Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring One Design

Finn Drummond's take on the European A-class Championships

by Finn Drummond on 4 Jul 2012
Finn and Mike Drummond get away to a pin end start, European A class Championships, Lake Garda . ..
Finn Drummond (20 years old) reports on the A-Class catamaran European Championships staged on Lake Garda, northern Italy. He sailed with two other New Zealand sailors, Murray Philpott and Mike Drummond, finishing 24th overall in the regatta - a creditable result in a very difficult and technical class.

Here's Finn's personal view of the regatta:

From the 24th to the 29th of July I competed in the A-class European Championships in Lake Garda, Italy. I flew to Italy straight after my last exam and got half a day of training in before the regatta. The boat I used in the regatta is called a ‘dna’ which has C foils which provide lift. In New Zealand I was used to sailing in a boat with straight boards. I was on very steep learning curve.

The regatta was held in predominantly strong ‘Ora’ winds that blow from the south between 15-20kts. At the start of the regatta I got used to the boat and the racing. I had sailed in the 420 worlds here 3 years earlier so I knew the conditions fairly well: you must position yourself near the cliffs on the right hand side of the course quickly. This means that you gybe at the top mark and get onto port tack ASAP off the start line, with 100 boats alongside you it is important to get off the line well to be in a good position at the top mark. In the last half of the regatta I did this much better and managed to round in the top 10 a few times.

Day 1: wind was about 15knots. I placed 30th and 44th in the two races sailed. It took me a while to get my head in the game. I had a port starboard with a boat on the start line in the second race and had to do a penalty, which resulted in me getting 15 boats behind. That was expensive. My upwind and downwind speed compared to the boats around was similar. This was my first opportunity to line up against others. The highlight of the day was pulling off a port start in the second race at the pin end.

Day 2: Finished the only race in 49th after a poor start and a capsize, definitely a race to forget! The second race of the day was abandoned near the finish as the wind died.

Day 3: Finally a better day for me finishing in 34th, 27th and ninth. The last race of the day I had a good start and tacked onto port early, managing to round the top in 10th. Downwind I trapezed the entire run and called a good layline to round the bottom mark in fifth and held sixth until just before the finish when I underlaid and had to dip a couple of boats on the line. Happy to have good downwind pace and show I can mix it with the good guys.

Day 4: The full Ora wind was in at about 20 knots and more when you were at the cliffs. I had a good start and rounded in eighth. On the downwind many boats struggled to keep the bows up and I got through to seventh at the bottom mark. It is difficult to tack sometimes when it’s very windy and I had one scary moment when I attempted a tack and launched the boat out of the water on the curved foils near the cliffs, it crashed down and stopped and I jumped on the trapeze to build speed and only got the tack in a few metres away from the rocks! I lost 2 boats around the rest of the track and finished in ninth. In the second race I rounded in the 20’s and was trapezing downwind when I let go of the mainsheet and capsized to windward. One of my centreboards came out and sank in the process, I scored DNF.

Day 5: Again the breeze was in about 20 knots. I rounded in ninth which I held around the course until I overlaid the gybe going into the finish. 3 boats sailed inside me and I ended in 12th place.

I learned a lot in this regatta. At the start I was slightly off the pace upwind but with a few adjustments in my rig to flatten my sail this was fixed and I was in the top 15 for upwind pace at the end. I also sailed lower and faster upwind at the end of the regatta which felt good.

Downwind as I gained confidence I started trapezing more and at the end I was generally making gains on the boats around me. When it was over 20 knots downwind it is hard to keep the bows up but by bringing the traveller up and using more twist I could keep the boat going. It was not uncommon to see boats ‘go down the mine’ when pushing hard (me included!). The strongest point of speed for me was in moderate conditions when I could trapeze downwind with excellent VMG.

Overall I finished in 24th place with results of: 30, 44, (49), 34, 27, 9, 9, (dnf), 12. I am very happy to show I could battle it out with the top guys at the end. Other NZ results were my dad, Mike Drummond, in 10th and Murray Philpott in 22nd. Andrew Landenberger from Australia won the regatta.

