After a day dedicated to assembling the boats, confirming entries and final training, the 57 crews involved in the 14th edition of the St. Barth Cata Cup, say to go on the field. It is actually this Thursday, from 9.30, that they begin the first race of the event. An event that promises to freshen up with a forecast of between 15 and 20 knots of northeasterly winds for the whole week. Enough to promise a high-flying regatta, which certainly won’t displease the big guys in the series, starting with the defending champions, Argentines Cruz Gonzales Smith and Mariano Heuser (SDBE), who we know are very comfortable in the wind. However, the latter will have a lot to do with some of the fiercest competition, including American Ravi Parent (Maxwell & Co for men and women), the 2022 Formula 18 world champion, Belgians Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani (Les Perles de). Saint-Barth – Bativrd), but also the French Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot (Pix Sail), Tim Mourniac and Pierre-Yves Jorand (Segeco), Emmanuel Boulogne and Mathieu Marfaing (PNF) or even Pierre Le Clainche and Antoine Joubert (Wood Stekke ). ), not to recite other than them.
“Honestly, there is a very nice line-up. We have already been able to sail with a lot of participants during the training days and take the temperature a bit, especially in relation to the regulars of the event. We feel that there will really be a “battle”. We can’t wait to get on the starting line with them!”, commented Tim Mourniac, newcomer but great competitor for this 14th edition of the St. Barth Cata Cup, impatient to fight and discover the body of water, as magical as it is technical . “We took one last short warm-up lap this afternoon to check everything was ok on board the boat and to put the finishing touches on the final details to be ready tomorrow. We know we’re going to have fun , and that the fight will be close. Between the American Ravi Parent, the reigning world champion, and the Argentines, who are also very strong on the international stage, we will be dealing with real F18 specialists. It is really great for us to have the opportunity to confront each other and measure our level against the Top Guns of the class once a year”, added the young helmsman, who would see himself participating in the event. on its track record. An already well-stocked CV, notably a victory in the Tour de France à la Voile in 2018 and a Nacra 15 Junior World Champion title acquired in 2016, which naturally causes concern for his future opponents. “Tim has already done a lot of ‘raid’ events on a sports catamaran. He has this culture of long distance racing and his father, Jean-Christophe, is still a St Barth Cata Cup legend. We know he will go fast, but he won’t be the only one,” commented Mathieu Marfaing, who also claimed victory this year alongside Emmanuel Boulogne.
As every year, there are always many applicants for first place. The fact is that the one on whom all eyes are on this time is indisputably the young prodigy Ravi Parent. Crowned European, American and world champion in F18, but also American and world class A champion this season, the American also arrives at the event with legitimately strong ambitions. “He’s a client that needs to get good. Will it be as comfortable on edges like those, a little hot on the double trapeze for example, as it is on ‘banana’ type courses? So far it’s still a question,” Mathieu detailed. The other question about Ravi that everyone is asking is whether he will be able to perform without his usual teammate as well. “It puts a bit of pressure on Nick Lovisa’s shoulders, but I’m sure that they will do very well,” added Emmanuel Boulogne’s teammate, who hopes to compete at the front and show what the new Cirrus 901 has in its stomach. “The fine-tuning work logically took some time, but I think now we have found the handles. I think we’ll be fine, but the boat won’t do everything. We’ll have to navigate well and concentrate on the water. Since it’s going to be windy, there are bound to be some breaks for everyone. Those who does best by attacking or braking in good times, will make the difference in my opinion,” fors cried Mathieu Marfaing.
An opinion shared by Benjamin Amiot, who, together with Gurvan Bontemps, hopes to avoid the fate of three second places in 2016, 2019 and 2021 and finally get on the first step of the podium. “That is the goal, and it has always been the goal for the past few years. We hope to have done what it takes to be at the front during this 14th edition. There is still a level and very large customers, but we will have to count on us! Twice gold eluded us by a point or two. This St. The Barth Cata Cup is always very close and you have to give it your all to avoid regrets at the end. We hope to take advantage of our experience from previous participations to win this time,” explained Benjamin, who was also happy to find tandem Pierre Le Clainche and Antoine Joubert among his playmates. “It was done at the very last minute because the teammate I was originally supposed to race with (Hungarian Csaba Csetenyi, editor’s note) had to return home for professional commitments. The opportunity to race with Antoine opened up by chance. It just so happened that he had to go to the West Indies in the next few days to do the return delivery of a boat from the Route du Rhum and that he was therefore readily available,” said Pierre. Together, the two men have already won the title in 2016. Will they achieve the double in 2022? Will certain duos create a surprise? Will the match be played, as it often is, in the latter part of the final run? The bets are open!
Program for Thursday 17 November
- 09.00 “DESIGN AFFAIRS-OO1” Price Briefing
- 9:30 “DESIGN AFFAIRS-OO1” award
- 19:30 Opening ceremony at GYP SEA by invitation
- Proclamation of the results of the “DESIGN AFFAIRS-OO1” award
- Dinner cocktail