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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Roster Gets Better And Better!


 

As the 11th edition of the St.Barth Cata Cup rapidly approaches, the organizers are busy getting ready to enthusiastically welcome the 60 teams expected for the event, including last year’s winners, Iordanis Paschalidis and Konstantinos Trigonis. This Greek duo, recently crowned Formula 18 World Champions in Sarasota, Florida, will try to defend their title and once again be victorious at the Cata Cup. Yet, to do so, there could be some choppy waters, as the competition not only comprises other teams who finished in the Top 15 at the Worlds in Florida, but also some top-name competitors —champions aboard sports catamaran or in other sailboat classes— including: Australian Gavin Colby; Noé Delpech, world vice-champion 2018 in the 49er class; or Morgan Lagravière, winner of the Cata Cup in 2014, and who has been racing recently on the 60 ft. IMOCA circuit. These ace sailors have just confirmed their participation or been given wild cards, to compete a roster that was already impressive, and only continues to get better!

 

Iordanis Paschalidis and Konstantinos Trigonis, F18 World Champions

 

The countdown has begun for the organizers of the St.Barth Cata Cup. In fact, it is just two weeks before the starting gun of the 11th edition, and the regatta promises to be spectacular with highly competitive races. And for good reason, as this event reserved for Formula 18 will feature 60 teams of two, which include some of the top international specialists in this discipline.  At the top of the list: Iordanis Paschalidis and Konstantinos Trigonis. This Greek duo, back to defend their title in Saint Barth, recently took the gold at the World Championships that took place in Florida on October 12-19, finishing every race in the top eight places, and winning four races. With this victory under their belt, it goes without saying that this tandem is one of, if not the top favorites for this 11th edition of the St.Barth Cata Cup, even if the competition seems steep, with four other duos having finished in the Top 15 at the Worlds also presents: Mitch and Ruben Booth (7th), Cruz Gonzalez Smith and Mariano Heuser (9th), Emmanuel Boulogne (10th), and Charles Tomeo and Dalton Tebo (15th). All of the above sailors, and other top names already confirmed such as Enrique Figueroa, Patrick Demesmaker, Olivier Gagliani, Pierre Le Clainche, Antoine Joubert, Marc Pirinoli, Erik Maris and Gurvan Bontemps, will be joined by other big hitters who have just confirmed their participation or were given a wild card by St.Barth Multihulls, the non-profit association that manages the regatta.

Competitors From The Four Corners Of The Globe

ST BARTH CATA CUP 2017 : Grand Prix St Barth Assurance Allianz : MARLA : Charles TOMEO - DALTON TEBO © Pascal Alemany

 

Coming from afar, Australian Gavin Colby, whose titles include Hobie 16 double world champion, F18 (2003) and Tornado (2016) world vice-champion, who will be sailing with Jayden Dalton. “Basically I am a pilot for Virgin here in Australia,” explains Colby. “I took a huge break to sort out my flying career after living in Europe for five years, working for Hobie Cat Europe in Toulon. Now with my wife and kids, I would like to finish a few things that I never achieved on the F18. So I started racing again! We had to decide between the F18 Worlds in Sarasota and the Cata Cup, and chose St Barth. We almost made it there, three years ago, but we unexpectedly (but very happily) learnt my wife would be expecting Grace and would be eight months pregnant in St Barth. So we had to pull out. Now Grace is almost three so we are really looking forward to finally seeing St Barth, even if a long journey awaits me to get there from Perth by way of Melbourne, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Saint Martin! Also catching up with some old friends, like Patrick Demesmaker or Trois Pommes (Olivier Gagliani), and Emmanuel Boulogne,” says the Australian, who will also face other big champions such as Noé Delpech and Morgan Lagravière, who have decided to join forces for the first time in the F18 class. 

Top Champions Threaten To Rock The Boat

Race 1 © Alain Blanchard

Morgan Lagravière, St Barth Cata Cup 2015

 

