Team Relwen Wins St. Barth Cata-Cup
Published on November 19th, 2017
St. Barthelemy (November 19, 2017) – Racing was completed today for the forty-seven teams competing in the 10th edition of the St. Barth Cata-Cup for Formula 18s on the island of Saint Barthélemy. The fourth day of sailing and the final day of the St. Barth Cata-Cup, which should have identified the leaders and defined the podium, actually played out with an improbable scenario, which was peppered with many comebacks.
At one point it seems as if the win victory would go to Franck Cammas and Matthieu Vandame (ODP 1), who were at the top of the general classification on the morning of the last two races. Yet, victory went to Iordanis Paschalidis and Konstantinos Trigkonis (Relwen), as their competitors made an error on the course.
The Greeks are however far from having stolen their victory. These two sailors were consistently at the front of the pack and turned in a remarkably steady performance in spite of highly variable wind conditions. At the end of the day, they finished with a healthy lead, ahead of, in order, Argentineans Cruz Gonzales Smith and Mariano Heuser (Eden Rock Villa Rental) and Belgians Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani (Les Perles de Saint-Barth).
This final day of competition was already high-pressure due to the very narrow difference in points between the leaders at the start of the last races. Then the race committee decided to spice up the course a little by launching a tour of the island, a race that was the equivalent of two and could not be dropped from the overall ratings.
“In this context, it was win all or lose all,” declared Franck Cammas, who was right on in his prediction. In the race, perfectly in control of his major adversaries, Iordanis Paschalidis and Konstantinos Trigkonis, Cammas made a big mistake, by missing a race marker a little before Pain de Sucre, in the last third of the race. At the finish line, there was no ambiguity.
The jury had discussed and decided on disqualification, for Cammas, as well as two other boats also concerned. This was a tough break for the winner of the 2013 edition of Cata Cup, who as a result lost not only first place, but added a total 96 points, which put him 14th place overall.
Iordanis Paschalidis said, “It’s the luck of the regatta and the rules are the rules. Of course, that it was an unusual end to the race, but it worked out for us. Franck and Matthieu, had, I think, sailed better generally speaking than we did this week, as we made a fair amount of errors that cost us points, and that we could have avoided.
“I had participated in St. Barth Cata-Cup twice with my friend Gustaf Dyrssen and both times, we just missed the podium. This year, by coming with my regular F18 teammate, I definitely had an eye on first place. Today, we reached our goal. It was a great pleasure to come face to with folks like Franck Cammas and Patrick Demesmaeker, both incredible vice world champions for the class in the past (the first with Jérémie Lagarrigue in 2008 and the latter last summer with avec Gilles Tas).”
Iordanis Paschalidis, happy with a victory that had eluded him until now, previously sailed with Gustaf Dyrssen in 2012 and 2016, finishing 4th and 6th, respectively. Team Relwen, with a second and eighth place on the last day of the regatta, kept an advantage over the formidable competition, like the Argentineans Cruz Gonzales Smith and Mariano Heuser.
Showing their mastery, the Argentineans put on perfect performances for two races (the tour around the island and a short course between Saint-Jean, Toc Vert and Colombier), finishing first and second, which moved them up from eighth place to second place in the overall standings, nose to nose with Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani, winners of the 2015 edition, who finished in third, one point behind Gonzales Smith and Hueser.
About the St. Barth Cata Cup
The ST. BARTH CATA CUP is a high-calibre sporting event where catamaran enthusiasts come together under the Caribbean sun. After three editions in 1992, 1993 and 1994, the St. Barth Cata Cup was relaunched in 2008 by Vincent Jordil, Jeff Ledee and Thierry Linares. The St. Barth Cata Cup brings together competitors of various nationalities, from world champions to Saint Barth residents.
Source: Dominique Ladouceur