Swarm grows with one-design foiler
Published on February 8th, 2024
It is curious how the 11-foot foiling Moth continues to draw 100+ boats to its World Championships. For certain, it is a groundbreaking Class which attracts the stars of the sport. But as a development class in which new boats are well north of $20k, and new designs continue to be better than old, might the fun not be fun after a while?
That has happened in North America as interest turns to the more manageable WASZP Class. Launched in 2016, this strict one-design foiler was created to mimic the Moth without all the pricey and high maintenance features. While marginally slower, one could squint their eyes and it’s all the same at half the cost for a boat that works today and tomorrow.
The WASZP Class also chose not to apply to be a World Sailing Class, which comes with loads of expense and regulation for the right to have a WASZP World Championship. Rather, the Class hosts its annual WASZP Games, and without the World Sailing restrictions, can provide various formats to annually determine the best WASZP sailor in the World.
The 2024 Games, to be held August 5-10 in Norway, has already shattered expectations, with all 150 original slots snapped up within a mere 48 hours of entries opening. In response to high demand, an additional 30 slots were opened to bring the total entry list to a staggering 180 boats.
“The exponential growth of the class globally is truly remarkable,” noted Marc Ablett, WASZP General Manager. “The overwhelming response to the 2024 event has been incredible as we could have easily seen 220+ at this event.
“We are on track to surpass our previous record of 172 boats at the 2022 Games in Garda, and we’re aiming for an even larger fleet at the 2025 Games in Weymouth, UK with the prospect of 250+ boats a real possibility.
“The possibility of a stand-alone WASZP_X Youth Games (Worlds) and the increasing number of women participants (40 for Norway) reflect the growth of the WASZP community, within our key pillars.
“We are also seeing outstanding growth in North America and are heading towards a record fleet in the Americas Championships, setting the stage for the International WASZP Games in North America in 2026.”
Tyler Bjorn, NA WASZP Business Development Manager, has been instrumental in fostering the growth in North America, tackling the unique challenges associated with the vast geographic spread of the region. The 2024 MASZP Americas Championship is expected to draw over 30 entries, with hopes to exceed 40 for the racing on March 23-31 at Kaneohe Yacht Club on Oahu, Hawaii.