“Noé and I are originally from Réunion and are also childhood friends,” explains Morgan Lagravière. For the record, the first time I stepped onto a boat, it was Noé’s Optimist, when I was about six or seven years old. We sailed together in the 420 class, between 2001 and 2003, with, as it happens, great results (editor’s note: among others, a second, then a third place at the world championships). We were both very lucky at the time to be coached by Gabriel Jean-Albert (editor’s note: former 420 world champion), who knew how to transmit his rigor and his knowledge. After that, we took different paths but for a long time we have hoped to do a Formula 18 race together. It so happens that this year our respective sailing calendars afforded us the opportunity to participate in the Cata Cup and the organizers gave us a wild card at the last minute. Which is great,” says Morgan, who has been seen in recent years on the IMOCA circuit, while his acolyte has shined in the 49er class, notably with a second place in the World Sailing Championships last summer with Mathieu Frei, and a fifth place at the 2016 Rio Olympics with Julien d’Ortoli. “We are coming to the St.Barth Cata Cup without ambition, even if we think we have the means to do well. Miguel Danet found us a boat that is polyvalent enough, as it happens, a Nacra Infusion new enough to allow us to race well in all conditions,” notes Morgan, who makes his return to Saint Barth four years after his victory, sailing duo with Arnaud Jarlengan, the same partner with whom he finished fourth in the F18 world championships. In brief, we have concluded that even if Noé and Morgan are not F18 specialists, we’re willing to bet they will make waves (or worse) for the expected favorites, which will spice up the regatta a bit, all for the better.

 

Saint-Barth Catacup 2014 : Day 1 © Pierrick Contin



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Greeks Expected To Win, Belgians Sail To Victory!
November, 18 2018

The fourth and final day of the 11th St. Barth Cata Cup was expected to be decisive, at least for second and third place. But things turned out completely differently than anticipated. The reason?  A huge mistake made by the Greeks, Iordanis Paschalidis and Konstantinos Trigonis (St Barth Assurances). In fact, well on their way to a fifth straight race win, and first place in the overall rankings, the current world champions took the marker in the wrong direction. A mistake they won’t soon forget as it pushed them from first to fourth place. Yet this error worked to the advantage of duo Enrique Figueroa and Ruben Booth (Nikki Beach St Barth), winners of the “MARCHE U” Grand Prize, and especially for the tandem of Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani (Les Perles de St Barth), who at the end of the day, shot to the top step of the podium and became the big winners of this regatta, repeating their 2015 victory. They have now joined Misha Heemskerk and Eduard Zanen in the very small circle of double winners for this event.

Sailing Toward A Second Greek Victory?
November, 17 2018

Winds between 15 and 18 knots, seas much calmer than earlier this week, and a big tropical sun: this third day of competition for the 11th St. Barth Cata Cup saw almost ideal sailing conditions, allowing the committee to launch two great races. Both were hard-fought but finally won by Greeks Iordanis Paschalidis and Konstantinos Trigonis (St Barth Assurances) who, since their unfortunate error during the first race, which earned them an 11th place, have been seemingly untouchable. In fact, these current world champions have been sailing perfect races. So this evening they are not only the winners of the Grand Prix “ST BARTH ASSURANCES-ALLIANZ,” but have also moved to the top of the provisional ratings, making a serious bid for an ultimate victory. Yet to succeed in that bid for a second consecutive win, the title holders have to remain vigilant, because hot on their heels, the competition is coming on strong. The proof is in the pudding: the five top boats in the overall ratings are within 11 points. Which means that the final race on Sunday, from Saint Jean to Public, will be the deciding factor. 

Right Side Up And Upside Down
November, 16 2018

On Friday, the second day of competition for the 11th St. Barth Cata Cup, the weather conditions made life difficult, not only for the race committee, which had to adapt the schedule in relationship to passing rain showers, and as a result could not start the day’s race until 3:30pm, but also for the racers who had to cope with winds between 20 and 25 knots and chaotic seas during the only race of the day. In these challenging conditions, basically similar to the previous day, logically the same teams were at the head of the class. And the triple stars of the day? Greeks Iordanis Paschalidis and Konstantinos Trigonis (St Barth Assurances), Argentineans Pablo Volker and Sergio Mehl (Paraboot by Maxwell & Co), and Belgians Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani (Les Perles de St Barth). These three duos engaged in a remarkable battle right up to the last tack, and if the current world champions finally won the Grand Prix “EDEN ROCK VILLA RENTAL,” the South Americans held on to their first place in the provisional ratings for the regatta at the end of day two. These ratings are a bit upside down at the moment, due to a large number of boats that were forced to abandon: only 29 of the 51 that started actually crossed the finish line in the regatta’s third race.

