Bérenger wins first regatta
The Longtze European Tour got off to a gentle start. This weekend's Primo Cup-Trophée Crédit Suisse took place in light winds making for an extremely technical and demanding racing.
Nicolas Bérenger, skipper of 1 Maillot pour la Vie with his crew of Sylvain Chtounder, Edouard Masse and Olivier Duthoit, won the Monaco Longtze event to take an early lead on the 2010 European circuit.
"As always in the Longtze, the heats were difficult and hard fought," commented Bérenger. "We had the advantage of the crew being well acquainted with each other, we communicate easily and we are starting to understand the boat…It’s the third time we’ve won the Primo Cup with Sylvain and Edouard ( and the second time in a Longtze). That of course helped us a lot.
"But we took nothing for granted as Eckhard Kaller [Wet Feet] were not far behind us [the German team was second by 6 points]. The newcomers still have something to say and lots more skippers are interested in the Longtze and are wanting to join the circuit. At Lanvéoc [for the Grand Prix de l'Ecole Navale in May] we should be about 20 strong…each stage of the European circuit will be full of surprises !”
The Germans team on Wet Feet, led by Eckhard Kaller, one of the pioneers of the Longtze circuit, and a new crew Voiles et Voiliers, skippered by Laurent Berjon were also on the podium. On the Voile et Voiliers boat, at each event on the Longtze European Tour, this team will welcome aboard a journalist from France's top sailing magazine and a competition winner.
Among the comeptitors this weekend was Tour de France a la Voile star, Jimmy Pahun, sailing with Team HEC Ecole Navale. He commented: "I really enjoyed discovering the Longtze. To cross through the fleets of the other one designs and at speed was great! I admit I was a little apprehensive about getting back into a 'little' boat...but this weekend’s regatta made me want to put together a crew!”
Amongst the newcomers, Team HEC Ecole Navale, skippered by Stéphane Christidis, sailed a great race finishing in 4th place. "we had a very good crew", said Hervé Gautier, team leader. “The boat is very interesting, technically there is lots to learn, it is an ideal vehicle to train young champions! We will take two crews to the Grand Prix de l’Ecole Navale : the one from l’Ecole Navale led by Stéphane, and another flying the HEC colours."
All 14 of the Longtze Premier crews appreciated the welcome and excellent organisation at the Primo Cup. Despite difficult weather conditions (light unstable winds and a heavy chop), they sailed every day and on shore “everything was perfect”, commented the sailors.
Provisional results of the Longtze European Tour after 1 event
1 - FRA 820 - UN MAILLOT POUR LA VIE - BERENGER Nicolas - 10 points
2 - GER 824 - WWW.WET FEET.DE - KALLER Eckhard - 16 points
3 - FRA 818 - VOILES ET VOILIERS - BERJON Laurent - 23 points
4 - FRA 833 - ECOLE NAVALE HEC SAILING TEAM - CHRISTIDIS Stephane - 29 points
5 - FRA 830 - OVIK - GIROLET Matthieu - 35 points
6 - FRA 819 - P'TIT PIDUCE - SAILLY Laurent - 43 points
7 - SUI 816 - CARISSIMA - ZILTENER Markus - 46 points
8 - SUI 825 - SHENSU - WIELAND Jarmo - 48 points
9 - FRA 822 - ATHEMA - CLAUDE Philippe - 48 points
10 - RUS 804 - RASSKAZOV Dmitriy - 59 points
11 - FRA 82 - SAUVAGE - SAUVAGE Emmanuel - 72 points
12 - RUS 806 - IVANOVSKIY Vladislav - 75 points
13 - SUI 811 - FELIX SOMM - SOMM Felix - 88 points
14 - FRA 821 FR.SAILING.COM - 105 points