When One Man's Misfortune Is Another Man’s Happiness!
After two great first legs—including the around-the-island race—on Thursday, the 56 crews taking part in the 15th St. Barth Cata Cup enjoyed even sportier conditions on Friday. The result: a few stylistic tricks, a lot of capsizing, and a bit of breakage, but above all, a great battle at every level of the fleet. At the front, however, there were no major surprises. Tim Mourniac and Pierre-Yves Durand (Segeco) won ahead of Henri Demesmaeker and Jeroen Van Leeuwen (Ohana) and then Emeric Dary and Joris Cocaud (Allianz), taking the "EDEN ROCK VILLA RENTAL" prize in the provisional rankings. However, there is a problem with the measurement conformity of the boat supplied to them especially for the regatta by the manufacturer, which led to their disqualification in races 1 and 2. Although this blow is understandably hard to take, the two men have already proved that they are resourceful and intend to continue imposing a hellish pace on their rivals, even if this obviously changes the overall picture considerably.
Fantastic, unbelievable, magical... there was no shortage of superlatives on Friday after the races. However, it was an invigorating day, with between 18 and 20 knots of wind on seas that grew steadily stronger as the day went on, so much so that for safety reasons the race committee preferred to cut short the proceedings at the end of the first race. "The waves got harder as the day went on. By mid-day, it started to get pretty rocky. As a result, there were quite a few capsizes and some breakage," commented Tim Mourniac, who once again showed great ease on the day's course between Lorient and Pain de Sucre, via the point of Colombier. "At the start, it was upwind then downwind, then there was a good reaching section—things got pretty tricky— which wasn't easy for everyone to manage," said Pierre-Yves Durand's teammate, who took command once the spinnaker was hoisted, and then managed to hold off the attacks of his rivals right to the end, starting with those of Henri Demesmaeker and Jeroen Van Leeuwen (Ohana). Although they were discovering the race course for the first time this year, these two were clearly quick to grasp the technical specifics. "We were able to see yesterday that for the St. Barth Cata Cup, speed and starts are very important, as the first upwind leg is quite short. It helps to be in the right pack at the first mark, but what clearly made the difference today was the long reaching leg to leeward of the island. In my opinion, this was the key phase, as the wind was extremely variable, shifting from 5 to 20 knots, which meant that we had to be both reactive and dynamic," explained the Belgian helmsman, who finished strongly in second place, leapfrogging up the rankings (from 16th to 9th) despite the handicap of 30th place incurred on the around-the-island-race following the breakage of a spinnaker halyard. "We know that our overall position is now a bit weaker. We're now taking things one day at a time, and making the most of the chance we've been given to battle it out on a playground as fabulous as Saint-Barth against competition worthy of a world championship," Henri Demesmaeker reports.
Argentinians Krevisky and Aragones take the lead (a little)
It’s almost the same story for Tim Mourniac and Pierre-Yves Durand. They were disqualified in races 1 and 2 due to a measurement conformity defect on the boat loaned to them for the event. To be exact, the certificate issued to them by the supplier imposed six kilos of corrective weight, but after checking, it should have imposed an additional 2.7 kilos. "It's a hard blow for us. It's difficult to accept morally, but it seems normal to us for the sake of sporting fairness and the coherence of the race. The boat's supplier has informed us that another certificate was issued this summer. We hope to be able to prove its authenticity as soon as possible, in order to confirm our good faith once and for all," added the Morbihan sailor, who in the meantime has dropped back to 37th place. As it stands, he knows that even if he were to win all the remaining races on the program, as he did last year, the result would fall far short of his expectations. In spite of his efforts, the situation leaves the door wide open to the competition to displace him in the winner’s circle. For the time being, Argentina's Agustin Krevisky and Nicolas Aragones (Design Affairs 001) have the best start, taking first place with a seven-point bonus over Americans Ravi Parent and Nick Lovisa (Maxwell & Co for man and woman). However, there's still a long way to go, and there's a lot of competition hot on their heels. For example, Emeric Dary and Joris Cocaud (Allianz) and Booth father and son (Saint Barth Assurances), respectively third and fourth in the standings after three races, are tied on points, just a hair's breadth ahead of Todd Riccardi and Dalton Tebo (Trade Wind Aviation) and Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot (Pixail).
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