Tag Archives: a class

A Class 2016 Midwinters Key Largo

Report by a-cat.org, video by Nick Bowers

While the North European fleets shiver in drysuits and 5mm wetsuits or are still laid up, over in Florida, the US Ronstan Midwinters took place at Key West. USACA President Bailey White reports

The 2016 Ronstan Midwinters at the Upper Keys Sailing Club turned out to be much bigger than we expected and even more fun. What started with registration just breaking twenty turned into 35 boats as they just kept showing up on Friday.

About 15 boats made a week of it and enjoyed flat water, mid teens winds, and warm tropical weather all week.

The club put a lot of effort into making sure we had a good time with home made food and great work all around. They are already talking about next year. Skip Kaub and his finance Melania made the event possible by hosting enough boats at their home to keep things comfortable at the club.

Thursday’s foiling clinic started with video and set up review at the club led by me. It was a good time for people to ask questions and share their insights on what was working and not working. A lot of talk on rudders, getting the boat up, etc. UKSC prepared several drills for both foilers and classics and got us all on the water but a storm system brought us in quickly.

Friday’s weather gave us high winds and big gusts at the beginning of the day. The club postponed us until 2PM and we got in three great races in windy conditions that moderated as the day progressed. It was the first day for me to try a second prototype of a deck sweeper made by Carolina Sails. It is fairly flat and performed very well with good upwind speed and relatively stable foiling.

Saturday was more of the same initially but conditions lightened. Matt Keenan continued to foil on his eXploder with Glaser DenBen in light conditions while the rest of us struggled to make it pay. He had more rudder lift in his setup. He got his first bullet in the A-Class in Race 5 and said it was his first win in 15 years! Matt is getting really fast, especially if he keeps the boat right side up. Woody Cope showed who is the boss with his first bullet of the weekend in Race 6 on the Nikita before the wind freshened a little again for me to pick up Race 7.

A lot of very close racing up and down the fleet. A lot of smiles all around, even from Galt who at 16 was the youngest sailor at the event and also the only one to foil into a crash jibe and break his previously repaired mast. It will go to OH Rogers and be ready for the next winter event.

Sunday started off with almost no wind, but created the perfect time for the Woods brothers to scatter their dad’s ashes on the start line. The Race Committee gathered everyone around as Larry spoke about his dad from his boat. Kevin and Gerard gave each sailor a flower to drop in the water as part of the ceremony. Really touching.

Original post here

A Class Petition

by Thierry BOISBOUVIER via change.org


The French Sailing Federation FFV has decided to impose its point of view in France on the International ‘A’ Class Catamaran that has been raced at regattas for 30 years in France without any major problems.

The FFV want to separate the class into 2 types (classic and open/foiling) and prohibit starts of over 20 boats for the open/foiling class.

This decision was taken in spite of the FFV’s stated duty to be compliant within the class rules, by its international commitments to World Sailing (ISAF) and it’s continuing to allow start lines of frequently over 100 boats without major incidents.

We ask :

• The FFV to comply with the Class Association (AFCCA) and the decisions taken by its members in accordance with its own rules.
• The FFV respect its international commitments to World Sailing (ISAF) and IACA
• Does not impose a split of the boats within the class.
• Does not impose starts limited to 20 or 25 for the A Class open/foiling designs.

Sign the petition

IACA President Andrew Landenberger replies to the French FFV about their recent pronouncements

by International A-Division Catamaran Association.


Photo by Gordon Upton

Dear Jean Pierre,
I have read your letter with great interest. It shows you have given detailed thought and consideration to the current situation in our class which is a constant evolution of changes during this time. I would however like to point out some details surrounding my letter to the class which you have referenced in your response.

Firstly my letter was completely my personal opinion, even as president of the class I do not have the power or authority to change the rules. This is a constitutional process which is governed by the members. My letter was intended to prompt the National associations to address the issues and put forward some possible solutions. Just for the record, there was a great number of responses to that letter but no formal submission for changes to our rules has been submitted to the class. The one outcome which has been widespread across many counties has been the introduction of a second score sheet for non foiling boats. I think this is where much of the confusion has been created.
The A class catamaran remains just one class. We have not separated in any way at all. Unofficially many countries have recognised the « classic » fleet with a separate score sheet and divisional prizes. The open a class competition however remains between all boats, foiling and non foiling. There is no separate foiling division.

My letter to the class was motivated by the discussions around our open world championships. To explain further, the A class traditionally limited the entries of the world championships to 100 boats. In the past few years we have experimented with opening the worlds to unlimited entry numbers. In the past few championships we have seen entry levels exceed 160 boats. My suggestions to split the class were based around the situation of these types of numbers, not 20-25.

We are currently racing up to 120 boats in one fleet and make not distinction if they foil, semi foil, float, or just make their way around the course any way they can.

