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November 24

Victory For Jean-Christophe Mourniac & Antoine Rucard


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.

 

SAINT-BARTH CATACUP 2019 : Grand prix Marché U : EDEN ROCK VILLA RENTAL : Jean-Christophe MOURNIAC, Antoine RUCARD (FRA007) © Michael Gramm

Michael Gramm

 

Just nine points separated the top four boats in the general ratings as of Sunday morning. The last two races kept their promise of suspense and decisiveness. The first race, between the bay of St Jean and the small islands of Boulanger and Pelé, was competitive and put the pressure on more than one duo, starting with Jean-Christophe Mourniac and Antoine Rucard. Leaders at the end of the first three days of racing, with an advantage of six points, the tandem was finally placed seventh, while Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot sailed to victory. This meant that the two teams had exactly the same number of points. So for both of them, it was all down to the final race toward the beach in Public, via Roche le Bœuf.

 

“Starting the seventh and final race, we were well aware that we couldn’t make any errors if we wanted to win. We did what we had to at the beginning and very quickly found ourselves out front, battling against Cruz Gonzalez Smith and Mariano Heuser. We managed to pass them downwind and take the lead, but we knew nothing was set in stone, as there was an important tactical choice to make near Bœuf. The Argentineans shifted into the wind, but we were able to stay downwind, hoping not to hit low winds. We were lucky and able to stay in first place all the way to the finish,” comments Jean-Christophe Mourniac, who solidified his victory in the overall ratings, and improved on his third place finish in this regatta in 2010, when he sailed with Christopher Jonsson.

 

First Time Winners

 

SAINT-BARTH CATACUP 2019 : Grand prix Marché U : EDEN ROCK VILLA RENTAL : Jean-Christophe MOURNIAC, Antoine RUCARD (FRA007) © Michael GrammMichael Gramm


“We are extremely happy, as this is the first time that Antoine and I have sailed together on an F18,” states Mourniac, who initially planned to sail in this regatta with Erik Maris. But as Maris had conflicting professional obligations, Ruchard, a young sailor from Finisterre, replaced him at the last minute “We have frequently raced together on Diam24 OD, the boat for the Tour de France sailing race, but this was the first time with the Cirrus R2. We rather rapidly got our bearings and gained ground, in spite of the strong competition,” notes the sailor whose nickname is Kinou.

 

If he had a huge smile on his face as he got back on shore, there was real disappointment seen on the faces of Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot, whose goal this year was to stand on the top step of the podium, following their third and second place victories in 2015 and 2016. “Victory in the St. Barth Cata Cup continues to elude us. It’s hard as I think we were never this close. To be in front before the last race, that had never happened to us before. The good news is that even if we are getting older, we continue to make progress. Maybe we will eventually win it one day!” says Bontemps, who in spite of everything has maintained his sense of humor. “After three consecutive race victories, we were in a good place. We set sail for race n°7 thinking we would continue to sail in the same manner, not necessarily wanting to control our adversary as we knew that would be hard to do with unstable wind conditions. At the end of the day, we came in fifth, losing one place right before the finish line after being caught in a big lull, but we were able to retain second place overall,” explains Bontemps, who finished in a tie in terms of the same number of points as Argentineans Gonzalo Smith and Heuser, yet who has the advantage based on the number of race victories.

 

Ready To Return Next Year

 

SAINT-BARTH CATACUP 2019 : Grand prix Marché U : Palumbo Associates Inc : Olivier PILON, Guillaume ST-LOUIS BERNIER (CAN443) © Pascal AlemanyMichael Gramm


“A podium is a podium but we are clearly a little disappointed not to be able to stand on the highest step. The tour around the island, with its coefficient of two, cost us big time. We finished in sixth position, our worst score over the four days of sailing, while our direct competition did better. This was the worst possible scenario for us. Things were very close right to the end, but in spite of our placing second twice on Sunday, we were not able to win, even though that was our goal,” comments Cruz Gonzalez Smith, who leaves with the bronze, as during the world championships for the F18 class in Spain last summer.

 

“Even so, we really enjoyed sailing in Saint Barth, and we will come back to get our revenge next year,” says the South American skipper. Antoine Rucard, who sailed in this regatta for the first time, made the same promise, and plans on coming back right away. “The St. Barth Cata Cup is a fabulous event, at a very high level, with incredible races, and exceptional sailing conditions. I will do all I can to be back in 2020,” concludes the winner. Save the date!

 

SAINT-BARTH CATACUP 2019 : Prix Marché U : BURNING TORCH : Tripp BURD, Charles TOMEO (TBA) © Michael Gramm

Michael Gramm

 

SAINT-BARTH CATACUP 2019 : Grand prix Marché U : ARCHITECTONIK : Cruz GONZALEZ SMITH, Mariano HEUSER (11) © Michael Gramm

Michael Gramm

 

SAINT-BARTH CATACUP 2019 : Grand prix Marché U © Easy Ride

Easy Ride

 



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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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