From all corners of the globe, with every possible level of sailor, each team in the field of competitors in the Saint Barth Cata Cup is a hopeful winner. Once again this year, registrations were filled rapidly, in fact in a record time: in just 48 hours the quota of 50 teams had been reached. The racers stayed up till all hours of the night in order to fill out the registration form on the Internet and get on the list ! All of those who made it are aware of being in an elite group, and wouldn’t give up their slot for all the tea in China.
Nicolas Cau, a former member of the French team for the 49er Series, discovered the joys of the Formula 18 class at the Saint Barth Cata Cup and hopes to be along the best : “My sentiment is that Formula 18 is one of the rare supports that allows professional, Olympic-level, and serious amateurs to race together,” says Cau. “The Saint Barth Cata Cup is an exceptional event set in a paradise locale that lends itself perfectly to catamaran racing. During the regatta, you meet a lot of different people, with teams from Olympic training that simply “eat up the buoys” to ambitious amateurs. Every team “knows how to drive,” and what they all have in common is superb training. In this kind of context, it is not surprising that the top spots are so coveted. This regatta has no equal. It is an event that defies all competition!”
Patrick Carro, head of a French cement company and an “addict” of this regatta, is participating in the Saint Barth Cata Cup for the third time. “This regatta is an event we wait for with impatience,” he admits. “It is the sun in our somber winter sky, as well as a challenge for our competitive nature. It’s like the “Costarmoricaine,” the French long-distance championship, but with the sun and heat as extras. This is a rendezvous we wouldn’t miss for anything in the world. This it the regatta where we really have a great time, as well as a regatta where you meet the top 10 in the world and can measure yourself against the very best. To place in the middle of such a roster is really fantastic.”
Mischa Heemskerk, a leader on the Formula 18 circuit and world vice-champion, is also a big fan of the Saint Barth Cata Cup, a regatta that he feels is stress-free, even if he knows he’ll be racing against serious competition out on the waves. “This is a fun regatta that I approach without feeling any pressure. It’s almost like a vacation,” he says. “But I remain competitive in my soul and I know that the other competitors are not going to give me any slack. In Saint Barth, I hope to place among the top five.” We’ll know how he does after four days of hard racing….
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.