Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

The 2012 A-Class Worlds - The largest A-Cat regatta ever

by William Clark on 21 Oct 2012
A-Cats at the Islander - 2012 Ronstan A-Class Catamaran World Championship William Clark
For years A-Class Catamaran World Championship regattas have been capped events. Yet as the fleet has grown from hosting championship events of around 75 competitors in the late 1990s to now pushing triple digits, regatta organizers have found in it necessary to cap events at 100, and if potential competitors did not submit their registration forms well in advance their options were either to hope for the best from the wait list or try again next year. Things are different this time around as the first truly open World Championship in A-Class history kicks off Monday, October 22nd with Race One of 2012 Ronstan A-Class Catamaran World Championships.

Last year in Aarhus, Denmark regatta organizers capped the 2011 Worlds at 100, though a few no-shows brought numbers down to 96 boats on the line. The 2012 Worlds currently boasts an entry list of 115, with as many as 118 boats expected on the line, a challenge for Principal Race Officer Billy Richnow. Thankfully there is no shortage of sea room south of the Florida Keys, and while Islamorada’s Islander Resort, the event headquarters, is booked to capacity conditions look perfect for the largest A-Cat event ever.

Yet the massive numbers aren’t expected to have an impact on the quality of racing, with things looking very crowded at the top thanks to entries from a bevy of high quality competitors. Current World Champion Steve Brewin is expected to be pressed from all sides with Australia’s Jack Benson, Andrew Landenberger and Brad Collet all fresh of top five finishes in 2011 and raring for another shot. Meanwhile United States based Australian ex-patriot Ben Moon, New Zealand’s Mike Drummond, and Germany’s Bob Baier are all coming off top ten finishes, and current European Champion Chris Fields of Great Britain finished just outside the top ten with an 11th in Aarhus.

However the 2012 Worlds aren’t expected to just be a repeat of 2011 on a larger scale. Americans Lars Guck and Matt Struble are checking in on the world scene for the first time since 2008. Both Guck and Struble sailed the 2011 event in chartered boats, but have not competed on an international stage in boats of their own since the last time the Worlds came to Islamorada in 2007, when Guck finished second by two points to Glen Ashby. And as if that weren’t interesting enough now Artemis Racing’s Nathan Outteridge has thrown his hat into the ring.

Fresh off a gold medal in the 49er at the London Olympics Outteridge is now ready to try his hand at the A-Cat, though it should be noted that while still relatively new to the Class, Outteridge did finish second at the 2012 Australian Nationals, and will be facing off again with fellow 49er Olympian Blair Tuke of New Zealand, who finished second to Outteridge in London.

While racing runs from October 22nd-26th with the 27th reserved as a weather date, headlines will start on the 20th on day one of measurement and registration. After all the A-Class is one of the last true development classes, with the only design restriction being minimum weight (75 kg) and maximum length (5.49 meters), beam (2.3 meters), and sail area (13.94 square meters). Seemingly every other year a new development takes the international fleet by storm.

At the 1999 Worlds in McCrae, Australia Germany’s Nils Bunkenburg set the world on fire by taking home first place with his wave piercing bows. In 2011 Brewin won the worlds with curved dagger boards, a concept first worked out by Baier a few years before. Now Landenberger and Oliver Moore of the United States both have t-foils on their rudders, an idea first attempted by Steve Clark at the 2002 Worlds in Martha’s Vineyard. Regatta organizers estimate that there may be as many as 15 different designs on the line, though they won’t know for sure until measurement concludes on Sunday. A Class World Champinonship website

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearNaiad/Oracle SupplierBakewell-White Yacht Design