sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : ‘A’ Class cats and the BACCA on display at the RYA Dinghy Show
‘A’ Class cats and the BACCA on display at the RYA Dinghy Show

'The BACCA Boys: L to R. Paul Shaw, Chris Field, Jamie Walker, Phil Neal, Jamie Rankin, Colin Bannister, Struan Wallace, Gordon Upton. Dave Lowe, Steve Sawford.'    BACCA

The first weekend in March saw the London Dinghy Show take place at Alexandra Palace. For the third year running, the British ‘A’ Class Catamaran Association (BACCA) have displayed the latest version of this exquisitely elegant machine in what is essentially the Formula One of small boat sailing. ‘A’ cat sailors consider foiling moths to be more in the Moto GP area, judging from their cornering techniques and frequent crashes!

This year’s show was no different. The very latest edition of the legendary DNA arrived, factory fresh via the Eurotunnel, to the UK on the previous Thursday night. It was to be this year’s mount for the current British and former European champion Chris Field. The boat was so new and time was so pressing that Chris was found running about the DNA factory in search of a trampoline and the correct DNA mast while the DNA guys glued in the hatch rings and screwed on various other fixings. Then a short drive to their sales agent, Sailcentre, where he collected together the other various components, blocks, ropes etc. plus another second hand DNA thrown on top, to save on delivery costs back to the UK.

Mischa Heemskerke testing the J boards -  BACCA  
2012 World Champion Mescha Heemskerke provided his new sail. As is usual with the ‘A’ class, this sail had been tailored specifically to the mast. It was also tailored to Chris’ weight and being a tallish chap, although a little shorter than Mischa, he can handle a fuller sail and carry more power. With the sail, it is capable of being taken from very full to a virtual flat sheet in seconds using the boat’s super-efficient 16;1 downhaul and 9;1 cascading mainsheet. This also helps to depower the 75kg machine when needed.

The drive back allowed reflection on the new boat’s design and the older DNA placed inverted on top provided an excellent comparison.

The new DNA is an optimised version of the World Championship winning boat of Glenn Ashby and co. The beams have been moved forward 55mm and the foil slot is some 100mm further forward in the hull. The main difference to earlier DNAs is that the foil slot is now much nearer the outside of the hull where it exits at the bottom. This allows a modification to be made to the J board, where a kink is added in the area where it emerges from the hull. This means that added stability can be gained by the additional area of the repositioned board, whilst still keeping to the 750mm minimum distance to the centerline. As a result, the boat is a better foiler and still legal within the existing rules. Chris has developed a control line system to allow simultaneous rake adjustment of both foils whilst on the trapeze, so he can stay out on the wire as he bears away at the top mark thus keeping speed up and going onto the foils.

At the back there are the standard DNA longer rudders with winglets. This is an area that the DNA team are looking to optimise over the next few months. Asymmetric T foils look to be the favourite way to go at the moment. The rudder profile changes as you go deeper. Essentially, the balanced section at the top, where there is a 30mm area in front of the hinge axis, tapers away towards the bottom. This gives a reduced rudder effect as it rides higher in the water, something that is required as speed increases when on foils.

The 2014 DNA and the BACCA stand -  BACCA  

The J board design also looks the way forward too. The DNA ones have a small amount of glass fibre, just two or three layers, in the centre to provide a little flexibility. This helps to dampen the motion caused when in wavy conditions and stabilise the ride. They seem to think that even if rule 8.2 is removed, allowing bottom inserted boards, the J Board is still the best for optimum all round performance. L boards are good downhill, but provide too much drag uphill to make up for it, unless they are retracted on the windward hull. And something that increases the workload on a singlehanded boat is not a good thing.

Now, there must be a reason for ETNZ and Glenn Ashby to choose the ‘A’ class cat, above anything else, to race and train on. The boat is a development class. It is seeing some exciting action at the moment and foiling is the new black. ‘A’ cat sailors everywhere should be immensely flattered to have the world’s very best performance sailors choose this boat to play with. Foiling is still in the early stages yet, as Mischa only showed us all he could foil in anger less than a year ago at the Europeans in Barcelona.

