Right after Christmas, action is about to start at Belmont sailing club, Lake Mc Quarie, NSW, 2 hrs north of Sydney.
28-31 December the Australian Nationals are planned as a tune- up -series, 2-9 January the Worlds are scheduled.
Lake Mc Quarie is a well known location for championships.
Steady breezes between 8 and 15 knts are regular, combined with flat waters .
Ideal circumstances fort the lightweight high competitive A class catamarans .
A highly competitive fleet of 100 boats is expected, with many former World- and European champions .
Quite unique : the complete top 9 boats of the last European championship in La Baule, France is on the starting line .
Without any doubt 5 times A class world champion and Olympic silver medallist in the Tornado, Glenn Ashby is the highest ranked favorite. After an intense period for him focusing in the Beijing Olympics, Glenn is looking forward to race the ‘most fun class around’ again, trying to claim his record sixth world title. Glenn is sailing the ‘ashby-sailcraft-geltek-flyer’ with off course the latest generation Ashby bighead on the Fiberfoam mast .
Main Contenders for Glenn are expected Steve Brewin ( AUS ), Manuel Calavia (ESP) and Scott Anderson ( AUS).
Steve Brewin , the current European, Australian and 2001 World champion is sailing a 'Tool' A class, designed by Wayne Mercer, and uses off course his own Brewin Maxx sail on a Saarberg mast . Steve is really eager to reclaim back his 2001 world title.
Manuel Calavia , 2nd in the Europeans this year and two times third at the 2005 and 2006 worlds will be a strong contender especially in light and medium winds . Manuel is using the same equipment as Glenn.
Good old Scott Anderson is sailing a nearly home regatta . Scott , former World champion and world champion ‘2nd at worlds ‘ is sailing the same equipment as Glenn, using off course his own produced Fiberfoam mast. Scott and Glenn cooperated together in developing the latest Ashby sail.
Besides this group a whole bunch of strong sailors of different countries will fight for the top 10 spots, among them :
Brad Collet (AUS), Dave Brewer (AUS), Andrew Landenberger ( AUS), Bob Baier (GER), Donald Beilke (GER), Luc Dubois (SUI), Sjoerd Hoekstra (NED) , Pieterjan Dwarshuis (NED), Eugenio Calabria, Roberto Casadei and Luigi Blancato ( all from the Bimare V-1 team from Italy), Mike Drummond (NZL) , Murray Phillpott ( NZL), Chris Field(GBR) and Thomas Paasch (DEN)
New surprise entries from Australia are without any doubt James Spithill ( Americas cup skipper en world # 1 match racer), Tom Slingsby , Australian representative in he olympic Laser class in Beijing and Nathan Outterridge, 49 er World champion who just missed Olympic Gold in Qingdao. Expectations are high for this three toplevel sailors . This shows once more the appeal of this unique racing class!
This world championship is the first after extensive discussions about curved dagger boards and hydrofoil rules . The box rule is still in place, and time will learn if big innovations will show up.
Some boats are expected with curved foils . The Nikita A class’ from Bob Baier and Thomas Paasch are expected, and also Luc Du Bois and Pieter Saarberg (NED) will use the newest Scheurer curved boards. Maybe other innovations are showing up.
The solid wing we saw in the last worlds will stay in the US , together with all American sailors, which is an disappointment for the organization . After an successfull Florida world championship from November 2007 with many foreign competitors, at least the top US sailors have to be present at a World championship….
Anyway, we are looking forward to a great championship at one of the # 1 sailing spots in Australia...
event website : http://www.a-catworlds2009.org.au/