After four validated races on Thursday and Friday, the 57 teams of the 14th St. Barth Cata Cup competed in two additional races, with 15 knots of wind today, Saturday, November 19, between St Jean Bay and Saline. Untouchables since the first race of the regatta, Tim Mourniac and Pierre-Yves Durand seized two more victories, conserving their “Clean Sheet” of racing. “It is really enjoyable to sail like this We are at ease on the water. We are a little faster than the others and that gives us confidence with our choices. As soon as we see an opportunity, we grab it. We trust our intuition in situations where others no doubt have more questions. From there, we try to maintain the lead. In the end, we accumulate a pile of small things that make the regatta easier for us,” comments the winner of the ST BARTH ASSURANCES–ALLIANZ Prize, who literally flew above the competition and proves to be a winner in any kind of situation. He and his teammate were high-performance again in both of today’s acts. Two races a bit less technical or tactical. “We had two great raids, especially with a really legendary start off the coast of Saline, where things were intense with lots of tight maneuvering. With Pierre-Yves, we were able to apply a lot of force at the right moments. This evening, with five victories in five races, we are sure of winning this 2022 edition of the St. Barth Cata Cup. That’s too cool, as it’s very rare to find yourself in this situation,” adds Tim, who was confronted on the Nacra 17 circuit with the supremacy of Italians Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti, current Olympic champions.
Stay on dry land tomorrow knowing you are already the winner or go back on the water and try to add even more victories? That is the question in the minds of Mourniac and Durand. “We are going to sail, and maybe change roles onboard just to have some fun,” note the two sailors who are sailing without any pressure, compared to their competitors for whom the last day of the regatta will be decisive. Three tandems are still in the running for the second and third spots on podium: Gurvan Bontemps–Benjamin Amiot (Pixail), Cruz Gonzalez Smith–Mariano Heuser and Patrick Demesmaeker–Olivier Gagliani (Les Perles de Saint-Barth–Bativrd). “Clearly, the goal today was not to be pushed off the podium. By finishing second and third in today’s races, we advanced to second place in the overall provisional standings, but the Belgians and the Argentineans are still in the running. It’s up to us to sail well,” comments Gurvan Bontemps, who had a great day and might be poised to take second place one more time here in Saint-Barth, as they did in 2016, 2019, and 2021. “We all have different strengths. Today, with Benjamin, we played our cards well by making bold choices. Tomorrow will be the determining day. We have to do the same thing,” explains the Frenchman, who is only four points ahead of the fourth-place team this evening. “It’s going to be hot,” promises the helmsman of Pixail. It is true that certain of the duos have continued to get stronger since the beginning of the week, such as the Bader brothers, Cédric and Laurent (Design Affairs OO1), Emmanuel Boulogne and Mathieu Marfaing (PNF), and Ravi Parent and Nick Lovisa (Maxwell & Co for man and woman), among others. “Today, we finished twice in the Top 5 for the first time since the beginning of the week. We are learning to sail better and find out feet in this particular kind of raid. It’s very challenging but also rewarding to feel as if we are progressing! Tomorrow the goal is to try and finish in the Top 3. For that, we have to have great starts and not make any errors. The level is extremely high. We knew before coming that the battle on the waves would be top notch and we are certainly not disappointed. The race is as intense as amusing!” says Ravi Parent, defending world champion, and still in the running this evening to take fifth place, just like a handful of other competitors who are running neck and neck after the first five races.