2010/11 Australian Titles , International A Class Catamarans.
The quiet Queensland lakeside village of Boreen Point, on the shores of Lake Cootharaba will take on a busy ,and International ambience during the first week of January, when a fleet of between 60 and 70 A Class Catamarans compete in their National championships.
A strong homegrown Australian fleet will be supplemented by an influx of at least 10 International competitors, many of whom are associated with America's Cup Teams and new to catamaran racing. Many of the aspiring America's Cup competitors are eager to gain multihull experience and learn the "seat of the trapeze " elements that can be gained by sailing the high performance and technologically advanced 18 foot A Class.
With sailing currently in hibernation within the ice flows of the northern hemisphere winter , a number of sailors from both Europe and the United States will seek out the warm waters and summer seabreezes of south eastern Queensland, and pit their skills against the hot Australian Fleet. Glenn Ashby, Steve Brewin and Jack Benson from Australian are the A Class current gold Standard ,having taken out the top three places in the 2010 World Championships held in Cesenatico, Italy, in July.
A number of Australia's foremost International catamaran sailing sons including Darren Bundock, Mitch Booth, and James Spitall will also be returning to our shores to compete in these championships.
The internationalisation of the Australian Titles began in 2009, when James Spithall, Mike Drummond, John Kosteki, and Noel Drennan, from the Oracle America's Cup group, found themselves with a few weeks hiatus in their America's Cup training schedule, and were encouraged by their coach Glenn Ashby to try their hand National titles in Safety Beach, Victoria. Apparently they very much enjoyed the thrills, the skills ,and new challenges of driving the boats.
It seems that the A Class and the America's Cup will feed off one another, with an interflow of personnel ,and exchange of technologies.
The interesting A Class platform to emerge in 2010 is the Dutch designed and built boat known as the DNA. This boat features curved centreboards, and a very rigid composite construction that features a little more volume than usual in the rear, and it is said to be very fast downwind. The World Titles were inconclusive in evaluating the design as the winds were usually less than 6 knots, but the design went on to win the Swiss, Dutch and German Titles. Will it add an Australian Title to its Curriculum Vitae ? The probabilty is good as 18 of these boats will be competing, and will be sailed by most of the top guns.
Article by Bob Griffits
Article by Bob Griffits