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Longtze Premiers to compete at the Light Vessel Race in Zeebrugge this week

Tuesday September 1st 2009, Author: Catherin Ecarlat, Location: United Kingdom
On 4 September, the Longtze Premiers return to the race course on the waters off Zeebrugge, Belgium. The 56th Light Vessel Race, an event traditionally raced under IRC, will welcome sportboats for the first time.

Nicolas Bérenger ( Kone Monospace), is the current leader of the Longtze European Tour, with Luc Gellusseau ( Lufthansa) and Switzerland's Eckhard Kaller ( Broker Line 3) hot on his heels, but the other crews lining up may still have the last word...

After racing in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and English Channel, the Longtze Premiers now tackle the North Sea. The vast majority of the Longtze European Tour crews have yet to experience the waters around Zeebrugge. They will have to adapt quickly and well, but this is all part of the challenge and it will not disappoint them. “It will be a very exposed expanse of water, exposed to the weather, the swell, to the currents…" explains Kone Maxispace's Arthur Le Vaillant. "It promises to be physical and fun! But we could also have fine calm weather with light thermal winds.”

Some of the skippers have taken advantage of the holiday break and have stayed away from competition; however others, such as Nicolas Bérenger ( Kone Monospace), Erwan Tabarly ( Athema) and Ronan Treussart ( Finistère Course au Large) have just finished racing in la Solitaire du Figaro. Arthur Le Vaillant ( Kone Maxispace) has been involved in many events: Tour de France à la voile, Fastnet Race, Mondial Class40… Then there was the training event scheduled for the end of August at La Rochelle between several French teams including Kone Maxispace and Lufthansa. “I don’t set myself sporting objectives, my goal is to always do the best I can and I’m convinced that with a well-trained team, we can win!” comments the Kone Maxispace skipper.

As the series has progressed, the Longtze European Tour is being talked about more and more. This open, hotly contested yet convivial race, which brings together talented sailors from many disciplines, is causing great interest.

“The Longtze Premier is an impressive boat!” states Arthur Le Vaillant. “Before sailing on her, I didn’t imagine that we would go so fast and so smoothly. It’s a boat that interests a lot of people…I have had the chance to speak to some sailors from very different outlooks, they all want to try it! As for me, I am very happy to be part of the adventure. The level is really high on the Longtze European Tour: it’s very instructive.”

After the Light Vessel Race, the Longtze Premiers will meet again in France, at the Grand Pavois, La Rochelle, over 23-28 September.


Skipper - Boat Primo Cup GP Ecole Navale Deauville Week Total
Nicolas BERENGER (France) – KONE MONOSPACE 13 4 12 29
Luc GELLUSSEAU (France) – LUFTHANSA 11 8 8 27
Eckhard KALLER (Suisse) – BROKER LINE 3  10 6 10 26
Erwan TABARLY (France) – ATHEMA  5 12 9 26
Andreas Beinz (Allemagne) – BROKER LINE   8 7 7 22
Ariane PROVOST / Stéphane CHRISTIDIS(France) - ECOLE NAVALE 6 9 6 21
Guillaume FLORENT (France) – LONGTZE RACING  9 10 0 19
Arthur LEVAILLANT (France) – KONE MAXISPACE  4 3 4 12
Marc EMIG (France) – LONGTZE RACING 7 0 0 7
Jacques VAN DEN HEUVEL (Hollande) – ANCRE DE CHINE 0 2 3 5
Heiko FALCH (Germany) – LA JAUNE 3 0 2 5

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