My letter was very clearly addressing the performance differences in the boats which was potentially going to effect our participation numbers in future events so my suggestions were aimed at maximising entry levels at future world championships.
My understanding was that The French A class association voted to support the classic A class with separate score sheet, not split the fleet or race as separate divisions. At the time I thought this was very forward thinking and hoped other nations would follow. I don’t believe any of us expected this discussion you are now having in France which appears to alienate the latest designs which clearly will be the future of our class in the coming years.
I understand your major concern is safety, but please consider these points. Foiling boats have been racing amongst non foiling boats since 2014 worlds in NZ. To my knowledge there has not been one accident between the two types of boats. This is possibly because the speed difference between the two types of boats is not so great as it was in the Moth class for example. Also the different angle the boats sail downwind once foiling tends to separate them quite quickly.

From a performance perspective the classic A class is still a very fast boat and in lighter winds is still a faster boat around the course than the foiling A class. This currently makes racing very interesting and heavily wind dependant. Many of the non foiling members really enjoy being faster than the Foilers in these conditions and this has strengthened the arguments to continue the open fleet competition.

I hope this clarifies the class situation at this point and you will give further consideration to how the French championships will the conducted. France is a major part of the international A class association and this outcome could have major ramifications on our class internationally.

Kind regards

Andrew Landenberger
IACA President

“Safety is only an excuse”

by International A-Division Catamaran Association.



On February 18, in an meeting with the Vice -President of the French national sailing regulator, the FFV, Jean-Pierre Churet, French A Class Association President  Thierry Boisbouvier and Vice President Jacques Piallat  said that the FFV conceders the A-Class to be a flying boat and as such, two possibilities were offered to them:

  1. To separate the flying (Open) and non-flying (Classic) on different courses;
  2. To limit the number of boats (flying and non-flying together) starting together in one race to about 25, and thus to have several fleets if there are more than 25 entered.

Whether if either of these rules are to be applied, this could well lead to the cancelling of French National Championship in 2016 at Quiberon on the grounds of safety.

What is at stake?

Safety is only an excuse.  The real reason is that, in the case of accident, the FFV is afraid of ending up in court being accused of having run boats that are supposedly incompatible with each other, regardless of the fact that they all measure as ‘A’ Class Catamarans legally within the World Sailing affiliated international association (IACA).

Faced with this dogmatic position, no rational argument based on reality or facts seems admissible.

What to do ?

Five major options are available to the AFCCA.

1. Proposed “consensus” of the FFV

For larger gatherings 20-25 mixing vessels of both ‘Flying’ and ‘Classic’, the FFV offers to cut the fleet in as many packets of 20-25 boats as necessary and provide starts on the same course every 10mins. After each race, the fleet is remixed for everyone to race all their competitors. In the end, it comes back to the double classification.

This solution seems complicated to implement, will pose problems for validating championships in the difficult and variable weather, multiply the potential ‘dangerous’ crossovers on the course and take away a lot of sporting interest at large gatherings.

However, it is viable for regional regattas and TTs that rarely exceed 25 ‘A’ Class boats.

2.  Separate Open and Classic Fleets

Bowing to the diktats of FFV to save the Nationals only for 2016 and a separation is imposed between Open and Classic, with separate starts and separate results.

But remembering that any final changes such as this cannot be made that the AG and AFCCA, who by definition, must follow the rules of the IACA.

3. Hold it abroad.

In 2016, as a result of the intransigence of the FFV, the AFCCA organizes a foreign based National Championships, possibly by joining in with a regatta already organised. This will give them a year to find a solution.

4. Cancellation the 2016 Nationals.

The AFCCA simply cancel the 2016 nationals at Quiberon and still waiting to find a solution.

This can only be done in agreement with the club that has done them the honor of agreeing to host the event and suffer possible penalties in doing so.

5. Conduct a legal and media battle with the FFV.

Thierri has consulted an attorney who looked into an account of the light of the facts of reality, accidents between ‘A’ class boats, considering international practices, and it appears that the safety argument is devoid of any serious grounds.

This leaves them with Media actions and possible other remedies provided that members of the AFCCA would want this.

The survival of the class, as we know it, is at stake and its fate seems sealed already’ says an exasperated Boisbouvier. ‘If the survival of the class is not really in question, this development of the championships could be broken by the FFV, depriving France of international sailors. Then France becomes a terra non grata for foreigners. We cannot expect the 2016 Nationals at Quiberon to decide.

The AFCCA wants a vote (reserved for it’s members in 2015 or 2016) with a suggestion to 3 choices for each item:
Yes (I fully endorse this proposal)
No (I totally refuse this proposal)
Acceptable (to break the deadlock, I am prepared to accept)

This piece has been translated and edited from the AFCCA Website http://www.afcca.org

These guys need our support.

