2014 A-Class Worlds: Glenn Ashby to lead ETNZ team at Worlds

Glenn Ashby (AUS) will compete in the 2014 A-Class Catamaran Worlds

Glenn Ashby leads contingent of Emirates Team New Zealand members competing at the 2014 A-Class Catamaran World Championships

With two months until racing begins, the 2014 A Class Catamaran World Championships has already attracted an all-star line up of some of the world’s best sailors, keen to test their mettle against some great kiwi sailors. Organisers are now delighted to announce that a contingent of up to six members of Emirates Team New Zealand have also signed up to take part.

The Emirates Team New Zealand entrants will include Glenn Ashby, multihull specialist and wing trimmer. The holder of several significant multihull records, Ashby will be one to watch when racing begins in February. Originally a sail maker from Australia, Ashby began his A-Class Catamaran sailing career at the age of 18. His employer at the time, offered to supply Ashby an A Class Catamaran for the 1996 World Championships if he could beat him in his first regatta held in NSW. He not only beat his boss, but he then went on to win the A-Class World Championships in Spain that year.

Ashby’s wins have included 14 world championships across three multi-hull classes, 3 in the Olympic Tornado catamaran, 3 in the Formula 18 catamaran and an ISAF multihull world championship and seven in the A Class catamaran, and at the start of 2012 he won the Australian A Class championships for an impressive tenth time.

In more recent years post 2008 and a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics, Ashby has ventured into sailing and coaching in the Extreme 40 class and was head coach with BMW Oracle’s 90ft trimaran, for their win of the 33rd America’s Cup. Now with Emirates Team New Zealand for a second time, he is again a core member of the sailing team and is also deeply involved in the design process.

The 2014 A-Class Catamaran World Championships will be sailed off Takapuna Beach from 5 – 16 February, 2014. Recognized as one of the best sailing waters in the world, Takapuna has plenty to offer both sailors and visitors, with sometimes challenging wind and weather conditions keeping sailors at the top of their game.

The Emirates Team New Zealand entrants will feel well at home, with these waters having been a major testing ground for Emirates Team New Zealand’s 34th America’s Cup campaign. Ashby is particularly looking forward to racing off Takapuna once again.

Emirates Team NZ ventures inside the 200 metre buoy line - AC72 Race Practice - Takapuna March 8, 2013

'Takapuna is the perfect sailing ground for the A-Class; it provides a fantastic variety of sailing where the weather just lends itself to competing,' he says. Added to the fantastic racing grounds, Ashby believes it is the quality of the entrants that will really make the event. 'There will be a very high standard of competitors from America’s Cup, Olympic Sailing and the top players in the A-Class Catamaran class… I think the top 15 to 20 hotly talented guys will enjoy fighting it out on the water.'

The A Class Catamaran is currently the largest single handed catamaran class in the world, with sailors ranging in age from teenagers right through to more seasoned sailors in their seventies. Organisers are expecting to see at least 85 catamarans competing, with 60 sailors from 10 nations competing alongside 25 of New Zealand’s best A Class sailors. The action on the water will be fast and furious with two afternoon races each day with plenty of viewing opportunities, both from the water and from the Takapuna seawall and along the coastline walkway from Takapuna to Milford Beach. With no charge to spectators there will a large turnout to see these catamarans fight it out on the water.

About the 2014 A-Class World Championships:

• 2014 A-Class World Championships countdown is on:2014 A Class Catamaran World Championships and Nationals as sanctioned by the IACA in February 2014.

• The event will be held at the picturesque Takapuna Boating Club right on the foreshore of Takapuna Beach on Auckland’s North Shore from the fifth to the 16th February.

• The countdown to the A Class World Championships is officially on with 65 entries already confirmed for the February event. Ten nationalities including Australia, Britain, USA, Canada, Spain, Netherlands, Poland, Germany, SUI,

• 14 world class sailing events at Takapuna, showcasing some of the essence of the New Zealand lifestyle and outdoors ethos. The location is nestled in the heart of the Takapuna Business district, based around the Pohutukawa lined reserve at the edge of the golden sands of Takapuna Beach.