'A' CAT HISTORY
In 1956, the "A-Division-Catamaran-Class" was originally founded in England by the former "International Yacht Racing Union" as a free construction class. 50 years on it is going strong and stands proud as one of the oldest and most active catamaran classes in the World.
However, the International A-Division Catamaran Association (IACA) was founded on 8th May, 1975 with the prime intention to co-ordinate and supervise the activities of the National Associations of A-Division Catamarans. Interest in A cats was then very high in several European countries, North America, Great Britain and Australia. European championships were held from 1975 until 1980 with Kerry Holmes (Qld) the European champion in 1979.
Due to a minimized construction protocol with adherence to length, width, sail area and minimum weight it has been possible for the numerous designers to develop a boat of outstanding performance.
The main parameters are;
Min overall boat weight : 75 kg (165lb)
Max overall boat length : 5.49 mtr (18ft)
Max overall boat width : 2.30 mtr (7ft 6in)
Max sail area incl. mast : 13.94 sq. mtr. (150sq ft)
No hydrofoils are permitted
This led to the fact that the A-Cat as a multihull has become a pure high-tech boat and is now considered as the Formula One amongst all sailing boats.
Modern materials such as Carbon and Kevlar are being used for mass production of the hulls and masts, a potential of development which has been recognized and approved by modern industries, whereas others are still satisfied using glass-fibre hulls and aluminium masts.
The A-Cat has consistently proved itself in the international scene whereby the World and European championships are frequented by some of the most famous sailors in the world. However, its always taken the dedication of a pure A-Class sailor to win the Championships. This demonstrates the high level of performance within the class and it leads to amazing numbers of entries for such events. The International A-Class Rules allows 80 to 100+ entries to each event which results in each country needing to sail pre-selection events if required.