Australian Glenn ASHBY this morning won the 2009 A-Cat World Championship for a sixth time, with another two emphatic race wins on Lake Macquarie.
Wins in races seven and eight of the nine-race series put Glenn ASHBY
(AUS), 2008 Olympic silver medallist in the Tornado with Darren BUNDOCK
, in an unbeatable position and secure him a sixth A-Catamaran World Championship title.
In the boat park after today's race, ASHBY was all smiles, "Being World Champion for the sixth time is unreal. I had a great couple of races. I managed to sail well and so did the other guys. It turned out quite well.
"It's been a great regatta and I've enjoyed sailing here. The conditions were very nice today in both races and I managed to use that to my advantage,"
ASHBY started the series slowly by his standards, with a third in the light weather first race in the series; he then won five of the next six races. In the first of today's two races, race seven of the series, ASHBY gave the fleet a clinical sailing lesson. He started immediately next to the Committee boat, swinging around its stern just three seconds before the gun. ASHBY's start was perfectly timed and he was away one second after the gun, heading starboard for 300 metres, he then tacked right.
ASHBY was followed by 1996 Tornado Olympic bronze medallist Andrew LANDENBERGER
At the bottom mark after one lap, LANDENBERGER was ahead by 20 metres and had gone further to the right. LANDENBERGER headed left back up the course, while ASHBY went right, followed by 2001 A-Cat World Champion Steve BREWIN (AUS).
By the next lap ASHBY was well clear of LANDENBERGER. BREWIN was next, followed by Scott ANDERSON
(AUS), Manuel CALAVIA
(ESP) and then Brad COLLETT (AUS) and Tom SLINGSBY
Down the final run ASHBY cleared right away to take a very convincing 1 minute and 56 second win. The modest Victorian just grinned as he crossed the line; he then lined up for race eight of the series.
ASHBY was close behind James SPITHILL
(AUS) at the top mark, but did not manage to catch the BMW Oracle mono and multihull sailor as they headed down the run. At the bottom mark ASHBY hit the left hand mark and did an efficient 360 penalty turn; he dropped back to fourth place.
But a lap latter the six-time World Champion was back in the lead. With his low trapping style he was sailing flatter and climbing inside his rivals.
He crossed the line in an impressive 1 minute and 27 seconds ahead of LANDENBERGER. Third was the European 2007 and 2008 Champion CALAVIA, followed by SPITHILL.
Following races seven and eight, BREWIN now has a gap on his rivals in the fight for second place overall, but today he was blunt about the series, "Glenn has smashed us again. I'm happy with how I went and hopefully I'll do better next time, but now there is one more race to decide the podium places,"
CALAVIA, now lying in third place overall, commented, "I'm happy with how I went today. The other guys did well too and the conditions were good for the racing. Tomorrow will be interesting."
SPITHILL is looking forward to the last race, and hopes to sail A-Cats again in the future, "The conditions were fresh and shifty. Glenn was great and Manolo [CALAVIA] did very well as well. Tomorrow the last race will be interesting because that brings another drop in.
"I'll sail in this class again; I'll have to lose a bit of weight first though, because most of the guys are about ten kilos lighter than me,"
admitted the America's Cup skipper.
The final race in the 2009 A-Cat World Championship is scheduled for 10:30 local time on Friday.
Full results at www.a-catworlds2009.org.au