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Martinique Cata-Raid 2023 - Overall

by Martinique Cata-Raid 30 Jan 00:37 GMT 22-28 January 2023
Martinique Cata-Raid 2023 © Pierrick Contin

Victory on a knife's edge for Marfaing/Boulogne MM Sailing in the final race

The final leg between Le Marin and Le Robert was fiercely contested. From the start, five teams dominated the race: the Boulogne brothers, accompanied by Gillet/Girod, Ottou/Piazza, Marfaing/Boulogne and Mourniac/Durand, the same teams that had guaranteed a thrilling Martinique Cata Raid since day one. The leaders took turns at the head of the pack in heavy seas. Nicolas Gillet and Ian Girod - Socoveam Anmizi, who led the fleet from Cap Ferré, were the first to round the Loup Garou mark. The gaps were very small with only one long downwind left before the finish line. Very quickly, Aurélien Ottou/Rémi Piazza - Bullet - took the lead again. But nobody could resist the brilliant comeback of Matthieu Marfaing and Jean Boulogne - MMSailing. Three lengths from the finish line, the "Let's go, we're giving it everything! " from Matthieu sounded across the water. The finish was incredible and the duo won the race of the day on the home straight.

Lou Mourniac and Pierre-Yves Durand win the F18 class title - Acomalis

After a week of competition in the waters of Martinique, Lou Mourniac and Pierre-Yves Durand came out on top in the ninth edition of the Martinique Cata Raid. The pair dominated the Raid head and shoulders, winning three of the five races. They were known to be strong individually. Lou Mourniac, who grew up sailing competitively, is following in the footsteps of her father Jean-Christophe and brother Tim, who has been a sparkling performer in the Nacra 17. Lou is in no way inferior and last autumn won the Nacra 15 World Championship.

Pierre-Yves Durand is anything but an unknown on the F18 scene, as he too is collecting titles in all the major competitions on the circuit. He is the crew member everyone dreams of and knows the boat like the back of his hand.

However, it was not clear how the pair would do in this new partnership. Any doubts were put to rest during the practice race. "Lou has an incredible feel for the helm and adapts very quickly to the conditions," said Pierre-Yves on the first day of the competition. The young Breton really showed all her talent in her first participation in the Martinique Cata Raid. It is worth noting that this is the first time a woman has won the race.

Matthieu Marfaing and Jean Boulogne of MM Sailing also delivered a very good performance. Despite problems with the preparation of the boat, the two never let anything slip. They won two of the five races to secure second place on the podium.

Third place overall went to a team from Martinique, who were perhaps the most consistent competitors in the competition: Nicolas Gillet and Ian Girod - Socoveam Anmizi. Their achievement is all the more remarkable as Ian Girod, who stepped in at short notice for Nicolas Gillet's regular teammate, had never set foot on an F18 before!

In the F16s, the overall victory went to Christophe Sainglin and Olivier Magret - Poils d'oursin. The duo also dominated their lot. Despite a penalty in the third race, Christophe and Olivier sailed "clean", with a grip on the corners and an unwavering motivation. Their remarkable performances in 7th and 6th in the last two stages are particularly noteworthy.

In the overall ranking they are ahead of Bérengère Kieffer/ Pascal Marchais - USHIP and the Belgians Peter Vaes/ Wout Leeman.

Lou Mourniac (with Pierre-Yves Durand) - Acomalis - third in the day's race and overall winner.

"The race was very sporty: with waves and seaweed all the time. You really had to stay very focused. We stayed in the pack. The goal is always to win, but when we all finish within a few seconds, it's really nice. We are happy with our stage.

We had a bit of a lead in the overall classification. I knew who I was going to race this Martinique Cata Raid with: Pierre-Yves is one of the best; we were in good physical shape and had prepared the boat well, but we didn't know how our pairing would work. Already in the first races we settled in. We quickly had the desire to win in mind because we realised that it was possible. We've known each other since 2016 when Pierre-Yves sailed with my father (Jean-Christophe) and my brother (Tim) in the Tour de France à la Voile, I was very little then and I admired them, so to be sailing with him today is incredible! "

Matthieu Marfaing (with Jean Boulogne) - MMSailing - Winner of the day's race and second overall.

"We hit the pin end mark at the start, so 360 degrees, but we were able to get back in line very quickly and take the lead. And suddenly I realised that we had lost the axle between the tiller and the connecting rod! Luckily I still had one in the pocket of my life vest. We started fifth again, got back into the game before we got a huge patch of seaweed drifting. But we worked well with Jean to get back on top. And completely took off on the final 800 metres. We gave it our all! Jean is getting stronger and stronger, more and more experienced. When you sail like this, it's physically hard for the crew, it's perhaps a little easier at the helm and we must be a source of motivation! We are very, very happy with second place overall! We won two races, Lou Mourniac and Pierre-Yves Durand won three, I had never sailed together with Jean and normally I am crewing rather than taking the helm. I hope that this edition will make more crews want to come and race here. It's a great event. The Wind Force Club has done a lot of work, they've done a great job!''

Nicolas Gillet / Ian Girod - Socoveam - Anmizi - Fourth in today's race and third overall

''Ian and I had set ourselves the goal of staying ahead of Manu (Boulogne) to preserve our place in the overall standings. When we passed the last mark in the lead, there was only one straight line left and we gave it our all to try and win the stage. But we had a small problem with the boat and we finished 10 seconds behind. However, I have no regrets, the objective was achieved. I had a hell of a crew member because he had never sailed an F18 before! He's a killer! It's an incredible thing!''

Aurélien Ottou (with Rémi Pizza) - Bullet * - second in today's race

"Honestly, today's race was very exciting, we were not bored. The beginning of the race was very exciting with some lead changes, that was really cool. Then, we did an hour of close-hauled sailing with Nicolas Gillet, unbelievable in a raid, you only get that in regattas. When we passed him at Loup Garou, we thought, "This one is for us!". But we caught seaweed. What doomed us was this seaweed and a little bit of a breeze that Matthieu negotiated slightly better, which made them pass in front of us by 10 or 20 cm! We will be there next year to correct this! We'll also motivate our friends and come back stronger.''

F 16 - Christophe Sainglain (with Olivier Magret) Poils d'oursin - Winner of the day's race and overall.

''It was the last race, we had to be strong. We did our best! We tried not to make any mistakes. The leg was long and difficult with a long starboard tack, very, very long, where you had to stay focused. We finished well, 6th overall: the performance on this leg was quite good, we are really happy. Bravo Mr Goodall, the Viper is a good boat!''

F18 Class Final Rankings - Top 3

1. Lou Mourniac and Pierre-Yves Durand - Acomalis 11:09:32
2. Matthieu Marfaing and Jean Boulogne - MM Sailing 11:25:18
3. Nicolas Gillet and Ian Girod - Socoveam Anmizi 11:29:51

F18 Class Rankings available here.

F16 Class Final Rankings - Top 3

1. Christophe Sainglin and Olivier Magret - Poils d'oursin 13:54:30
2. Bérengère Kieffer and Pascal Marchais - USHIP 14:15:05
3. Peter Vaes and Wout Leeman 15:19:27

F16 Class Rankings available here.

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