Offshore racing

St-Barth Cata Cup - Just how do you create the most glamorous multihull regatta?

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We might as well tell you right away: unless you have already registered, you will not be taking part in the next edition, scheduled for November 17 to 21, unless there is a last-minute withdrawal. Why not? Because the 60 places available, (proportionate to the number of participants per country), were snapped up in a few hours as soon as registration opened at the beginning of April! In short, aim for 2022... Let’s go back 15 years: Jeff Lédée, Vincent Jordil and Thierry Lhinarès, were three friends from Saint-Barth who enjoyed sailing sport catamarans. After a small friendly regatta, they had the idea of organizing a race on F18s - because these catamarans are easily dismantlable. The association was created in September 2007. The first edition gathered 14 crews, mostly locals who had picked up 18-footers in sailable condition. The trio quickly called upon Hélène Guilbaud. Originally from Lorient in Brittany, she had been living on the island and working in the hotel business for 20 years. However, her establishment had just closed... so Hélène was asked to organize and coordinate the event.

The Event: Mission Accomplished!

Developing this regatta obviously required the internationalization of the St-Barth Cata Cup. Racing in St. Barth in November is great, but you still need to be informed and able to get there! Receiving an invitation from Emmanuel Boulogne, designer of the famous F18 Cirrus and world F18 champion - with his brother Vincent - in 2003, was probably the trigger: the sailor from the north of France was seduced by the event and did not have too much trouble convincing the elite of the F18 world to come and enjoy themselves in St-Barth. In fact, the organizers suggested inviting the world champions... After just a few editions, the St-Barth Cata Cup established itself on the world circuit: the number of participants was limited to 60 catamarans, while encouraging as many nationalities as possible to take part.

The Saint Jean Beach is the ideal place to welcome the 60 catamarans and their crews

F18s in containers!

There was still a logistical problem though. Most of the catamarans would be coming from Europe and the United States. Every year therefore, in October, the organizers take charge of transporting four containers from Saint-Malo, Toulon and Annemasse in France and from Sarasota, Florida. However, the management of the containers is largely handled by the competitors. They load their catamarans themselves. As a result, teams are organized to ensure these logistics - Emmanuel has become an expert in securing 12 F18s in a 40-foot steel box. One of the competitors is therefore the «container manager»; it is up to that person to build and set up a structure to secure the masts, etc. The cost is shared between the competitors - € 50/60 max per boat. The racers also contribute to the cost of part of the container positioning. Administratively, the French are required to provide an ATA document - for other ...

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