby from the Emirates Team New Zealand 2013 America’s Cup sailing team.
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, fresh from victory in their 49er at the Sail Auckland regatta, and recent recruits to the sailing squad.
2013 America’s Cup design team members Pete Melvin, Luc Dubois and Nat Shaver.
Chris Nicholson, skipper of the team’s Camper entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, is a late entry. He will race in Dean Barker’s cat which became available when Dean withdrew from the worlds to concentrate on the team’s preparation for the Extreme Sailing Series which starts later this month
There’s a mix of A Class experience here. Glenn Ashby has won the Australian A Class champs 10 times and has won the worlds seven times. He trimmed the wing on the AC72 in San Francisco and recently won the Australian A class title.
Ray Davies, tactician on the AC72, admits to have taken his A Class for a sail 'just a few times'.
Chris Nicholson arrived in Auckland only yesterday and confesses to having never sailed an A Class. But as he says, 'I know how to trapeze and I can steer so that should get me around the track.'
The designers are all experienced campaigners and highly rated.
At stake over the next week will be team bragging rights, with Burling and Tuke hoping to show their new team mates how it’s done.
Three races a day are scheduled for the New Zealand Nationals which finish on Saturday.
The worlds start with a practice race on Monday, February 11. Two races a day are scheduled through to Saturday and one on the final day, Sunday.