Staying at the cutting edge.

The ‘A’ Class Cat.  Staying at the cutting edge - Written originally for Scuttlebutt

With the end of the ‘A’ Class Catamaran World Championships, seeing Stevie Brewin (AUS) crowned for his third title, now is a good time to reflect on what has been happening in the ‘Formula 1’ of small sailing cats over the last couple of years.  The development class, conceived in late 1950’s, is never standing still.

Brewin crowned champion, and gets a haircut

The ‘A’ Class Catamaran Worlds ended with a day on the beach for the sailors.  50deg windshifts, coupled with 28kt gusts from the SW finished the 2017 championships. With a similar power to weight ratio as a Moth, these 75kg carbon machines have a class limit set to 22kts for obvious reasons.  A few sailors, who could have improved their positions, would have been willing to sail, but only Manuel Calavia (ESP) could have had a mathematical chance of catching him. 

Worlds day 3. Fleet on Fire!

After the thunder and lightning of yesterday, many of the ‘A’ Cats sailing the current Worlds in Sopot were on fire today.  The wind turned up in larger quantities than before in this regatta, with the sailors having to cope with 17+kts and 3ft seas. When things get to the upper end of the ‘A’cat’s envelope, these 75kg machines, powered by 150sqft of sail, start to get pretty lively and they begin jumping about with excitement.

Day 2 at the Worlds - a thunderous affair.

Nothing much happened today at the ‘A’ Class Worlds in Sopot, apart from a boat getting stuck by lightning, three waterspouts and about 5mm of rain in 30 mins.  The previous day’s events had been studied and discussed.  Reigning champion Misha Heemskerk had pressed reset on his brain after his disastrous race 2 yesterday and was up for the challenge. All the boats were checked and all were ready to go.

The 'A' Class 2017 Worlds – Day 1.

The ‘A’ Class Catamaran Worlds started today in the Polish resort city of Sopot.  A strong fleet of 126 boats have been arriving for a few weeks, and many have trained with the good local Polish fleet of 25 + boats.

This year, it has attracted eight former Olympic sailors and an America’s Cup winner to the event, keen to race this thoroughbred that has now embraced foiling and taken it to a new level.  However, the older non-foiling boats are still very much still in the frame, as when the wind is too low, or gusty and shifty, the ‘Classic’ ‘A’ cats will still shine.

2017 Worlds - Now on.

The 2017 A Class Catamaran World Championships are now officially underway. Robert Griffits had a few minutes spare to pen (or rather I-Pad) this.

Early last night, the event was officially declared open by the mayor of Sopot in a ceremony held in the main square of the city.

The ceremony was preceded by a parade featuring the flag bearers of the 19 nations competing, leading the field of competitors ,and even a few of their canine companions. The speeches were short congenial , and heartfelt.