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Jeudi 21 novembre 2019

Gonzalez Smith & Heuser Take Charge


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.

 

“With first and fourth places, we think the day was perfect and could not have hoped to have done any better to kick off the regatta, especially as we expected it to be complicated with fairly unstable winds from the west, atypical for Saint Barth.  At the end of the day, we sailed well, especially during the first race. For quite a while we remained fourth or fifth, before moving up to the head of the fleet, as we saw those in front lose speed near the little islands, which allowed us to adjust our trajectory. During the second race, we didn’t have a great start, which forced us to tack to get going. After that, we made good choices, but faced small oscillations in the wind,” commented Cruz Gonzalez Smith, who proved his talent on this first day of racing, as well as his steady command of the situation, which gave him the leader’s position in the provisional standings.

 

 

SAINT-BARTH CATACUP 2019 : Grand Prix Design Affairs : RELWEN  : Tyler MOORE, Arielle DARROW (0212), EDEN ROCK ST BARH : Thierry LHINARES, Thierry BERRY (SBH16) © Michael Gramm© Michael Gramm

Very Small Differences

“Things were distributed sort of equally today, and certain favorites in the race earned a few points,” added the Argentinean skipper, who placed third in the most recent Formula 18 world championships. He was alluding to    Argentineans Pablo Volker and Sergio Mehl (St Barth Assurances), third in the last edition, but currently in 41st place this year after “a bad” 20th place and disqualification for a premature start, as well as current title holders, Belgians Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani (Les Perles de St Barth). The Belgians also faced a few woes during the first race, after tearing their trapeze, which caused them to capsize their boat. So in spite of their best efforts, they only placed 12th in that race, and finished in 10th place in the overall standings at the end of the first two races. Behind them are others who hope to claim ultimate victory, such as Jean-Christophe Mourniac and Antoine Rucard (Eden-Rock Villa Rental), John Tomko and Jonathan Atwood (Boglioni), as well as Tripp Burd and Charles Tomeo (Burning Torch), who all have the same number of points after the first two races.

 

SAINT-BARTH CATACUP 2019 : Grand Prix Design Affairs : GSL IMPORT EXPORT : Ecki KAPHENGST, Max SAID (GER17) © Pascal Alemany© Pascal Alemany

A Blessing In Disguise

“This morning, we got off to a bad start. We passed the first mark in 20th or 25th place, but we fought to come back and finished 10th, which is not too bad. This afternoon, the start was not typical, when leaving the committee boat it was possible to reach the first mark in one tack. The hiccup was that we were smoked by another boat and constrained from tacking to get the wind. At first, we clenched our teeth, but found that ultimately the detour gave us a better chance at the wind and a straighter shot than the others. As a result, we moved to the lead and stayed there,” commented Antoine Rucard, who was content to be able to resist the repeated attacks by Americans John Tomko and Jonathan Atwood, as well as Français Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot (Eden Rock). “It was really tense right to the finish. The wind became more and more irregular and nobody gave up,” added Rucard, who was second in the most recent Tour Voile en Diam 24 OD, who proved to be constant in his sailing, in spite of the slightly odd conditions of the day.

 

SAINT-BARTH CATACUP 2019 : Grand Prix Design Affairs © Michael Gramm© Michael Gramm

Stability: The Key To Success?

Ça a, en revanche, été un peu plus compliqué pour certains concurrents qui ont eu du mal à gérer l’instabilité de l’air et les effets de site, mais plusieurs d’entre eux ont malgré tout réussi à faire des bons coups. A titre d’exemple, la paire Orion et Antoine Martin (Mext Cardio) a réalisé une jolie performance lors de la première régate en s’adjugeant la 2e place. « Tout s’est super bien enchainé. Après un super départ, on a tiré tous les bons bords. Tout s’est parfaitement bien enchainé du début à la fin. Ça a été un peu plus compliqué dans la manche suivante car malgré une bonne entame, on a un peu tout fait à l’envers ensuite (16e). On est toutefois content de notre journée et des réglages du bateau », a relaté l’équipier Toulonnais qui occupe actuellement la 8e place au général. « Contrairement à mon frère, c’est ma première participation à la St.Barth Cata Cup et je navigue assez peu en F18. Une place dans le Top 10 final est un objectif. Prendre du plaisir en est un également et ça tombe bien, les conditions annoncées pour cette fin de semaine promettent du très beau match », a terminé Antoine Martin.

 

Friday, November 22: Schedule

  • 9am Briefing “EDEN ROCK VILLAS RENTAL” PRIZE 
  • 12-1:30pm Lunch at LIL’ROCK
  • 2:30pm “EDEN ROCK VILLAS RENTAL” PRIZE 
  • 7:30pm “EDEN ROCK VILLAS RENTAL” PRIZE winners announced; Dinner at LIL’ROCK
                     (See organizers to pay for extra dinners)
  • 10am Free concert open to the public, LIL’ROCK, “WHAT THE FUNK”

 



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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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