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27/01/2024

Ad Noordzij and Bastiaan Tentij (HorseRidingSpain)
Winners of the 2024 Martinique Cata Raid!

Martinique Cata Raid  2024 : Grand Prix du Robert © Pierrick Contin

Open sea at last! For this final day of competition, the weather conditions allowed the race committee to finally offer a course outside the Bay of Robert. This final regatta is vital, as it will determine the winner of the 2024 edition. It also adopts a format more in keeping with the 'Raid' spirit that the competitors are so fond of and which is the trademark of the Martinique Cata Raid.

So it's off for a fifteen-mile race: a start in front of the Wind Force yacht club in Le Robert, a long upwind leg to the Loup Garou islet, a reaching leg, back and forth, to round a buoy near the "Petite Caye" before returning downwind to the bay where the finish is judged.

As everyone knows, this is a decisive race; the gaps in the rankings are small enough to hope or fear, win or lose everything!

They promised this morning before the start: they've done it!

Nicolas Gillet and Nicolas Poix ( Socoveam Amnizi) were particularly happy this morning to take to the open sea. They love this playground and sail like fish in water. In this final heat, the Nico's dominated the race, mastering their subject from start to finish: a supremacy that suffered no challenge.

Gurvan Bontemps and Fred Moreau (French Caribbean - Stickerman), the week's great animators, finished the course in second place ahead of Matthieu Marfaing and James Melvin ( Cirrus - MM Sailing)

Martinique Cata Raid  2024 : Grand Prix du Robert © Pierrick Contin

Ad Noordzij and Bastiaan Tentij (HorseRidingSpain), winners in the F18 class

So it was the Dutch pair of Ad Noordzij and Bastiaan Tentij who came out on top in the overall rankings of this Martinique Cata Raid 2024; a victory built on a combination of great speed on the reach and downwind, good risk management and, above all, impressive consistency. For Ad, sailing is above all a hobby. An independent entrepreneur, he works as an advisor to investment companies: "I often make difficult decisions in difficult conditions! Risk management is what I do every day. This week's Martinique Cata Raid is an excellent example of risk management!”

As for Bastiaan, he's a regular competitor. A professional racer for many years, he hung up his harness nearly 10 years ago: "I now have a job, a family and children, but I still enjoy getting back out on the water!” Above all, Bastiaan has lost none of his talent. "I've rediscovered the F18, which has evolved a lot, and it's great to be able to rediscover this sport, as I've learnt a lot of new things.

Ad and Bastiaan have known each other for just under 15 years, but this is only the third time they have sailed together. "It's our first time in Martinique in this magnificent Baie du Robert and our first victory," enthuses Bastiaan. We're a bit disappointed not to have sailed around the island, but we've had a wonderful week of competition with a very high standard and crews that were very close all the time. They made life difficult for us on the water!

I think we made fewer mistakes and were perhaps a little luckier because we were spared the breakage. That's the little helping hand you sometimes need to win. We were also able to manage our races well, 'ease off' when we needed to, not take unnecessary risks, and push hard when we needed to!

We've been a bit lucky to get through the technical setbacks, the boat's fine, we're fine, except for my hands, but yes, this week in Martinique has been incredible. We'll be back for sure!"

Yohan Debauque and Barbara Mazoyer, winners in F16

In the F16 class, the suspense was admittedly less unbearable. Yohan Debauque and Barbara Mazoyer were well ahead of the game, winning all the heats sailed against Peter Vaes - Charlotte Dekien, except for the day's race! "We still ended up in their rudders: it was a great picture!" smiled Yohan. Yohan and another competitor, Tom, whom I'd like to thank very much, spent most of the evening repairing the boat so that they could set off again this morning. "Last night, Barbara was very close to giving up. This collision was like the last straw after a very complicated and technically demanding week". Our biggest challenge," continues Barbara, "was to make sure the boat could hold up, but yes, we're happy, it was a great regatta.

The two young sailors, both under thirty, leave Martinique with the title of F16 category winner in their pockets

Martinique Cata Raid  2024 : Grand Prix du Robert © Pierrick Contin

They said:

Yohan Debauque and Barbara Mazoyer, Winners in the F16 class

"The waves were pretty impressive but after 5 days, we're pretty much used to dealing with heavy weather.

