Tuesday, 4 January 2011

A-class Catamaran Nationals, Queensland, Australia

by SailRaceWin

The A-class catamaran Australia Nationals are running from Lake Cootharaba Sailing Club in flooded Queensland, 1-7 January 2011. Those arriving early in the squashed rigging area, thanks to the high lake levels, had good breezes of up to 20 knots to train on the lake.

73 boats registered for the Nationals - a good fleet. The line-up includes Glenn Ashby and Darren Bundock - Australian Tornado Olympians and America's Cup coaches (BMW ORACLE Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand), another America's Cup coach in the form of Philippe Presti (FRA), and America's Cup sailors, including Noel Drennan (IRL, from Melbourne, formerly BMW ORACLE Racing - then moved to Artemis Racing) and Kiwis Stu Bettany and Dean Barker, Emirates Team New Zealand's skipper. Other Extreme 40 and Tornado sailors in the Aussie A-cat Nationals line-up include Mitch Booth (AUS) and Will Howden (GBR). Another ex-Tornado and Extreme 40 sailor, Carolijn Brouwer, is also at the championships, but as a "trolley dolly" (her words!) and not competing. It helps to be as heavy as a bloke and tall for A-cat sailing!

There were four general recalls in the invitation/practice race, on 2nd January, which had a rain squall come through, but generally 5-10 knots of breeze. Top ten in the invitation race were 1 S Brewin, 2 G Ashby, 3 S Brayshaw, 4 S Anderson, 5 C Cairns, 6 G Parker, 7 W Howden, 8 D Bundock, 9 R Howells and 10 D Barker (NZL).

Races one and two of the championships were held on 3rd January in a 12-15 knot east-southeasterly breeze. Bundock felt that he didn't have good downwind speed, but was nonetheless tied in first place with Landenberger after the first two races, which also saw Steve Brewin BFD in race two.

Emirates Team New Zealand's skipper, Dean Barker, seems to have got the hang of cats even more quickly than ORACLE Racing's Jimmy Spithill did. He lies in fifth overall after day one, just one point behind his coach, Glenn Ashby.

Race One (top 10)
1 G Ashby 1.0
2 S Brewin 2.0
3 D Bundock 3.0
4 A Landenberger 4.0
5 B Collett 5.0
6 D Barker (NZL) 6.0
7 W Howden (GBR) 7.0
8 S Anderson 8.0
9 W Mercer 9.0
10 S Scott 10.0

Race Two (top 10)
1 A Landenberger 1.0
2 D Bundock 2.0
3 B Collett 3.0
4 D Barker (NZL) 4.0
5 S Anderson 5.0
6 W Howden (GBR) 6.0
7 G Parker 7.0
8 G Ashby 8.0
9 C Cairns 9.0
10 C Batenburg 10.0

Overall after 2 races (top 7 places)
1= Bundock 5pts
1= Landenberger 5pts
3 Collett 8pts
4 Ashby 9pts
5 Barker (NZL) 10pts
6= Howden (GBR) 13pts
6= Anderson 13pts

Many thanks to Darren Bundock and Carolijn Brouwer for information.

Lake Cootharaba Sailing Club