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Caribbean Foiling Championships at Orient Bay Beach, Saint Martin - Day 3

by Sacha van der Wouden 13 Dec 2021 15:03 PST 10-12 December 2021
Caribbean Foiling Championships 2021 final day © Will Hogan

This Sunday was the last race of the Caribbean foiling Championships edition 2021 with the famous around the island race.

A precedent record was to beat for the kitefoil professional category, and it was the first time it was attempted in a wingfoil.

Last race of the championships

After two days racing in Orient Bay and around Tintamarre island, today was the final and long awaited race around the island of Sint Maarten/ Saint-Martin.

Some riders are up early, taking part in a yoga session to stretch out after the previous days, or simply focusing on the day to come. "I want to prepare mentally for this race, my goal is not to win but to finish the race," says Manuel 'Kiko' Dalmau from Puerto Rico, who participates in races in Puerto Rico and acknowledges the good level of the riders present at these championships, especially the younger ones.

Under strong winds and possible showers weather forecast, Sacha Daunar, an experienced racing judge for the French sailing federation of Guadeloupe, says weather conditions are fine to compete and departure was set at 10 a.m. with wings leaving first, kitefoil leisure and windfoil second and kitefoil professional category last. Getting closer to Philipsburg, the kitefoils which go faster are ahead.

An intense effort

"Amazing! Incredible! Epic!" exclaimed at the same time wingfoilers arriving in Long Bay, Sammy Martin, Travis Mcgarry and Jan Enderslev, comparing their Strava courses.

The wingfoilers were doing a half around the island tour, leaving from Orient Bay heading south to Philipsburg then to Long Bay, end of the race. Théo Demanez was the only one attempting the all around the island in wingfoil, setting the record at 2 hours and 53 minutes being the first one to do it.

Lucas Marot and Bruno Kancel in windfoil said it was a difficult race in strong wind and waves conditions with a couple hard falls. Sacha Fortuné was prepared to face even more intense conditions and said he enjoyed it overall. Lucas Marot set the record at 2 hours and 10 minutes and all windfoils arrived within 2 hours and 30 minutes.

In the kitefoil leisure category, riders went around the island in less than two hours, with Félix Bellais completing the tour in 1 hour and 28 minutes.

In the professional category, the race was intense and riders were close together, with four riders beating the precedent record of 1 hour and 29 minutes established three years ago. The winner, Julien Quentel, completed the lapse around the island in 1 hour and 12 minutes. Tiger Tyson, arrives second, 1 minute and 30 seconds later.

Maximum security for the around the island race

Priority was given to ensuring safety for all riders. Safety boats were posted in several locations around the island. All riders were geolocalized in real time with a sim card provided by Dauphin Telecom. Two riders had to be rescued by the safety boats, due to gear issue and fatigue, but no incidents were reported.

Volunteers were awaiting the wingfoilers in Long Bay, and a crowd in Orient Bay was cheering for each rider arriving on shore. "It was a really nice and warm atmosphere," said a supporter.

Riders pack back their gear, change up, ice some sore muscles, rest and exchange experience awaiting for the prize-giving ceremony.

Overall results for the three days of the championships are as follow:

Wingfoil:

    Races

    First: Chucho Nonnot
    Second: Jérôme Thebault
    Third: Manuel 'Kiko' Dalmau

    (Half way) Around the Island
    First: Théo Demanez (Around the Island)
    Second: Jérôme Thebault (Half way)
    Third: Manuel 'Kiko' Dalmau (Half way)

Windfoil:

    Races
    First: Sacha Fortuné
    Second: Lucas Marot
    Third: Maëlle Guilbaud

    Around the Island
    First: Lucas Marot
    Second: Bruno Kancel
    Third: Sacha Fortuné

Kitefoil Leisure

    Races
    First: Félix Bellais
    Second: Franck Balvay
    Third: Mahé Thebault

    Around the Island
    First: Félix Bellais
    Second: Franck Balvay
    Third: Erwan Jauffroy

Kitefoil Pro

    Races
    First: Julien Quentel
    Second: Tiger Tyson
    Third: Nell de Jaham

    Around the Island
    First: Julien Quentel
    Second: Tiger Tyson
    Third: Mahe Stakelborough

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