Jack Benson from Australia did win the Kieler Woche on his DNA last weekend. Hours on the water really matter as Jack trained hard a couple of weeks in Holland after he had picked up his boat.
It will be hard for the Europeans to prevent another Aussie dominated Worlds. The Aussies are racing their DNA's hard since Christmas.
Andrew was second on a DNA ( with T-foil rudders) and Roeland with very good upwind speed scored a great third on his black DNA.
Full results in the cat sailingnews blog: http://catsailingnews.blogspot.com/2011/06/class-at-kieler-woche.html. The link also includes a link to a short videoclip.
At the Worlds we will see three new A-class designs, the Vision of Saarberg (raced by Sjoerd Hoekstra in Cesenatico and Kiel) and two Polish boats: the Nano (from the Wingfox guys) and the Fischer designed May-Fly.
The last two boats have extreme daggerboard configurations, the Nano has big J-boards and the May Fly has rudders with lift and daggerboards which have an even smaller radius than the DNA. Articles to be found at catsailingnews.
New ideas and developments are part of a development class and we will see who is right at the Worlds! The proof of the pudding is in the eating, our British friends tell us, though the best sailors will still win in the end.
We happen to have the same favourites as last year : Ashby (if he catches the plane in time) & Brewin as top favourites, Landy and Jack (who did so well in Cesenatico last year) as podium candidates, Manolo who was absent in the last Worlds is a podium candidate as well. He is probably the only European who can match the downwnd skills of the best Aussies.
Other guys who are potential top ten candidates are Bob Baier, Mischa Heemskerk, Roeland Wentholt, Luigi Blancato, Sjoerd Hoekstra, Chris Field, PJ, Scott Anderson, Stephen Brayshaw, Matt Struble, Brad Colett, Lars Guck, Luc Du Bois and Gustavo Doreste. (not in that order...)
If we have lighter conditions (not again .....) we will have some others in front too: Sasha Wallmer, Georg Reuter, Mathias Dietz and Thomas Paasch.
In medium conditions I expect little surprises and the guys who master the trapezing downwind thing will do best.
I am curious how the Americans will compete against the Europeans and the Aussies, as the Europeans and Aussies are using the new rigs with the full sails and soft masts now.