Sep 7, 2015

A-Cat Worlds 2015 @Punta Ala: Day 1, Ashby Top Mark Seq

All images MV / Catsailingnews, click images for larger size & slide show. Rib thanks to Felix Egner from Landenberger Sail Loft for sharing it and getting charter costs down-
Check the entire sequence above. This was hard to watch , suffering it on the water was iwthout a doubt even harder.
Light winds on this first regatta with young Polish raising star Marcin Badzio dominanting at the second upwind leg, which saw a little more breeze as it was trap conditions at that time, not on the downwind leg though.... for mortals I mean.

Manolo Calavia was behind Badzio and both were in control of Ashby who was gaining speed after being little bit behind on the calm first part of the race. But Glenn wasn´t going to let go a bullet just like that, and he literally put pedal to the metal while approaching the top mark.

Is great to see live how Ashby and Mischa have learned to mantain speed at the mark, they go for a reaching angle to keep momentum and they are off the foils in a super smooth way.
Badzio & Calavia needed to flat down the A once they reached the mark, and both went weight forward for a standard no trap calm wind floating downwind mode.
But the key is that they had the same or even more speed in the final stretch of the upwind leg than Ashby, so it was more a of a practiced technique & settings advantage (together with Glenn's talent, DNA foils & new Rig of course...) for Ashby going bersek passing them like they were anchored to the beautiful Punta Ala bay sea (bottom).

Once flying Glenn seemed to be reaching nowhere to maintain his airborne stance, visually his was going up past offset mark position, but we knew once gybing it would be game over for the previous leaders.
After that race I talked to Manolo on the water, he was in awe: "I've never seen something like this in my life, there is absolutely nothing to do.."

I really felt for Manolo & Marcin, two super talented sailors but it is clear they will need to learn Glenn & Mischa's new tricks & get similar rigs to avoid this to happen again, the same for the rest of the fleet. The Aussie & the Flying Dutch are top professionals and their skills are their key asset, but these two handling pros also spent lots of hours on respective As fine tuning & settings.
This report aplies for Mischa's first race, he was keeping pace but not leading.

On the second race it was full trap upwind and excellent foiling breeze for the top guys.
I saw Mischa's race and he left Jason & Jacek way behind at the end (But both did a great job and kept NED007 at good distance till the second downwind gate).

All in all, the two leaders (2 bullets each) are playing another sport. Check full results at
Later more pics, and I some videos also.