Aug 20, 2017

A-Class Worlds 2017 @Sopot: Practice Race, Open Ceremony & Preview

All images Gordon Upton / DNA Performance Sailing. Full gallery at IACA fb. Light winds today for the practice race which was held already with the Fleet split for Monday first official race.
Seems a bit more wind is coming hopefully.

On the candidates mentioned while ago  we have the "usual suspects": Mischa Heemskerk, Darren Bundock, Steve Brewin, plus the Polish Armada with Kuba Surowiec, Jacek Noetzel & Tymek Bendyk plus  Manolo Calavia form Spain.
Many would say Manolo is on the list cause he won the Polish Nats past week , but if you been following you'll know we are expecting for him to perform since his great Worlds at Punta Ala.

We put him as candidate back in March 2 2017 :" Brewin & Bundock plus Jacek & Tymek will be D3 top riders and from Spain Manolo Calavia is confirmed to participate.
Manolo was 3rd at Punta Ala and will be one to watch closely

What changed since March?  The new Top Gun in town is Kuba Surowiec, who won at Garda this year and also several Sopot local races.

Another long time top rider , Andrew Landenberger, is suffering some knee issues for a while now, nevertheless few in this fleet have the international & Olympic experience Landy has.
On the Australian sailmakers short rigs  Brewin & Landy widely used them back in Australia and also last week ,  we'll need to wait for tomorrow on their final rig selection.

On short mast also the Caviezel bros have been using one on their latest Scheurer G7 2017, both were sailing a short mast, Daniel finished a good 12th overall in marginal conditions for the Polish Nats past week.
Upwind foiling has not payed yet at Sopot , if wind allows we might be able to see the potential Sandro showed at Garda earlier this season on the extreme forward position beams/mast step.

The Exploder D3 camp   has been working since Medemblik non stop along their riders in Poland and Australia to  dethrone Mischa & Dna. It is true that sometimes the Polish builder is leaving sometimes too many versions on the market.
Vox Populi news from Sopot is that the R&D work has payed big time,
but the World will start only tomorrow.
One thing is for sure, in the A-Class there is no room to take a nap, if you play hard and worked to develop a platform that went from floating to foiling like Dna did, expect others to target you.

Exploder Team has the advantage on riders numbers also.  Mischa will have another great challenge as experienced last year at Medemblik. This one will be more trickier to defend though. After many near misses the 2x A-Cat Title holder, and recently crowned (finally after decades!) F18 World Champ, has learnt by now to resolve '"high pressure" situations  , those titles and a settled family are the base of his rock solid recent World Title performances.

Still, is going to be tough week to endure for Mischa, not in the level Paul Larsen replicated Ernest Shackleton odyssey , but on having  Bundock, Brewin, Manolo, Kuba, Jacek & Tymek at his heels is going to be an interesting scenario for Heemkskerk to work around.

Mischa's own "Achiles heel''  for this Worlds might be his F1 foils, the super proven and long lasting DNA Zs were launched for the Europeans 2014 where  Ashby won sailing a Dna with them. Glenn that year won previously Takapuna Worlds on a Dna equipped with J foils and L rudders from Darío Valenza designed by Fischer which were the first foiling Worlds for the A-Class.

Dna World Title streak which Exploder will try to break at Sopot is as follows:
2011 Worlds Steve Brewin  C boards
2012 Worlds Mischa Heemskerk C board  + Landy style winglets
2014 Worlds Glenn Ashby DNA J Foils + L Rudders (Paradox)
*2014 Europeans* Glenn Ashby  DNA Z Foils +  Exploder T Rudders
2015 Worlds Glenn Ashby Z Foils  + L  Rudders DNA
2016 Worlds Mischa Heemskerk Z Foils + L Rudders DNA

*2012 Europeans for Landy on a Scheurer G6 C boards + Landy winglets & 2013 Europeans were won by Brewin on a Nikita C boards.

The  Title responsibility today have shifted after last week performance findings, to the locals and Exploder D3 riders. Devel status achieved with the collaboration on Gonzalo Redondo plus being at the yard local spot is an unique chance for them to grab the first title for the Polish builder.
Aside any title race , the new Exploder D3 Z22 foils will be the new benchmark for the Class.

Trim table gathered by Helena Darvelid on her video , only take them as reference, the good numbers for a start you can use are the 0.5/0.6 for the Exploder Winglets and the 4-5 Mast rake degree, being 4,5 what most have (and even used in the F18 I measured all platforms here) and 0.6 what works for me also for Exploder T assy winglets.
Bundy's nrs are pure joke!

Rider Rudder Mast Body weight
Mischa 1.5 - 0.5  3,5 89kg
Bundock* -3* 7,5* 110kg*
Bendyk -0.3 4,2 80kg
Brayshaw 0,6 5 86kg
Larsen variable 4 83kg
Calavia 0 5 80kg
Dietl 0.5 4,8 70kg
Baier 0.5 4,5 80kg
Kuba 0 to 1 Negative 4 to 5 71kg

Sopot 2017 Worlds Links
- Official Worlds web
Worlds FB
- Fleet list here

Below results of the practice race
Fleet A:
1. Niklas Lange GER 51
2. Jean-Louis Le Coq FRA 7
3. Tymoteusz Bendyk POL 15
4. Stephen Brayshaw AUS 4
5. Philippe Muyzers BEL 54

Fleet B:
1. Matthias Dietz GER 3
2. Pontus Johnsson SWE 22
3. Jorg Horn GER 10
4. Florian Hennig GER 20
5. Michał Korneszczuk POL 111