Please select your home edition
Edition
Insun - AC Program

Australian A-Cat Nationals 2012 – Ashby fires the warning cannon

by Australian A Class Championships media on 2 Jan 2012
Going going SW
The last A Class Catamaran race Glenn Ashby sailed on Lake Macquarie, north of Sydney, was when he won the 2009 World Championship. Today he fired a warning canon in the practice race for what will certainly be one of Australia’s most competitively fought National titles, the 2012 John Cootes Furniture Australian A Class Championships being sailed once again on Australia's largest salt-water lake, the site of the 2009 A-Cat Worlds and the 2011 Moth Worlds.

This is not a usual Country nationals, there are more medals clinking here than you can believe.

These Championships will be a unique event on the world sailing scene bringing together a slew of America's Cup sailors along with 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), all sailing these high performance, high tech A Class 18 foot catamarans.

From the America's Cup arena come five sailors; Oracle America’s Cup Syndicate Australian sailor James Spithill (skipper of 2010 America’s Cup winner BMW Oracle) John Kostecki (ten World championships, U.S. Olympic silver medalist and tactician on 2010 America’s Cup winning BMW Oracle), Dirk de Ridder (Volvo Ocean racer, BMW Oracle and Oracle AC45 mainsheet trimmer) Darren Bundock (14 catamaran World titles and two Olympic Silver medals) and Glenn Ashby (Emirates Team New Zealand, with 14 multihull World titles and two Olympic Silver medals) and three former Olympic medalists Andrew Landenberger, Chris Cairns and Scott Anderson.

Today 69 boats took to the water for the practice race. In many classes that means two general recalls while the fleet tests the mettle of the PRO and then a bunch of retirementes after the top mark.



Not the A-Cats. PRO Tony Outteridge(Nathan's Dad) gunned the fleet away from a clean start and the fleet headed hard left. James Spithill was first to the top mark ahead of Glenn Ashby. Behind them the fleet was pushing hard, in the case of the 2011 A Class Catamaran World Champion Steve Brewin, too hard.

As Brewin accelerated from the top mark his hulls flew skywards to the right and then, as he fell off the back of the boat still on the trapeze, skidded hard left and capsized. As his mast hit the water there was that familiar crunching sound - broken mast and torn sail.



Down the run it was an Ashby ‘master class’. He sailed away from the fleet and extended on every run.

Three windward leewards and 30 minutes later, Ashby crossed ahead of a smiling Darren Bundock. The two sailors won Olympic Tornado Silver in Qingdao, China and they have almost 30 World Championships between them in multihull classes.
(Ashby was adjudged to have been OCS on the results sheet, but the warning cannon still delivered the same impact)

Third was Andrew Williams, then Brad Collett, Andrew Landenberger and Stephen Brayshaw, followed by four times Laser World Champion Tom Slingsby, America’s Cup winning helmsman James Spithill and dual 49er World Champion Nathan Outteridge. Just a few places back was Simon McKeon, for a long time the fastest sailor on the planet with Macquarie Yellow Pages. With just 24 days left as Australian of the Year, McKeon was having a blast back on the multihull scene.

The fleet was quickly back on the grass in front of the Wangi RSL Amateur Sailing Club with giant smiles everywhere, after a fast 20 knot hit out under azure blue skies.

Before the practice race Ashby had warned he was rusty - just two days on the water in A-Cats this year.

Ashby smiled. ‘It was one of those days, pull on everything as hard as it goes and hit the left hand corner. One of those breezy days when its semi survival and semi pushing. I had a couple of good trapezing runs downwind and managed to pull away a couple of hundred metres.

‘A good hit out and I am looking forward to tomorrow.’

At the top of the boat park Darren Bundock was explaining some finer technical points to his wife Carolijn Brouwer after her very first A-Cat outing. He felt she had done well just to get round without crashing.

‘Not a bad practice race, a little breeze blew out the cobwebs. Glenn had it pretty wick'd up today. The guy is insane downwind.

‘A lot of guys pushing really hard on the practice run, which is a bit strange really.

‘I saw Stevie (Brewin) getting washed out the back still hanging onto the trapeze in mid air and thought ‘that is going to hurt’.

‘That was a good mast. He spent two days fitting it out and got half a race out of it so that's going to make for a long night.’

