October 14, 2013
Saint Barth Cata Cup: Toward The Starting Line
In less than a week, 100 passionate Formula 18 racers will gather in Saint Barth for the Saint Barth Cata Cup. While the participants are packing their bags, their boats are crossing the ocean on a cargo ship. As for the Cata Cup organizers, they are finalizing the last details to make sure that the sailors and their families enjoy the warm welcome typical of the island.
The closer to the opening of the event, the more there is to do! The goal to do it all well means that every last detail must be gone over again and again to make sure the event is a success… in spite of anything unexpected!
Hélène Guilbaud, chief of organization does not hide the fact that there aren’t enough hours in the day for those working to ensure the success of the Saint Barth Cata Cup: “We have to respond to numerous questions from the participants as well as the press. It is necessary to organize the jobs for the volunteers, complete the security arrangements, and work with all those who are ready to help us,” says the factotum of the event, with confidence. She is also responsible to find housing for the 150 people who arrive on the island for the event.
“That’s not so easy as there is not one hotel on the island where everyone could stay at the same time. But in Saint Barth, there are many pretty little places where the participants can stay. So they are spread out all over the island,” Guilbaud explains.
Each task takes time and energy, yet it is for a good cause. You can see the enthusiasm in the eyes of the local population that is helping out with the organization of this 6th Saint Barth Cat Cup.
A team of 10 people works on shore, while 30 others are out on the waves to ensure the safety of the sailors during the regattas. “We try to anticipate everything as much as possible in advance,” declares Guilbaud, “since once the event gets started, we are in the world of the unexpected. But the more we prepare in advance, the better we can deal with anything that pops up.” An at-sea safety meeting will be held on November 15.
Numerous local partners, both companies and individuals, help with the success of the event, and many have been involved since the first year of the regatta. “I have remarked that our relationships are based on fidelity. Many people who gave us a hand in the beginning are still there to help us today. It’s great to feel that sense of unity,” says Guilbaud, who is pleased with the support she has again this year.
The weather seems to be playing its role as well. Last week the trade winds weren’t yet strong enough, but as of Sunday, the wind has been blowing from the East. This means that local teams could train in ideal conditions. And the whole island seems to be motivated to see another successful event, from the organization to the level of the competition itself.
The first competitors should start arriving around November 14, and the organizers are ready to welcome them with the first Planter’s Punch offered by Nikki Beach. Those who are already on the island join forces to welcome the others.