Suspense Reigns High
On Saturday, the third day of competition of the St. Barth Cata-Cup, light winds were dancing on the water. Yet the race committee was successful in holding two good races: a raid between Toc Vert, Fourchue, and Bœuf; then a smaller loop between Toc Vert and Les Grenadins. In spite of very uncertain conditions, some of the sailors kept up a steady pace, starting with Franck Cammas and Matthieu Vandame. Placing third and first in the day’s two races the ODP 1 duo had a superb day. They not only won the Prix St Barth Assurances – Allianz, but they also seized the top spot in the overall provisional ratings, by a hair in front of the Greeks Iordanis Pachalidis – Kontantinos Trigonis (Relwen), who had been in the leader’s seat since the start of the regatta. The lead is so small that tomorrow’s races will be decisive
Those born in Saint Barth will tell you that wind from the southwest is rather rare on the island. Yet that’s exactly what happened on Saturday in the West Indies, with erratic light winds (very instable from five to eight knots). In spite of that, both races were official. The first, a long raid of 18 miles, was launched at 10am. A little two anxious to get racing, Franck Cammas and Matthieu Vandame (ODP 1) were too quick to break the starting line and had to come back and got started at the tail of the fleet. “We can’t say that we got started in the best conditions,” commented the skipper, who managed to progressively get back to finish in third place. “Luckily the course was long,” admits the winner of the 2013 edition of the St. Barth Cata-Cup, who gobbled the maximum of places on the long run between Fourchue and Bœuf, thanks to sustained speed. “At that moment, we were going rather but we also able to adjust to the difficult passages around the various little island, with real sightlines, as opposed to those up front,” noted Cammas. Enrique Figueroa (Off Course Management) has a similar comment: “By observing those in the lead, we were able to see their errors, and avoid doing the same things,” declared the Puerto Rican, who won the race with his old Nacra (2013) with a comfortable advance. “Finally, we won one! We are happy,” said the winner of the 2012 edition who moved from seventh to fifth place in the general standings this evening. “Once again things were shuffled in the middle of the fleet. We saw new faces at the front. That’s a pleasure to see, but that adds a little spice to the next to last day of racing,” adds Figueroa.
The Game Continues To Change
No matter what happens—you can never tell what’s going to happen! Among those who have seen their fortunes fall and rise this week are Emmanuel Boulogne and Tanguy Kervyn (St Barth Assurances). Having lost their spinnaker in the first race, they were forced to abandon and they plummeted in the ratings. Yet these talented young men have taken care of business and had a pretty good day (finishing in eighth and second place) “This morning, we had a hard time, but this afternoon we were really in touch with what has happening out on the water,” points out Emmanuel, who is getting back in the groove with his teammate (as they hadn’t sailed together in six years), and who is mastering the new Deck-Sweeper sails little by little. “We have started to find little tricks, it’s great,” adds the winner of the very first St. Barth Cata-Cup, and who let the last race almost from beginning to end before falling behind Franck Cammas and Matthieu Vandame, while sailing full out with their spinnaker unfurled. “We didn’t think we would pass them. We had tried once without success. But then in a calmer zone we took a risk and it paid off,” explains Cammas, who is pleased with his action. And he should be, as it allowed him to kill two birds with one stone: first to win the Prix St-Barth Assurances – Allianz, and secondly, to move up to first place in the provisional standings after four races. “Nothing is won yet. The Greeks are just two points behind us. We need to keep an eye on them. We know they sail fast, they don’t make many errors, and it won’t be easy to stay ahead in light winds,” warns the helmsman of ODP 1. “At least three or four boats can still win. It will be very close. The battle will be intense, but that’s good, as that’s why we are here,” concludes Iordanis Paschalidis.
Maxime Loiselle, Marché U teammate: “When there isn’t much wind, it’s often very difficult, especially for us, as in Quebec we aren’t used to air that is so warm. The density isn’t the same. You have to get used to it. Yet we are doing okay. The first race, this morning, was long. We expected a shorter course this afternoon but that wasn’t the case. But we have been having a good time. We are relatively satisfied with our day. We succeeded to correct a few things and we have started to be where we think we should be in the overall classification, which is to say between 10th and 12th place. We always manage to get a good start, but after we fall back a bit. We hope to do a little better.
François Carro, Gill teammate: “In the first race, we were seventh or eighth for the first hour of the race, but at the moment we had to jibe at Fourchue, we lost some ground as we had absolutely no wind. Those ahead kept going and we found ourselves behind, which was tough for our moral, especially as the run as far as Bœuf was then very long and slow. This afternoon, there were barely six or seven knots and that was terrible for us because we finished last. In the end, the results for the day were mixed.”
Pierre Arbona, teammate for AMC: “The day was hard. We had a bad start and after, it was hard to catch up. In the first race, we were able to limit our losses but in the second race, it was catastrophic becase we were never able to really be in the action. Of course this evening we are a little disappointed but we hope we can move up a few places tomorrow. That will be possible if there is more wind, but will remain complicated if there is no wind because we have an old boat and we are heavy.”
Find all rankings on the St.Barth Cata-Cup website : www.stbarthcatacup.com
Schedule for Sunday, November 19
- 9:30am Prix Marché U
- 2pm Prix Marché U