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October 1st 2019

Getting Ready For The 12 th Edition!


The 12th edition of the St Barth Cata-Cup, organized by the St Barth Multihulls Association, takes place on November 20-24, 2019. There are already 59 racing duos, representing 11 nations, which have confirmed their participation in this competitive event reserved for Formula 18 catamarans.

These include those who never miss this regatta no matter what, a handful of newcomers attracted by the concept and the extremely convivial ambiance of the event, as well as a few super stars who enjoy the high-level island racing, which is as technical as it is idyllic.

Even if the roster seems somewhat diverse, excitement in the battle for the top spot is already mounting. Who will win the title this year? Will Belgians Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani, current champions, be the first team to win a triple play? Or Greek Konstantinos Trigonis, who missed a second victory by a hair in the last edition, will he be back to take top honors with his usual acolyte, Iordanis Paschalidis? Or how about Argentineans Cruz Gonzales Smith and Mariano Heuser, third in the class as the last world championships in July, will they succeed in their quest for the top step on the podium? Or will someone else swoop in for a surprise victory? It’s anyone’s race to win!

 

SAINT-BARTH CATA-CUP  2018 : Prix Saint-Barth Assurances Allianz : CLIM ACTION : Cedric  MOERENHOUT, Xavier HOUBEN (261), RMP : Paul MARETTE, Justine LELIEUR (FRA441) © Michael Gramm

© Michael Gramm

 

The starting gun for the 12th edition of the St Barth Cata-Cup will be fired in less than two months. There are already 59 teams of two signed up to race, proof that this F18 competition continues to be a success. “The St Barth Cata-Cup is now considered a classic. As far as I am concerned, when I do my annual race schedule, this is the first regatta I register for. The timing is good for a lot of professional racers, like me, as it comes at the close of the season. It’s a little like the cherry on the cake to end the year. The level of competition is excellent and the ambiance is super convivial. Not to mention it’s a well- organized regatta. Not to be missed!” insists Gurvan Bontemps, who has signed up for his ninth appearance in the event, sailing once again with Benjamin Amiot—who was absent in 2018. Perfect partners, these two sailors had a great season on the D35 circuit in Switzerland, and are certain to be among those chasing the title, even if the competition promises to be tough.

 

ST BARTH CATA CUP 2017 : Grand prix Eden Rock Villa Rental : EDEN ROCK ST BARTH : GURVAN BONTEMPS - BENJAMIN AMIOT © Pierrick Contin

Benjamin Amiot & Gurvan Bontemps - © Pierrick Contin

 

It’s been true since the beginning that the St Barth Cata-Cup attracts the best of the current Formula 18 racers, and that holds true again this year with the presence of Argentineans Cruz Gonzales Smith and Mariano Heuser, as well as Konstantinos Trigonis from Greece. The three of them were on the podium at the last F18 world championships in July in Spain, and are logically considered serious competitors, as they have proven to be at the last two Cata Cup editions.

 

One difference is that this time, Trigonis will not be sailing with Iordanis Paschalidis, but with Marc Pirinoli. “Iordanis will not be in Saint Barth this year, as he is currently training for the Olympics in the Nacra 17 class with Myrto Papadopoulou, and their world championships, qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is also scheduled in late November in New Zealand. So I will be partnering with Marc, who is very familiar with sports catamarans, and like me, comes from the Tornado catamaran class, on which he represented Italy at the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996,” explains the Greek sailor, who has already sailed successfully alongside the Italian, as they took second place at the Archipelago Raid in Sweden recently, but will certainly have a hard nut to crack with the large number of great champions they’ll be facing in Saint Barth.

 

Who’s Who

 

 

SAINT-BARTH CATA-CUP  2018 : Prix Saint-Barth Assurances Allianz : EDEN ROCK ST BARTH : Emmanuel BOULOGNE, Vincent BOULOGNE (FRA901) © Michael Gramm

 

© Michael Gramm 

 

Among these champions, one can cite, amongst others, Jean- Christophe Mourniac, Erik Maris, Emmanuel Boulogne, who has not missed a single edition of the Cata Cup since the first one in 2008 which he won, Coraline Jaunet, Orion Martin, Alexis Rochat, winner of the D35 trophy at the Bol d’Or 2019, as well as Belgians Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani, who are part of the small group of double winners of this regatta along with Dutchmen Misha Heemskerk and Eduard Zanen.

 

“The St Barth Cata-Cup is a challenge we really enjoy. There is no chance we would miss it, especially as the weather Belgium in November is not as nice (laughs)! It’s also a good pretext to meet up with friends, including the organizers who do everything conceivable to host us, not to mention sail in an idyllic setting and compete against the best on the international stage, and even if today, we have started to get a little rusty, we still have good reflexes,” jokes Olivier Gagliani, who is clearly in better shape than he indicates as seen in his victory at the Raid Emeraude this summer as a duo with Yvan Bourgnon, and his prowess in Classe A. “The triple play? Yes, on paper, that is the dream but it would almost be a hold-up given the roster for this race,” adds the Belgian, who only missed the first edition of the St Barth Cata-Cup, and who knows that each year, the competitors, including the newcomers, are likely to thwart all of the prognostics!