My plans for the rest of the year for my sailing are to do a major chop and change of my flyer A-Class in NZ, fitting curved boards, redesigning the transom and building a new mast. Then I will get training again in the A-cat and F18. My next major regatta is the F18 worlds in September.

A big thank you to my dad, Mike, for all his support, I would not have been able to make it happen otherwise!

Full results and pictures are on www.acateuro2012.ch



Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82InSunSport - NZSouthern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Entries now open for Transpac Los Angeles-Honolulu Race 2017
This iconic ocean racing will have its first race start for the Aloha class of heavy traditional cruising-type yachts The Transpacific YC is pleased to announce the entry process is open and the Notice of Race published for the 49th edition of next year's race.
Posted on 22 Jul
You just don't get this anywhere else!
hat an amazing season so far – check out these pictures and videos. No need for words here. What an amazing season so far – check out these pictures and videos. No need for words here – just enjoy a selection of our photographer Georgina's photos of recent weeks and a short video of our very popular foiling Lasers.
Posted on 13 Jul
Foiling Week 2016 - Images by Gilles Martin-Raget from Lake Garda
Top international sailing photographer, Gilles Martin-Raget was at Lake Garda for the Foiling Week 2016 GARDA Top international sailing photographer, Gilles Martin-Raget was at Lake Garda for the Foiling Week 2016 GARDA to make the core images of a new book, 'The flying boats', to be launched later this year. Fasten your seat belts!
Posted on 11 Jul
Brawn v Brain? The Bar or The Room?
Interesting questions and can they possibly be linked in any way. Interesting questions and can they possibly be linked in any way. Is it just the one connection, or could there indeed be several ways to address this conundrum? Well the route of the answer could be SailX, the online inshore racing game.
Posted on 7 Jul
Shadow Catamaran Nationals go down to the last race at Gurnard
2016 Shadow Catamaran 2016 Nationals were held at friendly Gurnard Sailing Club on the Solent The 2016 Shadow Catamaran 2016 Nationals were held at friendly Gurnard Sailing Club on the Solent (the sunset side of Cowes) from 17th to 19th June. The Shadow X is a high performance single-handed catamaran with an asymmetric spinnaker.
Posted on 24 Jun
Volvo Round Ireland Race starts with eclectic mix of boats and crews
The Volvo Round Ireland Race started in 10 to 11 knots of southerly wind and a fair tide. The Volvo Round Ireland Race started in 10 to 11 knots of southerly wind and a fair tide. The first fleet away were the 55 monohulls consisting of a vast mixture of boats and crews. From one of the fastest offshore race boats in the world, George David’s Juan K designed Rambler 88 to Darryl Hughes’s Shepherd 43’ Classic, Maybird.
Posted on 18 Jun
Volvo Round Ireland Race – Multihulls and MOD70s are up for challenge
The 704 nautical mile race has a simple course; Leave Ireland and all its islands, excluding Rockall, to starboard. The 704 nautical mile race has a simple course; Leave Ireland and all its islands, excluding Rockall, to starboard. However in reality the race has a complexity of wind angles, tides and a real taste of ocean sailing along the hauntingly beautiful west coast of Ireland. The first official non-stop race around Ireland was held in 1980.
Posted on 17 Jun
Road to Rio – One Olympic venue to the next
Sailing World Cup touched down in Weymouth and Portland last week and it was one of the last official organised regattas The Sailing World Cup touched down in Weymouth and Portland last week and it was one of the last official organised regattas before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. It gave the future Olympians an opportunity to test themselves one last time against their Rio competitors, in a full race setting, before the summer showpiece.
Posted on 15 Jun
Tornado Worlds – Greek defenders retain the lead on Day 2
Sun, wind and rain on and off – these were the ingredients of the weather kitchen on Monday, the second race day. Sun, wind and rain on and off – these were the ingredients of the weather kitchen on Monday, the second race day of the championship of the Tornado class in Lindau.
Posted on 14 Jun
Tornado Worlds – Tough kick-off as the Greeks head for title defense
The Lake Constance claimed its tribute during the first two races at the world championship of the Tornado class Numerous capsizes and damages lead to significant numbers of retirements. Eleven competitors only out of 32 could finish the first race.
Posted on 13 Jun