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Saint Barth’s Tour 2009 Comp for Windsurfers, Cats and Lasers

The first weekend in May, the waters of Saint Barth were busy, not only with the West Indies Regatta, but also with the sixth annual around-the-island competition for windsurfing and sports catamarans, as organized by the St. Barth Nautical Center. This year, for the first time, small sailboats from the St Barth Yacht Club (SBYC) were also added to the roster.

Weather conditions for the around-the-island races were perfect: winds of 12 to 13 knots from the north/northwest, calm seas, and sunny skies. The times to beat were the records set in 2004, during the first edition of the event: Ricardi Maricel for windsurfing— 1h 14mn 37sec— and Jeff Lédée/Vincent Jordil for catamarans —1h 32mn 50sec, making the competition even more fun.

Things got underway on Saturday, May 2, when six Lasers from the SBYC set sail first, followed an hour later by nine windsurfers and seven catamarans. In the catamaran class, there were two teams that finally beat the old record: Jeff Lédée/Vincent Jordil and Vincent Beauvarlet/Turenne Laplace with times of 1h 24mn 10sec and 1h 28mn 50sec, respectively.

For the windsurfers, Gilles Reynal beat the competition to the finish line with a winning time of 1h 35mn 20sec—coming in ahead of Pierrick Guilbaud and Jean-Marc Peyronnet by barely two minutes. Fourteen year-old Théo the youngest participant in the event, finished in 1h 48mn 18sec, followed just 64 seconds later by Hélène Guilbaud, the only woman in the competition.

In the small sailboat class, Benoît Meesemaecher set a new record for Lasers, with a time of 2h 35mn 59sec. On Sunday, May 3, children and adults were invited to try their hand at windsurfing, catamarans, Lasers, and the RS Feva, another light sailboat from the SBYC.

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