15/11/2012The Unexpected In Saint Barth...
• An exceptional first regatta
• An action-packed race
• Breakage and out of the race
• Iordanis Paschalidis and Gustaf Dyrssen In The Lead
• Michel Sastre and Quentin Leroux, top West Indian team
• Race coverage live on the Cata Cup website
Carolijn Brouwer is extraordinary.... but she might be a little scatterbrained as well. The Dutch sailor and her teammate Jeroen Van Leeuwen put on a really good show during the first race of Saint Barth Cata Cup. Right from the start, they took the lead and never lost it. From the swells of the Atlantic to sailing with spinnaker in the trade winds, Brouwer and Van Leeuwen commanded, controlled, and flattened the rest of the fleet... until they made a fatal error. On the last tack into the wind, they missed the obligatory passage between two buoys... First to cross the finish line, but disqualified. But never mind, in addition to great talent, this team has an unequalled elegance, recognizing their mistake and accepting it gracefully, even with a smile. Bravo.
"This is heaven for sailing," expounds Carolijn. "It's great, it's fantastic. It's Champagne Sailing, perfect! Today there were swells, with light winds, but the air and water were warm. It's a pleasure to be here! I'll be back, that's for sure."
Right behind her, Greek sailor Iordanis Paschalidis— double European champion in the Tornado class—with Swedish teammate Gustaf Dyrssen, were subject to Brouwer's supremacy, but in turn they controlled the Puerto Rican Enrique Figueroa.
For the rest of the fleet, there were numerous setbacks. Starting with Gurvan Bontemps. Halfway through the race, his mast broke in two. Out.
Another victim of bad luck was Mischa Heemskerk. Problems with the rudder on the staring line, and an issue with the mainsail put last year's winner in the middle of the standings for the first race.
Martinique and Guadeloupe Hand In Hand
A race within the race, the war of the Caribbean was declared and the West Indian teams had their own mini-championship going on. After the first race, the advantage goes to the team from Martinique/Guadeloupe. The young Quentin Leroux from Guadeloupe and his teammate Michel Sastre from Martinque finished in 13th place, which puts them five places ahead of the St Barth team of Jeff Ledée and Vincent Jordil. "The first thing, and the most important, is to get along well together," explains Leroux. "Our unfurling and lowering of the spinnaker could be better, but the rest is pretty good. But what really hit me was to be sailing along side champions we only know through the media. When you are next to the likes of Mischa Heemskerk, Carolijn Brouwer, Enrique Figueroa, Kinou Mourniac, or Fred Moreau, it's very impressive."
The battle continues at 10am tomorrow morning.
Formula 18 :Due to their 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. The boats are built by various shipyards: in the 5th edition of the Saint Barth Cata Cup the boats include Hobie Wild Cat, Nacra Infusion MKII, Cirrus R, Phantom, and C2, representing all of the latest generation of F18.
Specifications: Length: 5.52m; width: 2.60m; Sails: 21.15m²; Mainsail: 17.00m²; Jib: 4.15m²; Spinnaker: 21.00m²; Weight: 180 kg; Price: approximately 20,000 euros.
Saint Barth Cata Cup 2012 Schedule:
Wednesday, November 14: Registration and free navigation
Thursday, November 15: 2pm, Prix Design Affairs 7pm: Daily winners announced at Nikki Beach
Friday, November 16: 10am, Prix St Barth Assurances/Allianz
Saturday, November 17: 10am, Prix Re/Max 8pm: Daily winners announced at Nikki Beach
Sunday, November 18: 10am, Prix Marché U, the new supermarket! 7pm: Awards ceremony at Tamarin