The A-Class catamaran continues to expand its followers worldwide, its a high profile development class, with many talent Australian cat sailors and today 73 boats are lining up for the strongest Australian titles ever.
The strong Australian fleet lead by seven times World Champion Glenn Ashby, on his shoulder as always will be Steve Brewin, Scott Anderson Brad Corlett and a new kid on the A Cat block Darren Bundock, the seven times Tornado World Champion
Then there is a slew of America's Cup teams sailors including Dean Barker, the skipper of Team New Zealand, Noel Drennan and Philippe Presti from Team Oracle, and Will Howden from Team Origin.
James Spithill, the BMW Oracle America’s Cup winning skipper had flown back to Australia for the 2011 A Cat Nationals, but unscheduled America’s Cup meetings in New Zealand have kept him off the water for this regatta.
We talked to the A Cat King Glenn Ashby this week about the very interesting clashes ahead.
‘Well first up, Darren and I are keen to race against each other; we’ve never done it before one on one. We have sailed against each other on Tornados and F18´s but we have never sailed against each other one on one.
‘Darren has a new boat, one of the Dutch boats, and he will be right up there in the running, absolutely no doubt. He has been doing some training round Gosford way with Scott Anderson. They have been doing quite a lot of sailing together.
'Darren and I are great mates and we will have a lot of fun. They will be a lot of laughs and I am sure he will give everyone a good touch up in quite a few of the races so we will have to keep our wits about us if we are going to be anywhere near him. It will be a lot of fun having him there.
'Mitch Booth has chartered my Worlds boat that I won in Italy with.
'Murray Philpot is coming over from New Zealand for the event. He hasn't done a lot of sailing this year but he will be there in the mix.
'Noel Drennan, Nitro, will be there. It is and the other guys from Artemis are going to be there. Stu Bethany and Andy Feathers, who has done a lot of cup sailing. Noel, Stu and Andy will all be up there as well.
'You have got your local gurus in Steve Brewin and Andrew Landenberg and Brad Collett who are all going to be right on the money. Steve will overall be a very big threat.
The top 15 boats, if you strung them all in a row, you could probably say that’s a pretty good depth of talent. I think it will be a fantastic event and that it will showcase the new design of some of the boats.