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11th edition of St. Barth Cata Cup on the horizon

by Saint-Barth Cata-Cup 8 Sep 2018 08:51 PDT 14-18 November 2018
St. Barth Cata Cup 2017 © Pierrick Contin

The 11th edition of the St. Barth Cata-Cup takes place on November 14-18, 2018. There are already no less than 55 crews representing 14 nations that have confirmed their registration for this event that is reserved for Formula 18 catamarans.

Among them, there are those regulars who would not miss this regatta no matter what, such as Emmanuel Boulogne, Patrick Demesmaeker, Olivier Gagliani, Pierre Le Clainche, Antoine Joubert, and the duo of Iordanis Paschalidis and Kontantinos Trigonis, who would like to once again sail across the finish line in first place.

There are also "smaller newcomers" attracted by the concept and the resoundingly convivial ambiance of this competition—a competition perfectly scheduled on the racing calendar to allow, on one hand, participants to finish their season in the tropical sun, and on the other hand, launch the island's tourist season in a great way.

Now that it is just two and a half months before the starting gun for the 11th edition of the St. Barth Cata-Cup, 55 crews are already signed up to race in this regatta for Formula 18 cats.

"The St. Barth Cata-Cup has become a classic. As far as I am concerned, when I do my annual planning, this is the first regatta I sign up for. It comes at a good time for me, and many other pro racers, for whom it closes the season. It's the cherry on the cake to finish the year. The level of competition is excellent and the ambiance is very convivial. In addition, it's a turnkey regatta. Not to be missed!" assures Gurvan Bontemps, who is ready to register again this year for his eighth participation for this event, yet with a new teammate.

After racing with Giuseppe Dessi and Benjamin Amio in the past, this sailor from Morbihan in Brittany will compete as a duo with Erik Maris, who is also a seasoned veteran of this event and will not return to Saint Barth to be a simple extra: "We seriously hope to finish in a top place, but the level of the competition is only getting more challenging from one year to the next," notes Gurvan.

An extremely high level

In fact, the St. Barth Cata-Cup attracts the best of today's Formula 18 racers, starting with the tandem Iordanis Paschalidis—Kontantinos Trigonis. Recently crowned as European champions at Sant Pere Pescador in Spain, this Greek duo will once again participate in this regatta, clearly with the ambition of defending their title. But the challengers, many top champions for these small multi-hulls, will be on hand to give them some serious competition. Among others, the top names include Emmanuel Boulogne from France, Argentineans Cruz Gonzales Smith and Mariano Heuser, as well as Belgians Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani, who were all on the podium last year.

"The excellent level of the roster for this race is naturally one of the things that makes the St.Barth Cata-Cup so attractive. As for me, I have a personal agenda with the Greeks, who took the European title away from Gilles Tas and me this year," jokes Patrick Demesmaeker, who planned to participate in the World Championships for this class in Sarasota, FL, on October 12-19, but finally gave priority to the St. Barth Cata-Cup.

"With my professional obligations it is impossible to do everything, there just isn't enough time. So I decided to come to Saint Barth rather than the United States. The event has become a real tradition for me. I like the location as well as the hospitality we receive. And we see a lot of friends. All the ingredients come together so nicely, that we want to come back every year. It's as simple as that," says the Belgian sailor, who also likes the unique atmosphere of this event.

Newcomers on the starting line

According to Thierry Berry, the new president of St. Barth Multihulls, the non-profit association that organizes the competition, it is understood that everything will be organized as best as possible to welcome the sailors to Saint Barth, in conjunction with the popular Nikki Beach, but to also create fantastic regattas in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.

"The format of the regatta is acclaimed by the racers. Many veterans return, and the new ones that come every year, become in turn, the regulars," explains Thierry Berry, who will welcome quite a few new names for the 11th edition, including Australians Gavin Colby and Jayden Dalton, Italians Giovanni Fanstasia, Davide Recalcati, Annibale Bovenzi, Antonio Delle'Omo Beneduce, and Alessandro Scotto from Greece, who will sail in this event with Marc Pirinoli, who represented Italy in the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 and in Atlanta in 1996 in the Tornado class.

"The racing promises once again to be very close and provide a great spectacle. After a difficult year post-IRMA, the 2019 season should be one of renewal and we are very happy that the St. Barth Cata-Cup will be the first event, with the St. Barth Gourmet Festival, to open the tourist season," concludes the president.

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