I had already come to do this tour of Martinique in the F18 class in 2020. This time, we had a different format in the Bay of Robert, in an F16, with Barbara who had never sailed an F16 before. It's our second time sailing together, so there's still a lot to work out, but it was great fun. We were starting to get the hang of things over the last few races. We put a lot of work into the boat and got some results, which is satisfying.

Ad Noordzij and Bastiaan Tentj (HorseRidingSpain), winners in F18

We got off to a terrible start. Then, upwind, we made up a bit of ground but not that much, we were probably in 8th or 9th position. It was a bit hot out there with some big waves. We stayed close on the reaching leg and then Bastiaan started to make calculations...

As we entered the channel, we hoisted the gennaker and now we're literally flying! We finished just behind Matthieu [Marfaing and James Mervil], who were fourth; Gurvan and Fred were second, so the job was done! I really love these conditions, I don't need to go on the rides to get this kind of feeling, I just have to get on my boat!

Winning here is a huge surprise for us, really! We came here not knowing what to expect, we thought we'd be doing the Tour de la Martinique. We like long-distance races; I love that, but we switched to a more 'traditional' race format. On the first day, with our 7th place, we thought we might be in the right place, and the next day, we did heats of 2 and 1! Something happened at that moment! The others also had worse races with technical problems. We were completely spared these problems; we worked a lot on our preparation beforehand by checking all the equipment and we also saw some riders pushing a bit hard, taking risks in the rocks, which wasn't the case for us.

Gurvan Bontemps and Fred Moreau (French Caribbean - Stickerman), second in the day's racing, and second in the overall F18 race

Today, our fate wasn't just in our own hands. It was a great race, we got off to a very good start and we knew we had to put three places between Ad and Bastiaan. We came third at Îlet du Loup Garou and our opponent was tenth at that point. On the long reaching leg, we weren't disappointed; there was wind and waves. We did pretty well, coming back on Matthieu Marfaing and James Melvil, who we passed at the mark, before stalling. We could see the Nicos ahead, over-motivated. We preferred to take it easy. Behind them, Ad and Bastiaan were stronger than the other boats around them and came back; we finished two and they finished fourth: a great race but not enough to get back in the overall standings.

We're really happy to be here, with the welcome and the Martinique atmosphere, which is always excellent. Fredo and I hadn't sailed together for 5 years, so we needed to get back into the swing of things. We also had a new spinnaker, which we had to learn how to use to best effect, and we still had quite a few little problems: a bent tiller, torn rudders, a broken daggerboard, a spinnaker tack that gave way yesterday... Everyone had their setbacks, but in the end, with all these pitfalls, we're very happy to have achieved this fine second place!

We've never sailed in 15 knots of wind with lots of seas: it's a magnificent Martinique Cata Raid 2024: A must do again!

Nicolas Gillet and Nicolas Poix (Socoveam Amnizi) winners of the day's race and third overall

We're so happy! We got off to a good start. We finished the upwind leg strongly and then took the lead, which we never relinquished. On the reach, we were fast, at ease and without too much stress. I'm really pleased with this edition! The organisers made the right choices for this week, even if we like sailing outside. I have to admit that I was really enthusiastic this morning, because this type of sailing is what Nico and I really like.

We finished on the podium in third place, as we did last year, but with such a much higher level this year. Once again, it's great and Nico managed it really well, he was strong today and we've made a lot of progress this year

Programme for the week:

  • Saturday 20 January: Opening drink
  • Sunday 21 January: Training day
  • Monday 22 January: Constructed course
  • Tuesday 23 January: Long distance (Canceled)
  • Wednesday 24 January: Constructed course
  • Thursday 25 January: Rest day
  • Friday 26 January: Long distance
  • Saturday 27 January: Constructed course and prize-giving ceremony


Rankings to be found on the Martinique Cata Raid website

CLASSEMENT GENERAL Martinique Cata Raid 2024 en F18.pdfCLASSEMENT GENERAL Martinique Cata Raid 2024 en F18.pdf

CLASSEMENT GENERAL Martinique Cata Raid 2024 en F16.pdfCLASSEMENT GENERAL Martinique Cata Raid 2024 en F16.pdf

Follow the race : On the race website (image bank access), social networks (Facebook and Instagram)

Photos On the race website

Videos on the Youtube channel

 






Grand Prix du Robert...
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Grand Prix du Robert...
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CONTACT PRESSE . Eve Bougault . +33 (0) 687 218 773 .presse@martiniquecataraid.com
 

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