North Sails NEWS

July 17, 2018


Multihull Superstar Glenn Ashby Wins 2018 A-Class Europeans

Glenn Ashby has many titles to list on his CV; World Champion, America’s Cup Defender, and he can now add 2018 A-Class European Champion after an impressive regatta in Warnemunde, Germany last week. In a week plagued by varying conditions and postponements, Glenn’s sailing remained consistent over five races; he won four of five races, with the second closest boat 10 points behind.

“The biggest thing that culled a lot of people out was the seastate,” Glenn remarked on the conditions. “It was quite wavy and quite difficult conditions, particularly for foiling. I didn’t expect the wave state to be quite so high, but you adapt and rely on the experience you have collected over the years and different conditions.”

Some of the world’s best sailors enjoy the challenges of the A-Class and the 87-boat fleet in Warnemunde listed many well-known names from the multihull community. Racing an A-Class catamaran is an experience made for true speed-racing enthusiasts who thrive on a rush of adrenaline. Glenn advises balancing risk and reward as a critical factor in the competitive A-Class fleet.

“At times pays to be a little bit conservative with how you sail the boat and not risk a capsize,” suggests Glenn. “That is certainly true in the windier conditions we saw at times during the Europeans. Back off at times, but also know when you should push hard and take the gains.”

Multihull superstar by experience and sailmaker by trade, Ashby partnered with North Sails in 2016 to design and market the Glenn Ashby Signature Line of A-Class sails. Glenn, along with other North Sails clients, used the Decksweeper 2 during the Europeans. This sail is designed to achieve optimum speed and power at high speed, while still being able to cope in the lighter wind where foiling is more challenging.

“I am pleased with how the Decksweeper 2 performed, both for myself and all the North Sails clients,” commented Ashby. “Everyone was happy sailing better than their expectations; always a pleasant thing. Lots of A-Class sailors have gotten onboard with this design, and I think there is going to be a lot of interest in this sail in the lead up to Worlds.”

The 2018 Worlds is the next major event on Glenn’s A-Class schedule. With Team New Zealand obligations for the next few weeks, Glenn is dedicating September and October to preparing for the Worlds, which will be held in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia this November. And what is Glenn thinking about for a sail choice? “At the moment I am planning on using the Decksweeper 2F, the next generation of the standard Decksweeper 2. The sail is just slightly flatter than the standard and better suited for Hervey Bay.”

Editor’s Note: When we spoke with Glenn, he was on a train (somewhere in Germany) at the start of his long trip to get home. Once back, Glenn will rejoin Emirates Team New Zealand at their home base as they plan their America’s Cup defense. Rumor has it a few of the ETNZ guys are quite keen to get back in the A-Class. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the Worlds entry list.

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