Consistency wins regattas, and after three races at the 2012 Ronstan A-Class Catamaran World Championship Mischa Heemskerk (NED) has been the most consistent sailor.
Heemskerk has taken a third and two seconds to get two points clear of Australia's Brad Collett and five points clear of current 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 1 despite hitting the first windward mark and doing a penalty turn. He was followed closely by Heemskerk with Blair Tuke (NZL) taking third just ahead of Collett after port tacking the fleet with Ian Storer at the start. In Race 2 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 3 things got more interesting. Andrew Landenberger was first around the top mark, and led from there on to take the gun. However Brewin was close on his tail with Collett right behind him. Heemskerk's poor start saw him claw his way up the field whilst Brewin had some trouble at the final windward mark, going around the offset instead of the windward mark and lost a number of boats. He eventually finished tenth, bringing his total up to twelve after three races. Collett sits second on nine with Heemskerk currently in the driver's seat on seven.
The forecast is for winds to increase throughout the week and regatta organizers 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.
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.
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