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2017 A Class Worlds
The 2017 A Class Worlds in Sopot , Poland provided a range of conditions from light 5-8 knots , up to 20 knots and difficult waves.
But the majority of races were in the lighter range up to 10 knots and with large wind shifts and areas of more or less breeze , the sailors had to be fast , aware , and good at choosing when to foil or not to foil.
Those who were good at that often made up 20 or more boats in a single downwind , with other unfortunates loosing similarly.
The local sailors showed their skill and local knowledge and their results reflected that , with young sailors Tymek Bendyk 2nd and 3rd Jakub Surowiec.
Kiwi sailor Dave Shaw – 4th - sailed very well and having spent a couple of months in Sopot training for the worlds , showed good speed and boat handling .
Manuel Calavia was unlucky to be OSC one race , costing him a chance of a podium place.
But Steve Brewin was the standout – he sailed smart , got out of trouble well and deserved his victory.
I know from first hand observation that he put a huge amount of time and energy into his campaign and this title was well deserved. Darren Bundock (5th) was his training partner and except for a few nasty shifts would have also pushed Steve at the top.
In terms of material , below a list of top ten, all were foilers:
1st Steve Brewin Exploder 2017/Brewin sail/Fiberfoam#15 mast
2nd Tymek Bendyk Exploder 2017/Bryt sail/Fiberfoam#15 mast
3rd Jakub Surowiec Exploder 2017/Bryt sail/Fiberfoam#15 mast
4th Dave Shaw Exploder 2017/Brewin sail/Fiberfoam#15 mast
5th Darren Bundock Exploder 2017/Brewin sail/Fiberfoam#15 mast
6th Jacek Noetzel Exploder 2017/Bryt sail/Fiberfoam#15 mast
7th Maciej Zarnowski Exploder 2017/Bryt sail/Fiberfoam#15 mast
8th Bruce Mahoney Exploder 2017/Brewin sail/Fiberfoam#15 mast
9th Mischa Heemskerk DNA F1/Mischa sail/Fiberfoam Tapered 6.5 mast
10th Manuel Calavia Exploder 2017/Ashby North sail/Fiberfoam Tapered 6.5 mast
All top 10 except Heemskerk used exclusively Fiberfoam Sailbattens
There was some experimenting with shorter rigs (8310mm vs std 9035mm) but in the end it was the more refined 9m rigs that dominated , filling all top ten positions.
First Classic boat was Swedens Pontus Johnsson in 25th place who sailed consistently well.
Of importance to the Class was the yes vote to have two stand-alone classes .
That is , starting with 2018 Worlds there will be a ‘Classic’ A Class as well as the ‘Open’ A Class .
This is the result of the Class listening to its sailors worldwide , many of whom expressed a desire to remain non-foiling.
The Classic A Class will be straight or curved foils, with each sailor signing a code that their boat will have at least one hull in the water in the course of normal sailing.
I think this is great for the Class , encompassing a large number of sailors , many of whom do not have the time to master foiling or keep up with foiling developments , plus who simply enjoy classic sailing.
I see the class getting even stronger , from its already robust position in the sailing world.