The weather on Sunday was a little more challenging than the rest of the week. The winds peaked higher than 17 knots, while large waves with heights of two meters close to the rocks and rain made sailing quite difficult. That caused more than a few boats to abandon the race, but the regattas were help with the upmost safety under the attentive eyes of the organizers.
At the end of the day, Bundock and Van Leeuwen won both of Sunday’s races and won the Marche U prize, sponsored by the supermarket located on the island since 2010 and which is very supportive of numerous local associations. “It was our best day since our arrival on the island,” notes Bundock. “We are among the heaviest teams and we like these kinds of conditions. The regattas were exciting, especially the first, which was the longest: we dominated the fleet from start to finish.
During this race, the boats started out toward Pointe Milou, then sailed toward the west of the island to pass Bœuf and arrive in the port de Gustavia, passing by Pain de Sucre before doubling back on the same track. Bundock and Van Leeuwen on Hotel Guanahani 1 took the head of the fleet as of the first buoy and never lost the lead. Close on their heels were the teams of Cammas/Vandame (Hotel Guanahani 2) and Bontemps/Dessi (Lotus Architectures), but they did not manage to pass the leaders during the race.
The second race started a half-hour after the end of the first, with just 44 of the original 55 boats on the starting line. The harsher weather conditions had caused technical problems for some of the teams, who were unable to compete in the final race.
After a good start in the bay of Saint Jean, the boats headed north in the direction of Saint Martin, passing by Pelé and Boulanger. The seas were high and the boats were forced to head further out. Cammas and Vandame had a rough start while Bundock and Van Leeuwen were on their game. At the end of this last race, Cammas/Vandame were able to savor their overall victory. “This year I sailed a lot on a Nacra 17, a boat that is close to a Formula 18,” declares Cammas, “and my teammate really knows this kind of boat. We were very steady and that was what guaranteed our victory today. We were strong with the wind behind us and we did not make any mistakes…. we didn’t break anything or capsize…”
The prize for the youngest sailor went to Arthur Boc-Ho and that for best Caribbean team to Jeff Ledée and Vincent Jordil, who came in 17th overall. Jeff Ledée: “It’s great to be names the best Caribbean team Enrique Figueroa had technical problems that did not allow them to finish the races. We are passionate amateurs and very pleased with our performance. We have sailed together for over 10 years and know each other well.”
The duo of Ecki/ Tina-Marie Kaphengst (RE/MAX ISLAND PROPERTIES) won the prize for the best mixed them in the 6th annual Saint Barth Cata Cup. Tina-Marie, a 23 year-old German, is one of the seven women in the regatta and has been sailing with her father, Ecki Kaphengst, only for the past year. “My father used to sail with my mother,” she says. “I train with him on a Nacra 17 as we wanted to train for the Olympic Games…! I didn’t much like sailing in the beginning, I preferred other sports: when I was younger I wasn’t too interested. But in the past year, I sailed on a Formula 18 and that immediately interested me. I think that there aren’t many women in Formula 18 as it is a very physical kind of sailing.”
The boutique, Filles des îles, open in Saint Barthélemy since 2004, offered a prize to the winning mixed team: “We provided a piece of jewelry that looks like a small sand dollar, like you can find on the beaches here. Also for the past two years we have housed a Canadian team and we are big fans of Canada. It was really lovely to have them at our home,” says Karine Lesecq, manager of the boutique.
Tomorrow the program is less stressful than the other days: the boats will be taken apart and put back in sea containers to take them back to their home ports…. and most of the boats and their sailors will return to colder climates!