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Photo: Rosemond Gréaux
Photo: Rosemond Gréaux

St. Barth Fun Cup: Antoine Questel Defends His Title

In the third edition of the annual Saint Barth Fun Cup, windsurfing champion Antoine Questel again used his home-court advantage to win the majority of the races and retain the winner’s mantle he donned last year. Taty Frans, from Bonaire, and Alexandre Cousin from France took second and third place, respectively, while the top women were Delphine Cousin, Maëlle Guilbaud and Hélène Puren.

The 2014 Fun Cup, organized by Antoine Questel and his colleague Arnaud Daniel, attracted 80 competitors for three days of racing over the weekend of January 30. The Fun Cup is now considered one of the major nautical events on the island.

“We are very pleased with the results. It takes eight months to organize the Saint-Barth Fun Cup, starting in April,” says Daniel. “Antoine was able to help a little earlier this year, but we really depend on the support of about 40 volunteers who invest in the success of the event.”

Changing hats from co-organizer to top competitor, Questel was one of the favorites this year.  Although not successful on the first day, he won five of the six races on Saturday and Sunday, for a total of six wins out of eight races, beating Frans and Cousin, as well as Pierre Mortefon and world champion Björn Dunkerbeck, who has 41 titles under his belt.

“It’s a great way to start the season,” said Questel, the double French slalom champion, who was born in Saint Barth.

Race director Anthony Rigaut devised a 15-miles itinerary from Pointe Milou to the Bay of St. Jean by way of the islet of Fregate, Lorient and Bonhomme, with three buoys to round.

On the first day large waves made racing quite difficult. Despite the conditions, Questel finished the day with a hair’s-breadth lead over Mortefon. But the next day, with better conditions and winds of 14 to 18 knots, Questel secured the lead and Dunkerbeck, who took a spill, did not finish among the winners. On Sunday the winds died and the last race was cancelled, leaving competitors planning their attack for the Fun Cup in 2015! 

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