Simon McKeon said ‘It was a bit of a war of attrition out there. It was five to six knots more than I was expected and the forecast is quite a bit heavier over the next couple of days.

‘There are 20 full time professionals in this fleet and they will work overnight to make any repairs.’

James Spithill had a big grin. ‘That was great, just happy to beat Glenn around the first mark. He overtook me pretty quickly down the run. Tom (Slingsby) got me just on the line and Nathan (Outteridge) was just behind me. Had a swim on the second run, so that cost me a few places. Not sure what happened to JK (John Kostecki and Dirk (de Ridder).

‘But it was awesome, awesome, and just unreal. It does not get much better than that.’

Spithill was right - it was awesome racing and that was just the practice race. Watch this space!!

2012 John Cootes Furniture Australian A Class Championships commence January 3 and will continue until January 7.


Results: http://www.yachting.org.au/site/yachting/results/wangirslasc/2011/events/indexaclass2012.htm
Event website http://www.a-cat.org.au

Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Insun - AC ProgramNorth Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish
Posted on 24 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Timeout in Bermuda and a decision OTUSA will regret?
With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath from what has been a hectic couple of months, both in Auckland and Bermuda. The third major Practice Session has concluded in Bermuda. This was conducted almost entirely if winds of around 16-25kts - starting to get close to the top end of the range for the AC50's.
Posted on 20 Apr
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on hitting the AC50's sound barrier
These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. The big difference between the AC72, the America's Cup Class, used in the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco and the smaller AC50 to be sailed in Bermuda, lies in their light and medium air performance. 'These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. In 7-8-9-10 knots of breeze, you are sailing at 30kts at times.
Posted on 18 Apr
America's Cup - Bernasconi on expected winning factors in Bermuda
ETNZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie Emirates Team NZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie once the six teams entered in the 35th America's Cup. 'We have had a great run', he says. 'We've had a few hiccups along the way, as always. But the boat is going really well. We are getting through manoeuvres very well. And we think our straight line speed is good.'
Posted on 18 Apr
A Q&A with Nicole Breault about women’s match racing in the USA
I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about women’s match racing in the USA and about her upcoming Clinegatta. I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about the state of women’s match racing in the USA, and to also hear more about her upcoming Clinegatta, which is set to unfurl on the waters of San Francisco Bay this July, and which could be a great resource for other talented female match racers who are looking to sharpen their skills.
Posted on 17 Apr
America's Cup - Team NZ return fire at Coutts' social media bullets
Emirates Team New Zealand have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers Emirates Team NZ have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers in a media release on Thursday (NZT) over the team's daggerboard use. In the release, replayed by America's Cup Events Authority and Oracle Team USA CEO Sir Russell Coutts on his Facebook page. It was claimed that the Kiwi team had an issue with daggerboards and were using a rule they had not supported to keep sailing
Posted on 2 Apr
A Q&A with Charles Pessler, the regatta director of the legendary STIR
I corresponded with Charles Pessler, STIR’s regatta director, to learn about the event’s recent changes and evolutions. I recently corresponded via email with Charles “Chuck” Pessler, who is serving as the regatta director of the legendary STIR, to learn more about the changes and evolutions that have taken place at the event since my 2010 trip to racing paradise.
Posted on 22 Mar
New Pacific 52 class makes its debut in San Francisco
The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. Invisible Hand for San Francisco's Frank Slootman replaces his earlier RP63 of the same name. She will soon be joined by a second Cookson build, Bad Pack (Tom Holthus) from the same moulds. A third, RIO 52 is for RIO 100 supermaxi owner Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 18 Mar
A Q&A with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race
I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba. The 2017 Miami to Havana Race is set to begin on March 15 and promises high adventure-both sailing-related and cultural-for the sailors lucky enough to be participating in this historical-and for now legal-race. I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race and SORC race chairman, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba.
Posted on 13 Mar
Gladwell's Line - Of Carnage, Characters and Colour
About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched, and Cup fans get their first sight of the various team designers' response to the latest America's Cup Class rule. In the monohull days, of course, we initially only got a partial glimpse thanks to the shrouding practices adopted by all teams to hide the nether regions of their America's Cupper
Posted on 13 Mar