With just over 2 weeks to go before the start of the 2011 World Championships, the attention of A Class Catamaran sailors is turning to Aarthus, on Denmark’s Jutland penisula. The regatta is fully subscribed with the maximum quota of 100 entrants.
The German team will be numerically the largest with 17 competitors. The other nations of Europe will be also strongly represented with teams from Italy, Spain, France, The Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Sweden, Finland , Denmark, Great Britain and Ireland.
The Western Hemisphere will be represented by the USA who will field a small team.
The second largest team of the competition will come from 14000 kilometres away in Australia. Eleven Australians will attend, including at least six that have form and skill to win the Championship.
Leading the challenge will Glenn Ashby, seven time World A Class Champion. This year, Glenn has been heavily involved with Team New Zealand, sailing with Dean Barker on their AC 45 , and Extreme 40 catamarans. Glenn will need a very rapid transit from the America’s Cup Series opening regatta which concludes on Sunday August 14 in Cascais, Portugal, to Aarthus, where the first race starts on Monday 15.
Steve Brewin, the runner up for the last two Worlds, is still in Sydney, building houses, and making sails in his spare time. Over this Australian Winter he has been praticising on his DNA whenever he can, but winter on the East Coast of Australia is not particularly conducive to small boat sailing. Whilst it is not particularly cold by European standards, with daytime temperatures around 12 to 18 degrees celsius, the night are still a fair bit longer than the days , but the main problem is the wind. The moderate 10 to 20 knot breezes characteristic of summer are rare. The winds are usually strong 25 to 40 knot winds which scream out of the north west from the cold interior. When that system is not operating ,then there is usually next to no wind.
Three Australian have already escaped the Australian Winter to European Summer.
Jack Bensen, third overall in Cesenatico in 2010, reinterated his ability with a fine win at the Kieler Woche on his brand new DNA.
Andrew Landenberger , who finished 2nd at Kieler Woche, has been in Germany for several months, working on new sails in his European loft, competing in the Formula 18 Worlds, and perfecting the hardware on his new Andy Scheuerer A Class.
Scott Anderson is in Austria, working in his Fibrefoam Mast and Batten business.We are not sure what platform Scott will present to the measurer’s at Aarhus.
Two other very strong Aussie contenders are Queensland’s Brad Collett,and New South Welshman, Chris Cairns. Brad will be sailing a Scheuerer boat, and he has been in excellent form this year, winning both the New South Wales and Queensland State Titles. Chris Cairns, the Bronze medallist in Tornado’s at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic’s (when teamed with Scott Anderson) is particularly strong in the lighter winds, especially when sailing downwind.
The whole team is looking forward to Scandinavian hospitality, fair winds and late summer northern climate warmth.