The competition is incredible in Islamorada at the A Class Worlds, where 115 sailors are sailing head to head in one of the most radical small cat classes on the planet. The platform weighs in at a svelte 165 pounds minimum, 18 feet long, 7.5 feet wide, and a max sail area 150 square feet, the A Class is a development class that has been around since the '60s. There are Olympic medalists, World champs National champs, America's Cup sailors amongst the competitors, which will prove to be an epic show once official racing starts tomorrow. We've got boots on the ground and interviews lined up all week long, so keep it locked to SailRev for the latest.
For our first report, we'll start with a quick email sent to us by our friend Jay Glaser, whose company Glaser Sails sponsored the A CLass Worlds. Jay writes:
The regatta is starting to shape up. As one of the class measurers I was helping chief measurer Carla Schieffer (who is an ISAF International Measurer) get to all of the competitors.
By 6pm we had all but 1 of the entrants weighed and checked-she is very firm and everyone is happy,
The last three days have been really light but this morning it looks like the front has gone by and we should have breeze for the rest of the event.
Not a lot of new technology showing up but I saw more guys measuring t foil rudders to stabilize the curved daggerboards.
One of our on-site reporters, Todd Hart from Team Cat Fever, who is also volunteering for the regatta, sent these pics along.
Man, we love stories like this! Our friends John Casey and Sarah Newberry have just officially announced that they will be teaming up for an Olympic campaign for the 2016 Olympic games aboard the new purpose-built Nacra 17. Sarah on the helm at the young age of 24 is an accomplished multihull sailor with two national titles under her belt. She's fast around the course! We just watched she and crew Maxime Hainneville score a first and a second in the 115 boat fleet at the F18 Worlds in Long Beach. It didnt matter that they could barely speak each other's languages, and that they had only sailed together for one week, they still sent it! And Casey's resume of kicking arse on multis includes three National Championships, multiple Alter Cup wins, three Tybee firsts, and a multitude of others. We'll get some interviews with them soon, but in the meantime, check out their website. Go buy a shirt; I just ordered mine! And definitely go LIKE their FB page, and kick 'em down some $$. Good luck, guys!
This preliminary report sent in by our friend and fellow sailing media guy William Clark is the first in a series of updates from Islamorada, Florida. In addition to William's content, we have several interviews scheduled throughout the week with some of the biggest players in the game of A Class sailing. So next week, as the regatta hits its stride, keep it locked to SailRev for content that you won't see anywhere else!
The 2012 Ronstan A-Class Catamaran World Championships – The Largest A-Cat Regatta Ever
Islamorada, FL (October 19, 2012) – For years A-Class Catamaran World Championship regattas have been capped events. Yet as the fleet has grown from hosting championship events of around 75 competitors in the late 1990s to now pushing triple digits, regatta organizers have found in it necessary to cap events at 100, and if potential competitors did not submit their registration forms well in advance their options were either to hope for the best from the wait list or try again next year. Things are different this time around as the first truly open World Championship in A-Class history kicks off Monday, October 22nd with Race One of 2012 Ronstan A-Class Catamaran World Championships.
Here's a piece from our friends at Pressure Drop, who in tandem with the crew here at Sail Rev, were reporting live from the capsize through the recovery of USA 17. Communications from our friends who were aboard during the pitch, attest to the fact that it was gnarly scene. There are definitely some rattled nerves, but we know that this resiliant crew will rise from the ashes.
Tuesdays events on the San Francisco Bay involving Oracle Racing’s AC 72 “ US 17” may have been a whole lot worse if it weren’t for some quick action and little luck. It just so happened that ACRM PRO John Craig was enjoying some time away from the demands of the job and watching the “Big Sail” from the deck at the St Francis and witnessed the capsize of 17 as well as bundle of others enjoying the afternoon. After a couple minutes John realize things were really going south and boarded a rib out to offer some supervision while the boat was still in the Bay, then switched to a more stable protector after US 17 passed out the Gate. Outside the gate as the big cat began to turtle and the mast finally gave way, it became very clear that the ribs on hand were not going to be sufficient, even without the mast attached. Divers were on scene to cut way the shrouds and stays and any parts which would weigh down the salvage effort or provide too much resistance. Flotation, already part of the crisis plan were in place to keep the hulls from sinking.
By 6:00 PM the call was made to bring in the primary signal boat, “Regardless” to assist. The mother ship of all things ACWS, the Regardless was in Point Richmond getting ready for service at KKMI and had not yet been pulled. After a mad rush, with 2 crewmembers and a skipper, she arrived on the scene at 20:30, 4 miles off shore. According to John, the sea state was still “lumpy” and winds in the 15 knot range and it was dark. Using Regardless’s torque they began the slow process of dragging the stricken cat back towards the Gate. The slow ride back to Pier 80 took 5 hours before the boat was tied off at 01:30 AM.
Read the full text, including several more pics at Pressure Drop.
Our friends at US Harbors sent this article along about one of the most interesting sailboat build projects currently:The SpeedDream. With the legendary Cam Lewis on the helm, the SpeedDream hit the water for its first sail...not without mishap though. With its unique canting keel, and angular lines, the SpeedDream looks more like a space ship than a sailboat. SailRev wishes the SpeedDream Project project well! Check the story.
We saw Vlad Murnikov's drawings. We heard Cam Lewis was going to be skipper. We witnessed the build underway at Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding. But we didn't know for sure if the Speed Dream racing project would ever really take off, or if it would be another yacht designer's dream stuck on a drawing board or abandoned halfway through construction.
Over two days of testing in Rockland Harbor, Maine, we watched firsthand as the Speed Dream became reality. With a southerly wind blowing across Rockland Harbor at about 5 knots, the 27-footer, designed to be a prototype for a much larger model, sailed straight off the dock at Journey's End Marina on the yacht's first official test sail. With Lewis on the tiller and two crew from Lyman-Morse aboard, Speed Dream made its way past the granite wharfs and Coast Guard station before tacking and heading out into Rockland Harbor. Even in such light conditions, the jet-black, carbon-fiber creation appeared to easily be hitting seven or eight knots.