From Press release
2024 Cata Raid is just about to start, gathering for the first time a truly international slate of competitors, the 28 registered teams coming from seven different nations.
Big programme change
Following opening ceremony, teams presentation and practice race sailed on Sunday, Martinique Cata Raid is now on the track.
However, after scrutining weather forecast, organizers had to make a big change to the programme, as it was clear it would be impossible to complete a full round the island course.
Highly competitive field
The Martinique Cata Raid, takes this year a new dimension, more international with no less than 7 nations represented. “For the first time, we were able to organize a container from the United States and invite the winners of the North American F18 championship,” said Richard Nella, President of the Robert Wind Force nautical club, organizer of the event. “ I hope to be able to endorse the initiative in the future. Their participation also contributes to raising the field level; these sailors being particularly sharp, like, for example, Liam Walz currently olympic campaigner in the 49er.”
On the French side, most of the best national teams made the trip from mainland: Durand, Marfaing, Bontemps, Boulogne or Champanhac, have indeed all made the journey to Martinique.
The Raid also hosts 4 Belgian boats, 2 Dutch, 1 Finnish crew and 8 from the Caribbean, including 7 from Martinique!
An international influence which augurs well for this event labeled “Terre de Jeux 2024”.
A new format
Totally new, due to the weather, the Cata Raid will not tour Martinique. This decision will undoubtedly mark the history of the competition.
“We have been looking at the files for several days and the trend has unfortunately been confirmed,” explains Bruno Lecomte, race director. “The trade winds will clearly strengthen during the week with a strong sea up to 3 meters of swell: conditions too touchy for catamarans, even for seasoned crews. The decision not to run this year around the island was therefore made in consultation with Météo Fran ce and the services of Maritime Affairs. The idea is that everyone has fun on the water, so we will offer a series of regattas around and in the Robert zone; a playground large enough to succeed in a very nice competition. We keep the initial format of alternating long distances and built courses, between 20 and 30 nautical miles.“
In terms of racing rules, something new could radically change the situation. The Martinique Cata Raid will be scored under point system, long distance races being assigned a multiplier of 1.5. This format is quite exciting because it often causes many twists in the ranking and keeps the suspense until the last day.