Translated and unedited copy. We do what we can.
After the last edition of the event, support of the F18 World Championship in 2020, the Martinique Cata Raid signs its return to the calendar of sports catamarans and will take place from Sunday 22 to Saturday 28 January. 23 crews (in double) will compete for the title over just over 300 nautical miles and 5 legs: a week of competition in the crystal clear and enchanting waters of the island of flowers.
Because we don’t change a winning formula, the Martinique Cata Raid returns at the beginning of the year with this specific format which guarantees its success: the tour of Martinique by stage in a sport catamaran (F18 and F16), where every day, the competitors set off for a coastal course of around thirty miles. Sublime landscapes, varied conditions, fierce competition, warm welcome in each of the stage towns, so many elements that are sure to delight all audiences.
23 crews will therefore compete over 5 days of a competition which promises to be, once again, highly contested; between the aficionados of the circuit and the ambitious young talents, difficult today to establish a prognosis.
They should be like fish in water on this 9th edition: The Boulogne brothers (Manu and Vincent), creators and builders of the emblematic F18 Cirrus, know the test on the end of the rudders. Manu, who has not missed a single edition, has already won it four times; his son, Jean Boulogne, associated with Matthieu Marfaing (4th in the last World Championship) will undoubtedly want to win the title.
They will have to watch closely, Emmanuel Le Chapelier, six-time French F16 champion, who finds on the occasion of the event, Eric Le Bouedec with whom he won the title of world champion of Viper in 2014. Envy and talent, too, in abundance: Lou Mourniac, recently crowned World Champion in Nacra 15, is lining up alongside the experienced Pierre-Yves Durand.
Finally, it will be necessary to reckon with the four Belgian crews, or even the locals of the stage, like Nicolas Gillet and Nicolas Poix who have the substantial advantage of knowing the island of Martinique inside out.
They will all be on the water on Sunday for a training run, a valuable warm-up to rediscover their automatisms in the race and already gauge the competition.
Photo thanks to Pierrick Contin.