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November 18, 2021

An invigorating debut!


The 13th edition of the St. Barth Cata Cup hit the ground running on Thursday, November 18. The 65 duos in the regatta set sail in invigorating conditions, featuring winds between 18 and 20 knots, with big gusts and spirited seas. The technicality of the race naturally favored the top sailors in the competition, who also changed the face of the race many times and as the fleet continually shuffled itself. As proof, at the end of the first two races of the regatta, the duo of Gurvan Bontemps – Benjamin Amiot (Stickerman) won the “Design Affairs-001” Prize, and at the same time ended up at the top of the provisional rankings, without having won either race.

 

St Barth Cata-Cup 2021 © St Barth Cata Cup

 

“During this first day, the conditions were wonderful but a little frisky with winds between 18 and 20 knots plus gusts up to 25 knots with a bit of rain, but most importantly there were high waves. In this context, there was a lot of serious competition but also some damage,” comments Gurvan Bontemps. In fact, nine teams met their match in these challenging conditions. The duo of Nicolas Gillet and Nicolas Poix (Marfret), as well as Olivier Kardeli and Martin Johr (AMC Gustavia & AMC St-Jean), were forced to abandon after a nasty collision during which one of the Marfret team members hurt his ribs. “It was a little rough out on the water today. The top-guns of the fleet were obviously more at ease than the others. As there were high seas, it was tough going and the more experienced among us clearly sailed a notch above, but it was absolutely magical. Saint Barth is definitely a paradise for F18’s and for sailing in general!” notes Thierry Fouchier (Hélios), one of the French sailors the most seasoned in terms of the America’s Cup, having participated six times already, including a victory in 2000 with the Americans of BMW Oracle. “I am here primarily to enjoy myself and I could not have hoped for a better first day,” adds the sailor from Marseille, who teamed up this week with his childhood friend, Jean-Pierre Roman, and they placed 34th in the provisional rankings. And these rankings are very close, especially at the head of the fleet, where the first five teams are within five points of each other.

 

Tactical and fast!

 

SAINT-BARTH CATACUP 2021 : Prix Design Affairs OO1 : LES PERLES DE ST BARTH - BATIVRD  : Patrick DEMESMAEKER, Olivier GAGLIANI © Pierrick Contin

 

“The day was the best of the best. There were big battles at every level. As far as we are concerned, we sailed well and we stayed on an even keel to finish fifth and third, which was not so easy as there was a lot to confront on a tactical level, especially strong gusts of wind that often shuffled the fleet again. You had to really keep your eyes open wide and carefully navigate, making your maneuvers at exactly the right time. With Charles (Gate), we were okay and realized that we were more at ease going fast,” explains Orion Antoine (Nikki Beach St Barth), second in the overall rankings at the end of this first day of competition, with the same number of points of points as the duo of Gurvan Bontemps – Benjamin Amiot (Stickerman). “During the first race, we found ourselves in a traffic jam at the first buoy, but we finally finished second. During the next race, we got off to a good start, but there was a little confusion at the first mark. We quickly remobilized and even if the winds were unpredictable, we didn’t do so badly and finished in sixth place,” points out Gurvan, who once again confirmed his ambition to sail to victory after being on the podium three times in the past, in 2015, 2016, and again in 2019.

 

Then there was a rock…

 

SAINT-BARTH CATACUP 2021 : Prix Design Affairs OO1 : BRUNEAU GHEZZI ARCHITECTES  : Christian VILATE, Octavio DORBESSAN, EDEN ROCK VILLA RENTAL  : Charles FROEB, Erwan GRIZIAUX © Pierrick Contin

 

As can be seen on the water, the competition is once again very stiff at this year’s St. Barth Cata Cup, especially with such stars as Argentineans Cruz Gonzalez Smith and Mariano Heuser (SBDE) and Americans John Casey and Colin Page (St Barth Properties). The Argentineans, current world vice-champions for this sport, had already easily won the first race of the day and were sailing along perfectly in the second race before they hit a rock a little after passing the point of Colombier. As a result of this incident, the South Americans had to settle for 13th place, but by averaging their results, remain in sixth place in the overall provisional rankings, and they confirm that they were in great shape and extremely swift. Almost the same story for the Americans, who literally dominated the second race, maintaining a comfortable lead. In short, it is clear that the battle has just begun!

 

Results

Race 1

Race 2

Design Affairs OO1 Price



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Argentineans Cruz Gonzalez Smith and Mariano Heuser Sail To Victory
November 21, 2021

As the fourth and final day of competition got underway, the three leaders in the general rankings were within three points of each other. The only race on the roster for Sunday, from St Jean to Public by way of Toc Vers and Mancel, was the determining factor for the final standings of the 13th edition of the St. Barth Cata Cup. Things quickly got complicated for Belgians Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani (Les Perles de St Barth–Bativrd), who were first at the end of the first five races of the week. But the other two teams in the lead, Cruz Gonzalez Smith and Mariano Heuser (SBDE) and Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot (Stickerman) fought valiantly right to the finish line of a complex race, and finished first and second respectively on the last day of the regatta, and found themselves in the same order on the podium for this edition of the Cata Cup.

Three Top Contenders!
November 20, 2021

On Saturday, November 20, the 65 duoscompeting in the 13e edition of the St. Barth Cata Cup set sail on a tour around the island.This race counts double and cannot be removed when the race results are averaged, so it is of great importance. If the most disappointed duo of the day is Orion Martin and Charles Gate (Nikki Beach St Barth), who fell from third place to seventh in the provisional rankings, the biggest winners are certainly Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani (Les Perles de St Barth–Bativrd). Winnersof this important race, the Belgian duo took home the “ST BARTH ASSURANCES–ALLIANZ” Prize, and at the same time jumped to first place on the eve of the last day of racing. Will they win a tour de force by becoming the first team to win this regatta for the third time, after their victories in 2015 and again in 2018? Nothing is set in stone as less than three points separate them from the duos of Cruz Gonzalez Smithz—Mariano Heuser (SBDE) and Gurvan Bontemps–Benjamin Amiot (Stickerman). 

Batting At Every Levele
november 19, 2021

After a very energetic first day of racing, the second day on Friday saw the 65 duos competing in the 13th edition of the St Barth Cata Cup enjoy less-challenging conditions, just perfect for the two races of the day. The first race was between the bay of Saint Jean and Ile Coco, then the second between Toc Vers and lle Boulanger. As the previous day it was a tight game between the argentinians and the Americans and as the previous day they shared the first places once Todd Ricardi and Dalton Tebo (Trade Wind Aviation - King Ocean) than Gonzalez Smith and Mariano Heuser (SBDE) both winning a leg. The Argentineans sailed more evenly than their adversaries on Friday, allowing them to not only win the “EDEN ROCK VILLA RENTAL” Prize, but also jump from sixth place to the top spot in the provisional overall rankings.

An invigorating debut!
November 18, 2021

The 13th edition of the St. Barth Cata Cup hit the ground running on Thursday, November 18. The 65 duos in the regatta set sail in invigorating conditions, featuring winds between 18 and 20 knots, with big gusts and spirited seas. The technicality of the race naturally favored the top sailors in the competition, who also changed the face of the race many times and as the fleet continually shuffled itself. As proof, at the end of the first two races of the regatta, the duo of Gurvan Bontemps – Benjamin Amiot (Stickerman) won the “Design Affairs-001” Prize, and at the same time ended up at the top of the provisional rankings, without having won either race.



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