A-Class Catamaran North American Championships 2014 - With less than one week to go there is great excitement building for this year’s A-Class North American Championships in North Carolina.
Here are some words from Bailey White – The president of the USACA.
'We have a very strong entry list from across the United States and Canada, with some sailors traveling as far as 3000 miles to race. Competitors range from amateurs who love to sail to professionals from the America's Cup.
Last year we had a great North American Championship in Long Beach, California but fewer competitors given the driving distance for most of the continent's fleet. Peter Johnstone and Barry Wickre have done an excellent job of setting up this year's championship regatta and collecting entries as far in advance as one year ago to drive participation. We established a goal of 40 boats for the event and then raised that to 50. Now we have over 60 pre-registered.
A-Class Catamaran North American Championships 2014 - Ocean Images
We have so many boats attending because of Peter's great initial promotional efforts and because North Carolina is a relatively central meeting place for so many sailors across the eastern US and Canada. It doesn't hurt that the boat is just so good to sail, the level of competition very high, and the people great to be with. In spite of the fleet's high level, the racing remains very accessible for those wanting to experience it. We will have racers from 17 years old to over 70 on the water. Most of the calls I get from those wanting to enter the fleet are people just graduating high school.
The US Class, in partnership with US Sailing, sent more sailors than any other country except Australia and New Zealand to the World Championships in February in New Zealand. During those races, we saw top America's Cup sailors lead the way in new techniques and equipment to sail the boat fully foiling. I believe those who have travelled to the Worlds in NZ this year and incorporated some of these new skills may have an edge. But with so much going on and so many good sailors, it is impossible to pick a favorite.
Matt Struble, the current North American Champion, is not attending and with the tremendous innovation happening around the world with foiling, the championship is wide open this year.'