The seventh edition of the St. Barth Cata Cup should be one of the most exciting in the history of the event. Top international sailors like Leff Dahl, Franck Cammas, Emmanuel Boulogne, Patrick Demesmaeker and Patrice Ivaldihave all signed-up for this year’s edition of the race. For sailors Michael Easton and Matthew Whitehead, it will be an opportunity to put all past rivalry aside since they will be teaming up for the regatta.
“What’s nice about our event is that it is meant to be very friendly. Of course, we have top sailors who sign up but we make sure to balance things out with enough amateur catsailors. And since the results don’t have an impact on the overall international F18 rankings, participants often choose to compete with a different teammate”, explains Jeff Lédée, creator of the event.
For the St Barth Cata Cup, Mike Easton will be teamed-up with Matthew Whitehead while partner Tripp Burd will be assisted by Bracco Jacopo.
A US friendly rivalry
Matthew Whitehead and partner Taylor Reiss have always looked up to Michael Easton and Tripp Burd. They have historically been the team to beat. « Mike and Tripp have sort of been our friendly rivals over the past few years so it will be cool to see the two sailing against each other. It will be interesting and fun to see how all of this works out. Mike is an excellent skipper and I really looks forward to sailing with him », explaines Matthew Whitehead.
« I'm very excited to be sailing Cata Cup this year with Matthew. Cata Cup has been on my regatta bucket list for quite a while since Tripp, who I regularly sail with, ranks the event in the "not to be missed" category. It'll be great to compete against Tripp and some of the best in the world with Matthew and really put our combined skills to the test », said Mike Easton.
« Tripp and I have considered Matt and Taylor our friendly rivals for the past few years as we always seem to be battling it out with them. I'm looking forward to putting the "rivalry" aside for Cata Cup and seeing how much faster Matt can make the boat go than old man Burd ! »
About Michael Easton
Micheal grew up sailing in New-Zealand and then moved to the US where he continued to compete in Opti, Laser and 420. He started sailing on F18 with Tripp nine years ago. In 2012, Easton/Burd placed 10th at the F18 Worlds in Long Beach. One year later, they finished first at the Americas Championship in Sarasota. Mike is currently the US F18 Class President.
Michael Easton and Tripp Burd have been members of Team Ronstan for the past couple of years. They have topped their class and have been winning almost every F18 event they enter and are now both pursuing the Olympic route.
About Matthew Whitehead
Matthew Whitehead and Taylor Reiss have sailed together for as long as they can remember. They have won the F18 Youth World title for three consecutive years and placed third overall in the F18 World Championships this year. The St Barth Cata Cup will not be the first event where Matthew is teamed up with another sailor since the Olympic rules dictate that all Olympic
teams competing in the catamaran sailboat class will have to be mixed gender teams.