Mischa Heemskerk on his way to defend his world title
Mischa flew yesterday to Auckland on his mission to defend his world title.
He is expecting though competition from mainly the Aussies. It will be very interesting to see the high quality fleet with among the usual suspects like Stevie and Landy, the highly favored Glenn Ashby, back after 2 years of duty on the AC. And not to forget the squad of other Aussies: Benson, Brayshaw, Brewer, Collet and off Course Scotty Anderson.... to name a few.
But don't underestimate the new TNZ youngsters Blair Tuke and Pete Burling, they will be sharp and well trained as i understood.
We also hope to see the TNZ members Barker, Davies and Luc DuBois and Artemis helmsman Nathan Outteridge. And then i nearly forgot to mention top US sailors like Guck, Moon, Mahoney, and 2 time WC Pete Melvin ....
The European continent is a bit under under represented, but among Mischa we shouldn't forget to mention Thilo Keller and Thomas Paasch....
"What is your strategy ?" i asked Mischa, when we did some last test sailing mid november in nearly freezing, wet Holland .
' I will show them how to push it to the limit downwind' After a summer of hard working on the C class boats of Hydros a learned heaps of things of how to handle foiling conditions. Now i understand the A even better. Foiling is not just about equipment. It is even more about sailing technique. How to steer for balance, how to keep the boat on the foils and even more, how to make gains by flying.
Flying is not the issue, being faster around the track is the issue. Sometimes flying is the way, many other times it is not, just like when we started the 'wild thing' in the past.
' Changing gears' is the key to be fast.
Off course Mischa did some tweaking and tuning on his boat, rudders, foils, mast and his own designed Mischa sails.
Once in Auckland he will concentrate on making hours to find the groove and not to bother too much anymore about the equipment he promised me.
Mischa will sail an DNA with J boards like Glenn, Blair, Pete Burling and the other TNZ members .
Jack Benson will use the alternative extra lift solution with flexy C boards among with some other Aussies . Curious to see how this works out .
Before building the J boards we experimented with flexible boards too, and found it not always clearly a benefit over the stiff c boards. But we realize that this could be a good alternative over J boards as someone finds the right flex and twist. We will follow this with interest, as this would be off course easier to refit existing boats then the J board refit.
This is just what we like so much about this class, continuously development in small steps, keeping the class the coolest around. I have confidence that the right decisions will be taken by the class on the rules.
Mischa will send news and info from what is happening in the weeks leading to the start of the championships.
Stay tuned .