Steve Brewin is the 2011 World A Class Catamaran Champion. The series went down to the proverbial trapeze wire, settled on the first downhill leg of the final ninth race.
After maintaining an overall lead in the series after eight races, Scott Andersen held a one point advantage over Steve Brewin when heading out to the start of the ninth and final race
The racing for that final had was postponed by 25 knot winds that continued after arriving mid way thorough race eight. Most competitors thought that the strong winds would remain, and that would be the end of the days racing, but surprisingly after about two hours, the winds abated, the black clouds lifted, and the postponement flag was lowered.
Scott Anderson led Steve Brewin around the first windward mark, but Brewin overtook Anderson down the first downwind leg, and rounded the gate marks with a comfortable lead. Anderson was unable to catch Brewin upwind, and the championship which he had led for so long, was slipping away. The winds remained very gusty, and Anderson, now under considerable pressure,and was forced to push his boat to the limit. Unfortunately taking it to the limits is risky, and Anderson’s championship hopes crashed out ,with a capsize. This was a very harsh ending for Scott, who had sailed an otherwise magnificient series.
Scott subsequently finished the regatta second place overall . Jack Bensen finished overall third, completing the series in emphatic style by comfortably winning the final race.
The Championships were hosted by the Kolevig Sailing Centre, in a large bay north of Aarhus, on the eastern side of Denmark’s Jutland Peninsular. 97 competitors registered for the Championships, with 10 Australian entrants ,2 Kiwi’s, 4 North Americians, and 81 others from a large spread of European Nations.
The Championships were dominated by the Australians who took out the first five positions, and seven of the top 10 (we include Ben Moon, an Australian living in the USA who sailed under that flag).
With the exception of race 8, the program was conducted on schedule, and with good winds. The large bay off Aahus allowed unencumbered courses to be set for any wind direction. The air temperature could be most politely described be described as cool. Following the huge, very cold, downpour in race 1, competitors had no hesitation thereafter in donning drysuits, an unusual attire for the Australians and the Southern Europeans.
Race 1 started in 10 knots of wind, but the race became a debacle after the first lap when a 20 plus knot squall came thorough with a 50 degree shift which converted the upwind and downwind legs into reaches. The Race Committee correctly stopped the race.
The re-run was sailed in more moderate conditions, but characterised by frequent shifts in wind direction. Anderson won, ahead of Jack Bensen who was second. Steve Brewin was 6th
The second race of the day was sailed in similar conditions, but this time Brewin prevailed, ahead of Anderson in second. At the end of day 1, Anderson led with 3 points, Brewin was second (7 points), with Bensen third (9 points).
Another two races were sailed on the second day, once again under moderate conditions. Andrew Landenberger prevailed in Race 3 to smell the cordite of the finishers gun,with Anderson maintaining a consistent performance to finish 5th. Both Brewin and Bensen slumped to finish 27th and 21st respectively
Race 4 was won by Anderson, with Landenberger now building some consistency with a 2nd place finish.
Day 3 dawned with light to moderate winds , and some welcome warm sunshine. Race 5 started in these conditions, which prevailed for the first two laps, until the winds lightened to about 4 knot and swung around to the left, making the last downwind a very slow, one gybe requirement, procession. Anderson won again, but Brewin hang in there to finish 3rd. By this stage Anderson was looking like a run away freight train, displaying the necessary momentum to win the Championships,
By the start of race 6, the winds had strengthened up to 10 to 12 knots which made for very enjoyable racing. Bensen won the race, Brewin ended up 4th, and Anderson slipped a little down to an 11th place.
Day 4 proved to be the key turning point in this regatta, with Brewin now assuming the ascendency.
Race7 started in light to moderate winds, finally getting underway after three starting attempts, two under the dreaded Black Flag, which took a toll on about 15 OCS’ers who were politely excused from racing . Brewin went on to win the race, and moved into 2nd place overall at 19 points, 5 points adrift from Anderson on 14 points. The winds remained very light,and the Race committee decided to abandon racing for the remainder of the day.
Leading into the final day of racing, there was an extraordinary degree of competition for third place overall, as there were five people who had been very consistent, occasionally figuring in a top three position, but otherwise usually within the top ten boats. Doing well in regattas requires consistency. Ben Moon sat in third place overall at 42 points, but Andrew Landenberger, Jack Bensen and Brad Collett were all locked together on 44 points, with Steve Brayshaw just 2 points behind on 48 points.
Friday, the last Day racing, started in no wind, and the racing was delayed a little until the onset of new breeze which arrived at a gusty 20 knots and more. Capsizes were numerous, several masts broke, and many competitors decided to call it an early day. Brewin revelled in the winds, particularly downwind, to notch up another bullet, with a very fit and athletic 23 year old in the form of Jack Bensen finishing second and made everyone else look a bit old. Bensen and Brewin exchanged positions in the final race.
Three different types of boat were represented in the top four overall places. Brewin (1st) and Bensen (3rd) sailed DNA’s, Scott Anderson (2nd) was very fast on a Nikitta, and Andrew Landenberger was very much on the pace on a new Scheuerer.
Next Worlds will be in Florida, at the end of 2012. It was resolved at the 2011 A Class AGM that the Florida Worlds will be an open event, without a need for qualification, which should encourage more entrants.
Top Ten Positions 2011 A Class World Championships.
1. Steve Brewin (AUS) 16 points
2. Scott Anderson(AUS) 18 points
3. Jack Bensen (AUS) 27 points
4. Andrew Landenberger (AUS) 45 points
5. Brad Collett (AUS) 47 points
6. Manuel Calavia (ESP) 49 points
7 .Ben Moon (USA) 50 points
8. Steve Brayshaw (AUS) 63 points
9. Mike Drummond (NZ) 69 points
10.Bob Baier (GER) 70 points