 

SAINT-BARTH CATA-CUP  2018 : Prix Saint-Barth Assurances Allianz : LES PERLES DE ST BARTH : Patrick DEMESMAEKER, Olivier GAGLIANI (BEL1) © Michael Gramm

Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani - © Michael Gramm

 



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Victory For Jean-Christophe Mourniac & Antoine Rucard
November 24

Sunday, November 24, the fourth and final day of the St. Barth Cata Cup, was decisive, with four boats still in contention for the top prize before the last two races. There was still a huge sense of suspense as the boats set sail, and even more so at the end of the first race when Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot (Eden Rock St Barth) found themselves with the same number of points as Jean-Christophe Mourniac and Antoine Rucard (Eden Rock Villa Rental), after their victory in race n°6. The tension, already palpable, increased to the max after the start of the seventh and final race, with Argentineans Cruz Gonzalez Smith and Mariano Heuser (Architectonik) and the French duo of Orion and Antoine Martin (Mext Cardio) still on the attack. Under pressure, Mourniac & Rucard, who were in the leaders’ spot as of Saturday evening after the race around the island, did not waver, winning the last race, and as a result, the overall regatta.  

Who Will Be On The Final Podium?
November, 23

Today, Saturday, November 23, the third day of competition saw the 60 duos in the 12th edition of the St.Barth Cata Cup facing a first race in the bay of Saint Jean, then a tour around the island with a coefficient of two, and the possibility to topple the reigning hierarchy after the first three races. Which is exactly what happened. The biggest names impacted were certainly Cruz Gonzalez Smith and Mariano Heuser (Architectonik). Sixth in the last race of the day, the Argentineans lost the first place position they held since the first day, ceding it to Jean-Christophe Mourniac and Antoine Rucard (Eden Rock Villa Rental). And even more dramatic, they fell to third place overall behind Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot (Eden Rock) who actually jumped from seventh to second place after a remarkable double victory. This perfect day of sailing allowed them to win the ST BARTH ASSURANCES – ALLIANZ Prize.  

Battles To The Finish
November, 22nd

On Friday, the second day of competition for the 12th annual St.Barth Cata Cup, the 60 competing teams set sail at 11 o’clock for a 15-mile race between the bay of Saint Jean and Coco, the small island off the coast of Saline. A race that was both tactical and physical due to unstable winds from the north-northwest (between 7 and 14 knots), and eventually won by Jean-Christophe Mourniac and Antoine Rucard. This duo battled it out for much of the race with current titleholders Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani, and perfectly negotiated the second half of the itinerary by sailing close to the cliffs. They ended up with a comfortable lead, winning the EDEN ROCK VILLA RENTAL Prize, which is perfect as they are sailing in the colors of EDEN ROCK VILLA RENTAL this week. They are now in second place in the overall ratings, inching closer to Argentineans Cruz Gonzalez Smith and Mariano Heuser (Architectonik) who have maintained their lead, thanks to their third-place performance today.  

Gonzalez Smith & Heuser Take Charge
Jeudi 21 novembre 2019

The 12e edition of St.Barth Cata Cup opened on Thursday, November 21. On this first day of racing, the 60 participating duos that expected to sail in light winds were finally able to enjoy winds of 8 to 15 knots. However, the conditions were rather unstable in terms of force and direction, making it hard for some but perfect for others, such as Argentineans Cruz Gonzalez Smith and Mariano Heuser, sailing in the colors of Architectonik, who proved the steadiness of their performance in spite of wind variations, winning the first race and placing fourth in the second. That put them first place in the overall standings for the day, as well as first place winners for the “Design Affairs-001” Prize, in front of Jean-Christophe Mourniac and Antoine Rucard (Eden-Rock Villa Rental) and John Tomko and Jonathan Atwood (Boglioni), respectively placing second and third.

In The Starting Blocks!
Wednesday, November 20, 2019

After a day dedicated to getting the boats ready, confirming registrations, and initial training, the 60 duos participating in the 12th edition of the Cata Cup are ready for some serious competition. In fact, the first race gets underway at 9.30am on Thursday. The races will get off to an easy start, with winds expected from the west-northwest at about 8-10 knots. These conditions for those not used to sailing around the island mean the regattas could be highly technical, with site-specific considerations. This could make things challenging even for the more experienced sailors such as current title holders Belgians Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani, Greek Konstantinos Trigonis, or Argentineans  Cruz Gonzales Smith and Mariano Heuser, respectively second and third in the last F18 world championships, who all need to keep their eyes wide open and prove their mettle to contain attacks from some pretty fierce competition

A Sold Out Regatta!
November 6th, 2019

The 12th edition of the St. Barth Cata Cup is right around the corner, and it’s a full house. As of today, with 60 duos registered, the regatta is, as they say, sold out! This of course makes the organizers extremely pleased, as the event gets bigger and better every year, from competitive battles on the waves to a roster that is more impressive in terms of quality, featuring many of the best international Formula 18 champions, as well as light sailboat experts, talented amateurs, and a few newcomers attracted by the format of the races. Here’s the scoop.

Getting Ready For The 12 th Edition!
October 1st 2019

The 12th edition of the St Barth Cata-Cup, organized by the St Barth Multihulls Association, takes place on November 20-24, 2019. There are already 59 racing duos, representing 11 nations, which have confirmed their participation in this competitive event reserved for Formula 18 catamarans. These include those who never miss this regatta no matter what, a handful of newcomers attracted by the concept and the extremely convivial ambiance of the event, as well as a few super stars who enjoy the high-level island racing, which is as technical as it is idyllic. Even if the roster seems somewhat diverse, excitement in the battle for the top spot is already mounting. Who will win the title this year? Will Belgians Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani, current champions, be the first team to win a triple play? Or Greek Konstantinos Trigonis, who missed a second victory by a hair in the last edition, will he be back to take top honors with his usual acolyte, Iordanis Paschalidis? Or how about Argentineans Cruz Gonzales Smith and Mariano Heuser, third in the class as the last world championships in July, will they succeed in their quest for the top step on the podium? Or will someone else swoop in for a surprise victory? It’s anyone’s race to win!  



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