Ben Hall built a hard sail for his A-Cat a few years ago, sailing it at the Islamorada A Worlds. a few years back in Islamorada, FL. While it was steaming fast in some conditions, Hall’s rig suffered from excessive weight and flexibility, and it never was the silver bullet that it is in, say, the C-Class. In fact, Ben finished those Worlds in roughly the same position he finished the one before it in, and his boat ended up retired with Oracle Racing as some kind of test bed. And the wingnuts wept.
Now they can rejoice: The A-Cats are giving it another go!
With some new thoughts and new tech, we expect a handful of winged A boats later this year in yet another Islamorada A-Worlds, and many insiders think this may be the year of the Winged World Champ. Like the Moth Class, the A-Class won’t ban anything until after a Worlds is run. Make no mistake though: If someone proves in Florida that a wing is essential to winning, a full ban is likely, since there is strong agreement that the logistics and costs involved would harm the goals of the class. Interestingly, if the wings do well but not great, we’re likely to see a lot more development of them over the next year.