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Martinique Cata-Raid 2023 - Day 1

by Martinique Cata-Raid 25 Jan 10:50 GMT 22-28 January 2023
Martinique Cata-Raid 2023 - Day 1 © Pierrick Contin

The competition was officially launched yesterday, Monday, January 23, with the first round taking place in La Trinité. The wind and the swell were also part of the party, which did not fail to spice up the event.

Crystal clear waters, white sandy beach, the setting that welcomes the Martinique Cata Raid for this first day of competition was simply sumptuous.

By placing the starting zone in the middle of the bay of Trinidad, the organizers offered a grandiose show to the public of Trinidad. A double dose as the crews, all in their impatience to fight, got a general recall. The second start was the right one and from the beggining, it was a tough fight!

Offshore, the conditions were refreshing, with about fifteen knots and gusts to 25; but above all it was the swell in combination with the wind that will result in tough racing conditions: 2 meter waves, especially near the tip of the peninsula of La Caravelle. British sailors Lou Mourniac and Pierre-Yves Durand were the first to break away from the pack, a position they would not relinquish until the finish. "There is still a lot of control on their part, " said Aurélien Ottou, second in the race.'' I think they're going to be annoying! They go fast, they sail clean but it's only the first race, the race is long, a lot can happen and above all we will fight until the end".

Frédéric Buval - Mayor of La Trinité: "The Martinique Cata Raid is really a beautiful initiative that allows our beautiful bay to live. We are very happy that the event passes here for this stage. As long as the Martinique Cata Raid exists, we will be there to welcome them.''

Victor Martin (in double with Laslo Dubois): "We didn't really get off to a good start, but we made up for it on the first leg by taking a small option a little away from the rest of the fleet. It paid off quite well because we were back on the leaders. Unfortunately, on the first spinnaker tack, our port rudder broke right under the fitting! We are a bit disappointed but we must remain philosophical: sailing is a mechanical sport. I hope we'll find a replacement rudder, at worst, I'm a carpenter I can create a wooden profile tonight!"

Pierre-Yves Durand (Lou Mourniac) / Acomalis - Winners of the round (before jury): "We managed to accelerate pretty quickly on the first part of the course. We took the lead quite quickly and then we tried to lengthen without letting go of anything from the beginning to the end. Lou did a great job at the helm! I know this boat very well and, really, Lou has an impressive steering finesse. It's a great day for us; we are obviously very happy".

Aurélien Ottou and Rémi Piazza/ Bullet - Second of the round (before jury): "We're both doing well, we got off to a pretty good start and managed to nibble away at places as the regatta went on. The conditions were really sporty and technical. The sea made the race very physical and the boat difficult to manage. You really had to be on top of it and take care of it. For southerners, we're doing really well."

Ian Girod (Nicolas Gillet / Socoveam Anmizi) - Third in the heat (before jury): "It was really great, a magnificent race! We took a great first start in the lead, downwind of the fleet; our second start, after the general recall, was a bit average. We were quickly placed fifth, at the windward mark. The competitor in front of us lost water and we managed to catch up with the third-placed team [the Dutch Willie Van der Heijden / Arthur Moerman] on the last downwind leg, and to pass them 500 meters from the line: we worked hard and the place is beautiful, it's magic!

Rankings to be found on the Martinique Cata Raid website.

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