Some of the perennial top guns may be too busy on Cup stuff to sail the A-Cat Worlds in Islamorada next week, but with more new blood in the class this year than any in recent memory, the final podium positions might just surprise everyone. We’re putting our money on a guy who’s only sailed an A-Cat a handful of times (and who isn’t even officially entered yet but we’re told he’ll be there): Nathan Outteridge. Rarely have we seen such a natural and versatile talent as Nath, and his track record of stepping into unfamiliar classes and owning the fleet can’t be ignored, never mind his stellar performance in the AC45 and his smackdown of the Olympic 49er fleet last month.
With no Glenn Ashby to worry about, the conventional wisdom would put two time winner Steve Brewin and sailmaker Andrew Landenberger at the top of the fleet, but even aside from Outerridge, some others might have something to say about that: Matt Struble, Lars Guck or Ben Moon could all take silverware home from the Keys, while F-18 stars like Mischa Heemskerk and Jeremie LaGarrigue, skiffies like Robert Greenhalgh, and dinghy stars Brad Funk and Mark Mendelblatt might find a few acorns themselves. Check the USACA site for some more detailed analysis from Willy Clark