Mischa Heemskerk leads after three races
Consistency wins regattas, and after three races at the 2012 Ronstan A-Class Catamaran World Championship Mischa Heemskerk of the Netherlands has been the most consistent sailor, taking a third and two seconds to get two points clear of Australia’s Brad Collett and five points clear of reigning World Champion Steve Brewin. The A-Cat fleet launched today from Islamorada’s Islander Resort in winds gusting from anywhere between 15 and 20 knots, a difficulty level that spaced the fleet out considerably. A number of sailors stayed on the beach, and a number of masts went by the wayside, but despite tight racing at the top Heemskerk emerged on top after three races.
Brewin seemed to be well in command after two races. The current world champ led practically from start to finish in race one despite hitting the first windward mark and having to do a penalty circle. He was followed closely by Heemskerk with Blair Tuke taking third just ahead of Collett after port tacking the fleet with Ian Storer at the start. In race two things were more wide open, with Collett leading at the first windward mark and Heemskerk taking over the second time around. However it was Brewin who came out with the win, scooting past Collett in a photo finish with Heemskerk a close third.
In race three things got more interesting. Andrew Landenberger was first around the up the initial, and led from there on to take the gun. However Brewin was close on his tail with Collett right behind him and Heemskerk deep having started at the boat – the pin was favored for most of the day. But while Heemskerk climbed Brewin had some trouble at the final windward mark, going around the offset instead of the windward mark and losing a number of boats. He eventually finished tenth, bringing his total up to twelve after three races. Collett sits second at nine with Heemskerk currently in the drivers seat at seven.
The forecast is for winds to increase throughout the week and regatta organisers were pleased to get three races off, though a significant number of breakdowns did occur. American Lars Guck broke a tiller extension when he got separated from his boat on the first beat of the day and was unable to finish race one. Australian ex-pat Ben Moon’s rig came down during race two, and again right after he finished ninth in race three. Meanwhile Australians Nathan Outteridge and Steve Brayshaw both had to retire after race two, with Outteridge having lost a dagger after taking a fourth and sixth, and Brayshaw busting up his main beam after taking two fives.
The fleet was very spaced out throughout the day thanks to the aggressive conditions, but very few breakages occurred after race one since most of the breakdowns that were bound to happen had already happened by that point.
Heemskerk, Collett and Brewin were around the top throughout the day, but racing is still wide open, as evidenced by Landenberg getting in there in race three. Forecasts are for the breeze to keep building, and with an emphasis on boat handling anyone who can keep their boat upright and going in the right direction has a shot.
Top 50 results