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November, 22nd

Battles To The Finish


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.

 

SAINT-BARTH CATACUP 2019 : Grand Prix Eden Rock : ST BARTH ASSURANCES -  ALLIANZ : Pablo VOLKER, Sergio MEHL (ARG-21) © Michael Gramm

Michael Gramm

 

If the conditions were difficult yesterday, today’s winds were not all that much easier for smooth sailing. “The wind was a little less unstable, but it was steadier and as a result there was more impact from the swells. We were constantly wondering how we were doing, but without another boat next to you it’s hard to tell if you are going fast or not. In addition, we had some particularly technical tacks, for example with a double trapeze and spinnaker between Frégate and Les Grenadiers,” comments Jean-Christophe Mourniac, who made his first break from his competitors at that precise section of the race.

 

“We managed to sail faster and higher than everyone else and closed the gap a little, but the Belgians caught up to us near Coco, thanks to a shift in the breeze. We found ourselves neck-in-neck just as we dropped the spinnaker, when we caught a mooring buoy and the boat stopped completely,” related the skipper, who attacked the long windward leg toward Toiny right on the heels of Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani (Les Perles de St Barth), and who regained the advantage by choosing to sail close to the cliffs as opposed to his competitor who went further offshore.

 

“Clearly, at this moment in the race, we should have kept an eye on Kinou and Antoine. This was an error on our part not have done that, and from that point on, we lost our concentration,” admits Olivier, who then lost two places right near the finish line, to the advantage of Argentineans Cruz Gonzalez Smith and Mariano Heuser. The Architectonik team, first and fourth in the two races today, continue to prove their steady performance, even if they lost some ground to Jean-Christophe Mourniac and Antoine Rucard, who are ahead of Tripp Burd and Charles Tomeo (Burning Torch) in the overall ratings, and the duo John Tomko–Jonathan Atwood (Boglioni), who have moved down to eighth place.

 

A Little More Even!

 

SAINT-BARTH CATACUP 2019 : Grand Prix Eden Rock © Pascal Alemany

Pascal Alemany


If certain duos lost speed after this third race, others are flying high. This is especially the case for Charles Froeb and Mathieu Marfaing (Reference Services Inc), who moved up from sixth place to fourth place, or Orion and Antoine Martin (Mext Cardio) who went from eighth place to fifth place, and in an even more spectacular manner, Argentineans Pablo Volker and Sergio Mehl (St Barth Assurances), who shot form 41st to 29th place after taking second place in today’s race. 

 

"Our first day was ruined by our disqualification for a premature start in the second race. For the time being, we are still far from the place we are shooting for, and we hope to make a comeback when the score for the worst performance is erased after the fourth race, but we already know it will be complicated to do better than our third place from last year,” says Sergio, who can only be pleased that things are distributed a little better in the Top 15 as of today.

 

“There is a lot of movement and things are really still in play. That’s great, but to do better we have to make fewer errors than our friends and be as steady as possible. We lost a little ground today but finished in seventh place at the end of the day. Yet it wasn’t easy. At times, we had the feeling that we weren’t even advancing at all and it was hard to manage. In addition, certain tacks were very physical,” explains Jean-Christophe Mourniac. “Between Frégate and Les Grenadins, we even broke a wire on the spinnaker. Those who did best on the second half of the race are those who remained within a band of 500 meters from the coast. It really comes down to very small differences and will be like that right up the end,” concludes Jean Boulogne (Happy Villa).

 

What’s next? Based on weather conditions, the race committee might decide to launch a short race in the bay of Saint Jean, followed by a tour of the island, on Saturday. An eventuality, which could potentially shake up the current hierarchy…

Saturday, November 23 Schedule

9am Briefing: ST BARTH ASSURANCES – ALLIANZ Prize
12-1:30pm Lunch at LIL’ROCK
2:30pm ST BARTH ASSURANCES - ALLIANZ Prize;
LIL’ROCK Bar open after the race
7:30pm Winners announced for ST BARTH ASSURANCES - ALLIANZ Prize
• Dinner at LIL'ROCK
10pm Free concert open to the public at LIL'ROCK: ONYAN & THE 3 CYLINDERS

 

SAINT-BARTH CATACUP 2019 : Grand Prix Eden Rock : EDEN ROCK ST BARH : Gurvan BONTEMPS , Benjamin AMIOT (FRA5698), CLAUDE QUESTEL : Ken MARSHACK, Ian MARSHACK (USA192) © Pascal Alemany

Pascal Alemany

 

SAINT-BARTH CATACUP 2019 : Grand Prix Eden Rock © Michael Gramm

 

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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