Regatta Gets Off To A Flying Start!
November, 16 2018

The 11e edition of the St.Barth Cata Cup got off to a flying start on Thursday, since as expected, the weather conditions brought high winds, between 16 and 20 knots, but which allowed the committee to launch two races. The first was in the bay of St Jean, and the second, which was longer, between the islets of Tortue and Bœuf. If there were many unexpected maneuvers and some radical departures from the course, or in the case of the duo Kévin Gréaux— Hervé Brin (SBDE) who finished with a mast bent in two, the battle toward the finish was spectacular, especially for those in the front. In the end, if the Belgians Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani (Les Perles de St Barth) and the Greeks Iordanis Paschalidis and Konstantinos Trigonis (St Barth Assurances) each earned a victory, the first place after day one goes to Argentineans Pablo Volker et Sergio Mehl (Paraboot by Maxwell & Co), who sailed strong and steady to win second place in both races and are thus the winners of the Grand Prix “DESIGN AFFAIRS-OO1.”

Zoom on Léo Jordil and Arnaud Camoin
15 Novembre 2018

Among the 102 sailors taking part in the 11th edition of the St.Barth Cata Cup, which set sail on Thursday November 15, there are both professionals and amateurs, athletes from the four corners of the globe. Among the amateurs is Léo Jordil, whose father Vincent is one of the original organizers of the regatta. This year is the first time that Léo’s busy schedule has allowed him to participate in this event, and for his baptism by fire, the Saint Barth native chose Arnaud Camoin as his partner, although they usually sail together on a very different kind of boat, the 15 M JI Tuiga, flagship of the Yacht Club de Monaco. 

An 11th Edition That Promises To Be Vigorous!
November, 14 2018

After a day dedicated to preparing boats, confirming registrations, and training, the 51 crews representing the 11 nations participating in the 11th edition of St.Barth Cata Cup are ready to set sail. In fact as of Thursday, at 10am, they will attack the first race of the challenge. A challenge that promises to be especially vigorous, with winds coming from the east at 20 to 25 knots—at least for the first two days of the competition. Enough to guarantee some stylistic fireworks as well as a great show put on by the grand champions such as the Greeks Iordanis Paschalidis and Konstantinos Trigonis, current world champions back to defend their Cata Cup title, and at least 10 other duos who would like to give them a run for their money and take first place. And yes, this year once again, the level of the competition is very high, and the expected high winds could create some unexpected surprises.

The Roster Gets Better And Better!
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

  As the 11th edition of the St.Barth Cata Cup rapidly approaches, the organizers are busy getting ready to enthusiastically welcome the 60 teams expected for the event, including last year’s winners, Iordanis Paschalidis and Konstantinos Trigonis. This Greek duo, recently crowned Formula 18 World Champions in Sarasota, Florida, will try to defend their title and once again be victorious at the Cata Cup. Yet, to do so, there could be some choppy waters, as the competition not only comprises other teams who finished in the Top 15 at the Worlds in Florida, but also some top-name competitors —champions aboard sports catamaran or in other sailboat classes— including: Australian Gavin Colby; Noé Delpech, world vice-champion 2018 in the 49er class; or Morgan Lagravière, winner of the Cata Cup in 2014, and who has been racing recently on the 60 ft. IMOCA circuit. These ace sailors have just confirmed their participation or been given wild cards, to compete a roster that was already impressive, and only continues to get better!   Iordanis Paschalidis and Konstantinos Trigonis, F18 World Champions  

Race Boats Heading To Saint Barth
Tuesday, October 8, 2018

With the 11th edition of the St. Barth Cata-Cup setting sail just a month and a half from now, the organizers are getting everything ready to properly welcome the competitors. In Europe, on the last Friday in September, nine boats were loaded into a sea container that left Hyères to cross the ocean toward the Caribbean, while two other large metal cases with a total of 19 Formula 18 cats will be ready to leave on October 10 from Gravelines. The plan is for them all to arrive the week before the regatta in Gustavia. This is perfect timing so that the 55 duos registered to date, as well as two tandems with wild card status—Mitch and Rita Booth and Enrique Figueroa and Ruben Booth—to get their bearings out on the water before moving on to the more serious task at hand.

The 11th Edition On The Horizon!
September 5, 2018

The 11th edition of the St. Barth Cata-Cup takes place on November 14-18, 2018. There are already no less than 55 crews representing 14 nations that have confirmed their registration for this event that is reserved for Formula 18 catamarans. Among them, there are those regulars who would not miss this regatta no matter what, such as Emmanuel Boulogne, Patrick Demesmaeker, Olivier Gagliani, Pierre Le Clainche, Antoine Joubert, and the duo of Iordanis Paschalidis and Kontantinos Trigonis, who would like to once again sail across the finish line in first place. There are also “smaller newcomers” attracted by the concept and the resoundingly convivial ambiance of this competition—a competition perfectly scheduled on the racing calendar to allow, on one hand, participants to finish their season in the tropical sun, and on the other hand, launch the island’s tourist season in a great way.



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