Longtze Premiers make their debut

Feedback on the racing for this new French sportsboat from the Primo Cup-Trophee Credit Suisse in Monaco

Wednesday February 18th 2009, Author: Catherine Ecarlat, Location: United Kingdom
The 11 strong fleet of Longtze Premiers participating in the Longtze European Tour had a remarkable opening to their inaugural championship at Monaco’s Primo Cup-Trophée Crédit Suisse regatta last weekend. Lively, quick, exhilarating… these new Franco-Chinese sportboats showed their potential in the sometimes tricky Monaco waters. Following seven races, it was Figaro sailor Nicolas Bérenger’s team on Kone Monospace that won ahead of Lufthansa, skippered by Luc Gellusseau, and Eckhard Kaller’s Swiss boat, White.

For most of the 11 teams entered, this first event of the Longtze European Tour was also their first race in the boat.

“Competitive” was the first word Nicolas Bérenger used to describe his initial race in the Longtze Premiers. “It was extremely close on the water. This was constantly a full on battle. The level is very cose and it never dropped during all seven races sailed. On board Kone Monospace, we all had good backgrounds sailing in dinghies: This helped us a lot, especially the first day." Kone Monospace won the three first races in 25 knots of breeze, surfing at 16 knots!

Luc Gellusseau and his team on Lufthansa finished second, 6 points behind the leader: “We fought it out in seven extraordinary races! A true pleasure! The races have been intense… It was at times a bit wild in the breeze on Friday! The Longtze Premier is a very light boat, so it is very quick to react and demands constant weight compensation by the crew. Not surprisingly, the regattas are exciting, above all on the very changeable waters of Monaco.”

A large majority of the 11 Longtze Premier teams entered into the Primo Cup were new to the sportboat. All progressed and want to progress further. “It is an easy boat as was immediately a pleasure to sail, but required some quick learning to fully take advantage of its potential: Trimming the sails, balance, etc. There is a lot of room for advancement!” commented Nicolas Bérenger.

Another Figaro sailor, Athema’s skipper Erwan Tabarly said: “We are going to work on the sails, the maneuvers, mast adjustments... We didn’t manage to really be in the fight in this first event, but I am not worried about those to come! We are going to take the boat back to Bretagne and we will train for the Grand Prix de l’Ecole Navale.”

The Primo Cup marks the launching of the Longtze European Tour. The next event on this European Circuit, the Grand Prix de l’Ecole Naval, takes place in May in Brest.

1. FRA 820 - KONE MONOSPACE - 10.00 points
2. FRA 818 – LUFTHANSA - 16.00 points
3. SUI 816 – WHITE - 19.00 points
KALLER Eckhard, NIKLAUS Sven, REISCHL Sebastian, ZEISER Theresa
4. FRA 806 - 23.00 points
FLORENT Guillaume, DEROI Bastien, NAPOLY Gregoire, COURSODON Armand
5. SUI 815 - 26.00 points
BIENTZ Andreas, BRUGGER Simon, WEISS Damian, ALDER Pascal
6. FRA 804 - 31.00 points
EMIG Marc, DELMON Guillaume, PRATT Christopher, CHURET
7. FRA 805 - ECOLE NAVALE - 35.00 points
PROVOST Ariane, FEBVAY Nicolas, REGAUD Pierre Edouard, CHRISTIDIS Stéphane
8. FRA 822 – ATHEMA - 43.00 points
TABARLY Erwan, LEES Erwan, KEREVER Yvan, FALC'HER Dominique
9. FRA 821 – KONE - 49.00 points
LE VAILLANT Arthur, THERON Ophelie, LE TUAUD Guillaume, LE NABOUR Quentin
10. SUI 812 - LA JAUNE - 54.00 points
BIENZ Andreas, FALCH Heiko, MADEN Marcel, BACHES Marcel, BOEHRINGER Benjamin
11. FRA 819 - INCENTIVE CONCEPT – 66.00 points

The Longtze Premier European Tour comprises five events:

La Primo Cup - Trophée Crédit Suisse : 12-15 February 2009 (Monaco)
Le Grand Prix de l’Ecole Navale : 21-24 May 2009 (France)
La Deauville International Week : 4-7 June 2009 (France)
La Light Vessel Race, Zeebrugge : 4-6 September 2009 (Belgique)
La Constance Lake Regatta, Kreuzlingen, 16-18 October 2009 (Suisse)

The Longtze Premier was designed by New Zealander Steve Thomson, but was conceived by the America’s Cup team Le Defi.

Specifications :
Length: 6,80m
Beam: 2,57m
Draft: 1,80m
Carbon Mast height: 11m
Racing mainsail: 20,6m2
Code 1 Racing Jib: 13,4m2
Asymmetrical Racing Spinnaker: 58,5 m2
Hull Weight: 260 kg
Keel and bulb weight: 300 kg.

More photos on the following pages...

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