November 20, 2013
Last detail under the tropical sun
On Wednesday, the sailors in the Saint Barth Cata Cup made the last adjustments to their boats as they checkout out the race itineraries. The event organizers and volunteers finalized the registrations, while Thursday is a big day: the 55 teams hit the waves in the bay of Saint Jean for the first day of racing.
It only took two hours for the event organizers to complete all registrations, and all went smoothly. Tania Tevenaz, assistant to Hélène Guilbaud, is one of 30 other volunteers who have helped out for several years: “At 4pm we had seem almost everyone, and had almost finished. It was great to see everyone again,” says this Swiss-born woman. “Everything went very smoothly, just like last year. This is my fifth Cata Cup: we are like a big family.”
At 6pm, the 110 sailors met at the race village, right next to se Nikki Beach, a sponsor of the event, for a first briefing. Jérôme Delamaire, manager of the restaurant, says: “During the Saint Barth Cata Cup we will serve close to 200 meals at lunch and dinner, from Friday through Sunday. We are also organizing the opening cocktail for the Saint Barth Cata Cup when all the race teams are presented. There are concerts planned for other evenings.” On Saturday night, 800 people are expected to attend.
A few new local teams are on the roster this year: David Guiheneuc and Noah Turtchi, brothers Turenne and Patrick Laplace, and Eric Pagès and Didier Cadillon…
Formula 18 catamarans have become more popular on a local level. For this reason, Saint Barth Multihull, the association that organizes this event, plans to open a catamaran school on the island, in order to allow more young sailors to enjoy this kind of sailing.
In addition to the Saint Barth Cata Cup, Saint Barth Multihulls and the Centre Nautique de Saint Barthélémy organize training courses on a local level: “This training takes place in the spring,” says Hélène Guilbaud. “Two years ago, John Casey came to teach. This year, it was Yves Clouet from ENV Quiberon: he participates in Nacra 17 training and is very skilled.” Luc Poupon, a French sailor who lives on the island, spent two days out on the water with some local teams to share his priceless advice.
All of the sailors are making sure to analyze the situation out on the water. There are many traps out there, between the zone of the sea exposed to landing airplanes on the runway and the reefs where the big waves roll in for surfing!
Even the locals can encounter problems, underlines Guilbaud: “Two local sailors whose names I will not cite, were unable to avoid the rocks in leaving the lagoon. They had to turn back and head to the beach. I hope that everyone can avoid the rocks,” she jokes…