Scheurer G7 A-Class Catamaran with new foils

by a-cat.org


Scheurer test pilot, Sandro Caviezel, unveils the latest foil designs for the Scheurer G7.

Best Christmas Gift Ever

My intention was to continue with some recaps of the past sailing season and the development we did so far but there are some news I would like to share.

Scheurer G7

Scheurer G7

After the Worlds in Punta Ala we decided to develop a new daggerboard. Until the Worlds there was nothing available that was obviously faster as our J-board. But we already considered that the DNA guys are doing really well. One year ago in Maubuisson we could keep up with them, but as the conditions in that time were really unsteady and gusty, it was not easy to compare. Furthermore the water was really flat all the time which was good for our foil. Later in Punta Ala, we noticed that especially in mid range conditions with building waves, we were a little bit behind. This is based on our shorter daggerboard compared to others. If the breeze and waves were building, further up the differences were getting smaller as in strong breeze conditions everybody is struggling to keep the foils in the water (as also do other boat classes as eg. the Moths). We also noticed that in the lower wind range we were doing really well and we could keep up with classic C-board boats which is really an advantage. However, it seems that the new rigs are working so efficient that you can foil almost in every race that is held in regular conditions (wind > 5 knots).

Based on this analysis, the design goals for our new daggerboards were:

  • improve stability
  • keep light wind performance
  • more lift (for light wind foiling downwind and upwind foiling in mid range conditions)
Scheurer G7

Scheurer G7

Improving stability and getting a longer foil was going hand in hand by opening the angle of the lifting surface a little bit. If you take into account a force equilibrium of an A-Class platform using both daggerboards for foiling, you can find an construction angle for which the leeward foil has a force-minimum to produce (boundary conditions: foiling on two foils). With CFD simulations we took into account deformations (and therefore change of the angle of the lifting surface) to get the right angle while loaded.

Next design goal was to keep the existing light wind performance while increasing lift. The light wind performance is best analysed looking at the upwind performance in floating mode. We were playing around with toe-in angles and symmetrical and asymmetrical sections. It was a little bit like finding a needle in haystack to find the optimal solutions for upwind sailing and downwind foiling. The tricky thing is to get everything sorted out so that the daggerboards are pushing against each other on the downwind and so creating a big “V” which gives you great stability. The sections of the board have to be carefully selected so the windward foil doesn’t produce a force while sailing upwind to not loose any righting moment.

To cut a long story short, we think we found the solution. Just to give you an idea of how sensible the whole system was: During development we started with the daggerboard “01a”. Every time we changed the outline we also changed the number . Whenever we changed the section we also changed the letter. The final solution has the internal number “14o” 😉

Scheurer G7

Scheurer G7

Development was quite time-consuming which resulted in not being on the water since the Worlds in Punta Ala. We took advantage of a little bit of wind last Monday to go on the water for the first test. We were still sailing with classic mains and tramps so we could compare only the old daggerboard to the new one and the results were really convincing. We started in a very light breeze (below 4 knots) where no performance difference was noticeable. As the breeze was picking up a little (8 – 10 knots) we find a performance advantage of the new foil compared to the old one in terms of pure speed, controllability and handling. Upwind in classic floating mode we found no performance difference, so we tried upwind foiling (which was not efficient with the old daggerboard). It was possible to get the boat on the foils and the feeling was really great and easy. It seems definitely the way to go and I’m really looking forward to get things sorted out for upwind foiling. I think bringing down the point of sail force application using the new style decksweeper sails is the obvious next step.

The Next Steps:

We will run a few more tests and improve some details for final production solution of the daggerboard. We should be ready for production mid February. I will keep you up to date. Next test will be together with Sascha who was developing in the meantime together with Felix & Landy the LOD decksweeper and tramp.

So, we (Daniel, Andy, Aron and the Scheurwerft crew and myself) wish you a peaceful Christmas season and a good start to a promising year 2016.



A-Class: Floaters and Foilers

by sailingscuttlebutt.com


What went from three Canadians inviting themselves down on their way to Florida, became a 27 boat flash regatta on November 21-22 at Lake Lanier Sailing Club in Atlanta, Georgia. In fact, we had over 30 boats planning to attend but a few had to miss out due to container deliveries and other things in life.

Lake Lanier provided the perfect, central location for A-cat sailors to drive for a weekend regatta. With sailors coming from New Orleans, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and even as far as Toronto, Canada, the first ever Woods Brothers Invitational Regatta was a serious success. Entry fee was a big $25 for the weekend with $10 for dinner Saturday night. Grand Prix baby with two pro photographers and unlimited drinks.

Friday brought numerous sailors to the water for 2 practice races in extremely light conditions, with the trail continuing to the Tannery Row Ale house for dinner with one of the largest HD LED displays in the country. Something about gambling and an interstate poker club. The design and development conversation raged on through the evening… was topic number one…

Continue rading on sailingscuttlebutt.com