After the thunder and lightning of yesterday, many of the ‘A’ Cats sailing the current Worlds in Sopot were on fire today. The wind turned up in larger quantities than before in this regatta, with the sailors having to cope with 17+kts and 3ft seas. When things get to the upper end of the ‘A’cat’s envelope, these 75kg machines, powered by 150sqft of sail, start to get pretty lively and they begin jumping about with excitement.
Nothing much happened today at the ‘A’ Class Worlds in Sopot, apart from a boat getting stuck by lightning, three waterspouts and about 5mm of rain in 30 mins. The previous day’s events had been studied and discussed. Reigning champion Misha Heemskerk had pressed reset on his brain after his disastrous race 2 yesterday and was up for the challenge. All the boats were checked and all were ready to go.
The ‘A’ Class Catamaran Worlds started today in the Polish resort city of Sopot. A strong fleet of 126 boats have been arriving for a few weeks, and many have trained with the good local Polish fleet of 25 + boats.
This year, it has attracted eight former Olympic sailors and an America’s Cup winner to the event, keen to race this thoroughbred that has now embraced foiling and taken it to a new level. However, the older non-foiling boats are still very much still in the frame, as when the wind is too low, or gusty and shifty, the ‘Classic’ ‘A’ cats will still shine.
The 2017 A Class Catamaran World Championships are now officially underway. Robert Griffits had a few minutes spare to pen (or rather I-Pad) this.
Early last night, the event was officially declared open by the mayor of Sopot in a ceremony held in the main square of the city.
The ceremony was preceded by a parade featuring the flag bearers of the 19 nations competing, leading the field of competitors ,and even a few of their canine companions. The speeches were short congenial , and heartfelt.
With less than a month to go, a few of the top ‘A’ cat sailors are already in Sopot joining in with the Polish sailors for final training, boat tweaks and to perfect their match fitness. So, whom should we be watching out for this year? With some 140 entrants now, there are some top names competing, with several ex-Olympic and America’s Cup sailors, not to mention numerous National Champions, this is shaping up to be a very strong fleet indeed.
The Belgian 2017 Nationals were held on the North Sea at Knokke on the 15-17 July. Michel Warlop reports.
We had 10 competitors including 2 French, 1 German and 7 Belgians. Conditions were quite hard, at least for those not used to sail on choppy waters as the wind ranged from force 3 to 5 in the first three races and even force 6 in the last race on Saturday. The latter race forced the foilers to sit thight on their boats whilst going downwind.