Victory for Paschalidis & Trigonis!  

What suspense, what surprises! This fourth day of sailing and the final day of the St. Barth Cata-Cup, which should have identified the leaders and defined the podium, actually played out with an improbable scenario, which was peppered with many comebacks. At one point it seems as if the glory of victory would go to Franck Cammas and Matthieu Vandame (ODP 1), who were at the top of the general classification on the morning of the last two races. Yet the glory finally went to winners Iordanis Paschalidis and Konstantinos Trigonis (Relwen), as their competitors made an error on the course. The Greeks are however far from having stolen their victory. These two sailors were consistently at the front of the pack and turned in a remarkably steady performance in spite of highly variable wind conditions. At the end of the day, they finished with a healthy lead, ahead of, in order, Argentineans Cruz Gonzales Smith – Mariano Heuser (Eden Rock Villa Rental) and Belgians Patrick Demesmaeker – Olivier Gagliani (Les Perles de Saint-Barth).

 

This final day of competition was already high-pressure due to the   very narrow difference in points between the leaders at the start of the last races. Then the race committee decided to spice up the course a little by launching a tour of the island, a race that was the equivalent of two and could not be removed from the overall ratings. “In this context, it was win all or lose all,” declared Franck Cammas before setting out on the waves, on Sunday morning. This helmsman from Aux was right on in his prediction. In the race, perfectly in control of his major adversaries, Greeks Iordanis Paschalidis and Konstantinos Trigonis, the sailor made a big mistake, by missing a race marker a little before Pain de Sucre, in the last third of the race. At the finish line, there was no ambiguity. The jury had discussed and decided on disqualification, for Cammas as well as two other boats also concerned. This was a tough break for the winner of the 2013 edition of Cata Cup, who as a result lost not only first place, but added a total 96 points, which put him 13th place overall. “It’s the luck of the regatta and the rules are the rules. Of course, that it was an unusual end to the race, but it worked out for us. Franck and Matthieu, had, I think, sailed better generally speaking than we did this week, as we made a fair amount of errors that stupidly cost us points, and that we could have avoided, commented Iordanis Paschalidis, happy with a victory that had eluded him until now. “ I had participated in St. Barth Cata-Cup twice with my friend Gustaf Dyrssen and both times, we just missed the podium (editor’s note: they finished 4th in 2012 and 6th in 2016).  This year, by coming with my regular F18 teammate, I definitely had an eye on first place. Today, we reached our goal. I am extremely happy. It was a great pleasure to come face to with folks like Franck Cammas and Patrick Demesmaeker, both incredible vice world champions...
 
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