Monday, October 28, 2013
Saint Barth Cata Cup: Franck Cammas, A Prestigious Patron
On November 18, in less than a month, 57 teams of two will set sail in the Bay of Saint Jean for the 6th annual Saint Barth Cata Cup. And the surprise of this edition is that award-winning French sailor Franck Cammas will be on hand wearing two hats, one as competitor and one as patron of the event.
Franck Cammas, who has just won his first victory about a Nacra 17 with teammake Sophie de Turckheim, is indeed the official patron of the 6th edition of the Saint Barth Cata Cup. “This is quite an honor for us, the organizers of the event, and for all of the local racers to have such a high-level roster of renowned competitors, such as Franck Cammas, our patron. I am convinced he will love the ambiance on the shore as well as at sea. We have hoped he would race with us for a long time!” declares Vincent Jordil, one of the creators of the event, and also a participant.
Cammas, a noted French skipper from Aix-en-Provence, embodies high-performance sailing on an international level and fits perfectly with the image of the Saint Barth Cata Cup, if for no other reason than in 2008 he was vice-world-champion in the Formula 18 class. He recently took to sailing aboard a Nacra 17, embarking on a new challenge. “The F18 is not unlike to the boat that Sophie de Turckheim and I have been training on with an eye toward the Olympics in 2016,” confirms the French skipper. “The two boats are very similar in terms of size and surface of the sails. They behave almost the same way and one can easily move from one to other.”
The choice of a teammate was carefully considered: “Mathieu Vandame is also part of the French Nacra 17 team, as a duo with Audrey Ogereau, and is one of the best teammates on the market,” affirms Cammas. “He has already been world champion in this discipline. Mathieu is a true specialist of small multi-hulls. We sailed once together on Formula 18s, and because he is a pleasure to spend time with on shore and he is a champion at sea, I asked him to sail with me.” The duo have not made it a secret that they would like to win the Cata Cup, but are well aware of the high-level competition, especially from Gurvan Bontemps, Thierry Fouchier, Lucien Cujean, Emmanuel Boulogne, or his brother Vincent, and especially Enrique Figueroa, world champion and winner of last year’s Cata Cup.
The warm waters and authentic ambiance of the island attract numerous tourists as well as top sailors. “I know Saint Barth since I participated twice in the transatlantic race that arrives on the island,” notes Cammas, the “godfather” of the 6th annual Cata Cup. “It’s a great spot for sailing: there are the trade winds, a lot of little outlying islands, and the terrific tropical weather. In short, the conditions are ideal to have a great time out on the water. In addition, there is a super ambiance on shore, the people are very welcoming and the island is very beautiful: naturally that attracts the sailors. I am sure that we will really enjoy ourselves while there. The regatta will be tough and the boats will be very fast: that’s for sure! I am happy to be able to contribute to the development of this event.” Even after sailing around the world in many different races, top sailors cannot resist the charms of this island paradise…
Meanwhile In Europe…
However, before enjoying all that Saint Barthélemy has to offer the devotees of these little sports catamarans, all the elements for a successful event must be put into place by the organizers… the purchase of tickets, working with sponsors, finding housing, among numerous other things. .
Set Cargo is taking care of the logistics for transporting the boats from Europe to the Caribbean: the Formula 18s are put into containers thanks to a helping hand from the company, Boulogne Conception Marine.
The loading of the containers started on October 11 in Toulon and continued on October 23 in Rouen. The cargo should leave on Saturday, October 26 for the West Indies, with three weeks allowed for arrival in Saint Barth. The traditional opening on the containers will take place on Tuesday, November 19 with the help of RMP Caraïbes, and the boats will finally be able to enjoy the warm waters of the Caribbean!