(c) Ashby sails (taken form his website)
Tomorrow 2011 starts with the start of the AUS nationals. 18 DNA's will take part. Glenn, Stevie, Landy, James, Darren, Dean, Brad and many others will sail on their new DNA's.
Rumours go that Glenn is the fastest guy on the water.The DNA's outpace the other boats.
Although there are new boats, new mast and new sails the expected podium candidates are still the old names. My prediction is 1. Glenn Ashby 2. Stevie Brewin 3. Andrew Landenberger 4. Brad Collet 5. Darren Bundock 6.James Spithill 7. Dean Barker
Dean Barker did a lot of training with Glenn and he is the outsider for a podium place. Battle for third will be very tough. Stevie will not be fastest upwind but will be fast downwind as he always is. The heavier guys need to be really away at the first mark if they want to beat Stevie.
Darren will be fast although he might lack hours on the water on the DNA, if he gets his DNA up to speed he might threaten Stevie.
Andrew and Brett will be very fast upwind with their new sails but we have to wait to see if they can match Glenn and Stevie downwind.
I am curious how soon Dean is up to speed after Glenn's coaching and sparring with Glenn and some others.
Glenn wil be superfast both upwind and downwind as he will have more control over his new rig than he had over his previous 2010 rig. He is the clear favourite and the battle behind him will be very tough where the whole top ten might be very close.
Boat handling will make a difference, because gybing coming form the trapeze will need quite some practice to master, that's were Brad and other early users might have an advantage.
It will be interesting to see how many DNA's will trapeze downind and when that will be competitive. In Spain Manolo already is competitive in that style with 10-12 knots.
Good luck to all competitors or Mast und Schotbruch as our German friends say.