DNA from the rear, Chris has yet to install another foot loop to the rear -  BACCA  

The guys manning the BACCA stand were surprised to find then many show visitors seemed to have been following the recent World Championships and the current developments that have been taking place within the class, given particular impetus now following the Americas Cup. ‘Will you be allowed to foil?’ was the most frequent question heard. ‘YES!’ was the unanimous reply from the BACCA members and to the obvious delight of the enquirer.

The Foils exit the hull near the edge - this is only half installed -  BACCA  
This is where the new ‘A’ class sailors will come from, people who want to fly. It was pointed out that the boats are already flying now under the current rules and unless a measure is taken, as is wanted by a couple of other national associations who essentially want to ‘declaw’ the boat and make all boats into ‘Penguins*’, foiling boats must be the way forward for this development class to go. New boats out of the box are able to do it and older boats are all potential candidates for conversion kits allowing anyone who fancies a go to try. Visitors were then introduced to Chris and Mischa, for the opinions and advice of guys who actually do it for real. The foils can gain you about 200 - 300m on a downwind leg, as it allows a little more speed - maybe 10-15%, not the bowel watering high speeds that people on the web will tell you about, but they allow deeper angles to be sailed too.

In the UK, the ‘A’ class cat had a reputation for being expensive and delicate. It even says so in a few catamaran sailing manuals so it must be true. However, over the last few years, the BACCA has seen a considerable increase in numbers and interest. Stronger all carbon machines that can generally take pretty much any conditions up to 25kts. Many have sailed in more and coupled with efficiently de-powerable rigs, they have opened people’s eyes to them. With second hand boats around to be had from £3000, it is not all that expensive to start on either, although the one at the show does cost some £25k new and you must fetch it yourself.

The BACCA, over recent years, have been an evangelical bunch, pushing the profile of the ‘A’ class in the UK by having an active band of travelling sailors who turn up at cat open meetings all over the UK bringing their love and joy in this elegant machine. Sailors of such things as Tornadoes and Hurricanes and who have crew issues, are starting to realise there is life still left. British ‘A’ class sailors also now regularly invade Europe, with trips this year planned to Garda in late May, the French Nationals, the Europeans, the German Nationals and the ever popular Dutch Nationals. And, with Mischa coming over to train and compete in the British Nationals at Rutland Water in late September, we hope to see a few overseas guys visiting these shores and also sampling the delicacies of the area that is world famous for it’s pork pies and Stilton cheeses!

* The Penguin is a flightless seabird BTW.


by Gordon Upton


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=119826

5:39 PM Tue 4 Mar 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World























2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins by Vanessa Yates, Hawaii












































Anna Tunnicliffe wins first event of Reebok Cross Fit Games + Video
2014 Pacific Cup - Skill and luck required for victory
Six Metre European Championship - Action resumes on day 4
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 4
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam on the horizon
Rolex Big Boat Series - Golden Jubilee to take place this September
DH Pacific Cup - Running with the pack + Video
Women's Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Testing day in Vannes
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Ireland establishes solid lead
International Moth Worlds: Outteridge charges into the lead + Video
Marina Rubicón Round Canary Islands Race - First blood to Team Brunel
ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - Competition heats up on day 2
Laser Radial World Championships - Competition aplenty on day 3 +Video
Extreme Sailing Series - Penultimate Act to take place in Nice
Leukemia Cup - Images by Leighton O'Connor
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - Meeting of the grand designs
29er North American Championship - Final series kicks off
29er World Championship 2014 set to start in Kingston, Ontario
Barcelona and Parnu chosen for 2015 ORC championship events
2014 Race for Rady Yacht Race - Benefiting Rady Children’s hospital
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Doubleheader events start tomorrow   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 3   
Sailing through STEM Night at California YC   
Six Metre European Championship - High temps and little wind on day 3   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Light wind opener in Vannes   
International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Unsatisfactory conditions on day 4   
ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - American unbeatable on day 1   
RS Feva World Championships - All set at Yacht Club de Carnac   
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards - Nominations now open   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds - Steady winds on day 2 + Video   
29er North American Open Championship - Qualifying series wraps up   
Opening ceremony O'pen Bic World Cup, Travemunde Week, Germany   
Six Metre Europeans - Wind fails to make an appearance on day 2   
Edgartown Race Weekend - Let the sailing (and good times) begin   
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Action commences July 23   
International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Ireland remains out front   
Spirits high as Team Alvimedica completes Transatlantic crossing   
Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT