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.
© 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.
© 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.
© 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”