2016 St Barth’s Catacup Write Up
Early Registration, anxiously awaiting Helene’s emails, packing the boats in a container and landing down the hill side slide of a run way are all the wonderful things leading up to a magical world renowned event call the Cata Cup. The 9th Edition or “Redemption Year” as Dalton and I called it was especially important seeing as prior to the first race in the 7th edition in greater than 25 knots of breeze a capsize lead to the dislocation of my fearless crews shoulder. Not all was a wash, St. Barts Properties villas provided us with a glorious base to explore the islands beauty.
With our own Expectations on the line and countless hours of practice now behind you we posted up in a stunning hillside Marla villa. Armed with a new boat and brand new custom Ullman kite we were ready. Cata Cup attracts amazing sailors from around the globe so even the 10,000 hours of practice are just that. It never compares to game time speed and decisions!!
Given the competition, fighting for the favored end of the line was not always the right plan. It usually meant even front row with clean air there was no real freedom because of the traffic. Staying away from the pack and sometimes starting at the non favored end provided just enough clear air and freedom to get to the first mark in the top of the fleet. This would prove key as the strategy to cover vs gamble to pass depended on the evolution of your position.
The regatta started with the traditional around the island race and given the traffic at the start we got to the first mark in 48. Dalton and I as every competitive sailor have always fought for every reward. This race was no different. Picking off one boat at a time and being able to sail lower given our kite in moderate breeze allowed us to fight and finish 11th.
With each day a new challenge, a new breeze and variable sea conditions brought with it a new game of chess. There was even a down wind start.
Our regatta was sprinkled with moments of brilliance as well as frustration. Finishing the last race of the regatta 2nd with a brilliant sunset behind us could have only been surpassed with a green flash. Dalton and I finished with a final position of 10th out of a field greater than 50 and filled with great sailors.
As always our lady love “Casper 2” performed beautifully with the help of our red white and blue Ullman spinnaker.
I am constantly impressed by the humility, new ideas and new technology I encounter with each and every regatta. The sweat equity put in with the new relationships, results and experiences always yields dividends that can never be monetarily measured.
Dalton and I are looking forward to our next adventure as well as the research and development of new products and sails for Casper.
Thank you to Ullman Sails and Nacra.
-Charles Tomeo & Dalton Tebo
Photo Credit to St Barth’s Catacup