19/11/11Mischa Heemskerk, The Flying Dutchman
• Heemskerk–Casey duel continues
• Julien Bontemps in third place
• Conditions still exceptional
The island of Saint Barth once again confirmed its reputation as one of the most beautiful spots in the world for sailing, as day two of the Cata Cup saw conditions that were truly exceptional. Two races in the morning, a zigzag course followed by a short sprint, took place in trade winds of about 10 knots, increasing to 12 when the clouds rolled in, but mostly there was bright sunshine and warm waters. To spice things up a little, the racers met with a little extra chop when tacking into the wind.
In the afternoon, a 28-mile raid toward Pain de Sucre was sailed under similar conditions for the 48 remaining boats, in a spectacular course that just about grazed the rocks! These conditions allowed Mischa Heemskerk “Emeraude Plage” to increase his advantage over John Casey “Intendant Villa Services.” In both morning races, Heemskerk clearly dominated his American adversary. But Casey, an expert at long-distance racing, took command of the afternoon race. After strong domination from the beginning, he finished almost 500 meters ahead of Heemskerk.
Frenchman Gurvan Bontemps “Re/Max” completed the podium at the end of day two. “Once again a great day in a top spot, with a top organization, and great spirit,” noted Bontemps. “In this regatta I am not sailing with my regular teammate. It’s a different way to sail, vigilant at every instant, but above all a fun regatta. The afternoon raid was technical with very variable winds both in intensity and direction. It was a fabulous race with some challenging moments in the rocks off the point of Flamands.” Bontemps finished fifth in the afternoon race, putting him in third place overall.
This raid also allowed the Belgian team of Patrick Demesmaecker and Olivier Gagliani “St Barth Isle de France” to show that they are among the top duos in the Cata Cup. “It was a great raid, and we were well prepared before the start. We had decided what to do and we did what we had decided. We passed the first buoy in second place and were able to stay there for quite a while. Mischa sailed past us, but in spite of a little scare near Pain de Sucre, we sailed right next to Enrique Figueroa. We battled him right to the finish line, where at the final tack we heard his cords pass through the pulleys. It was magnificent!”
In the mixed teams, Bretons Fred and Anne Boc-Ho “St Barth Sailing” took command of the race. A team that sails well together, they are back for their third Saint Barth Cata Cup. “I wouldn’t miss this regatta for anything in the world,” admits Anne Boc-Ho. “It’s a pleasure to sail with my husband and this year we are sailing very well. We come for the warm water, the beautiful landscapes, and the temperature of the air. It’s the only time of the year we sail together. It wouldn’t occur to me to sail at this time of year in Saint-Malo… not even in the middle of the summer.”
Among the local participants, Cata Cup organizers Jeff Lédée and Vincent Jordil “Avis,” are still in the race. “It’s a great fourth edition for this event. Every year we try to progress and I have the feeling we have really succeeded this time. The race is more professional, it has become an event that has its place on the world circuit, and there are more and more spectators,” says Ledée. “Out on the water you have to give 100% all the time! And not make any errors. We have been finishing among the top 10. It’s great!”
Day three, Saturday, November 19, the flotilla makes its traditional race around the island: A regatta that takes the Saint Barth Cata Cup out into the waters of the Caribbean Sea.
The schedule :
Monday, November 14: Arrival of participants
Tuesday, November 15: Assembly of boats and sailing to Saint Jean
Wednesday, November 16: Registration and free sailing
Thursday, November 17: First race of the day at 2:00pm
Friday, November 18: First race of the day at 9:30am
Saturday, November 19: First race of the day at 9:30am
Sunday, November 20: First race of the day at 9:30am; Awards ceremony at 5:00pm
Monday, November 21: At 9:00am, start of informal race to Pinel
With strict design specifications, the Formula 18 boats are the kings of racing catamarans. Those who race them are also found on the America’s Cup circuit and important multi-hull sea races. A sport that is high-speed, tactical, technical, and spectacular.
Specifications: Length: 5.52 m; Beam: 2.60 m; Sails: 21.15 m²; Mainsail: 17.00 m²; Jib: 4.15 m²; Spinnaker: 21.00 m²; Weight: 180 kg; Price: approximately 20,000 euros.