La Novia – Chasing the Wind
Georges Coutu has chased the wind in his need for speed from Canada to the Caribbean. As a kid, he raced a self-built monohull on a small lake in his native Quebec. In his early 20’s, he discovered windsurfing, finding it the ‘real deal’ way to have a blast going fast. This small board sport proved life-changing for Coutu in two ways. First, he met and raced with windsurfing freestyle champion, Gary Eversole. Secondly, he followed a friend’s tip in the early 1980s to visit Cabarete, in the Dominican Republic.
Today, he sails from his Cabarete home each spring to race his Leopard 50, La Novia, with Eversole at the helm, in regattas like the Caribbean Multihull Challenge (CMC).
“My crew, we are all friends from windsurfing, now kitesurfing, in Cabarete or from racing in Canada, like Gary. We’re experienced but not as serious as the crews on the HHs and Gunboats. Still, when people tell me my catamaran is a condo on the water and cannot sail, I like to prove them wrong. For example, we raced around Tortola in the British Virgin Islands and were ahead of the first monohull by an hour and 20 minutes. In the CMC, against Spellbound and Seaduction, we can be less than a minute apart at the finish. So, I think I’ve proved the point that big cats can sail.”
The 2022 CMC was Coutu’s second, but not his last he says. He purchased a condo in St. Maarten, making it easier to bring family, friends, and…his fiberglass girlfriend, La Novia.