Victory for Eckhard Kaller and Wet Feet
Experience pays - this was demonstrated by the victory of Eckhard Kaller and his Wet Feet team last week at the Bodensee Cup, the final round of the Longtze European Tour. The German crew won the final and the European Tour 2010 with little contest.
The breeze was acting up on Lake Constance this weekend for the final of the Longtze European Tour: no wind on Friday, a little on Saturday, but a good medium breeze to finish on the final day.
In total, seven races were sailed, all seven dominated by the German Wet Feet team who won with a lead of six points over Jarmo Wieland’s Shensu and 13 over the French Naval Academy crew led by Stéphane Christidis.
Talent, mastery, humility
It is no surprise that the overall winner of the 2010 Longtze European Tour is Eckhard Kaller and his Wet Feet team. They have proved consistent on the European circuit since it began in 2009, and now their talent, their command and a coordination of their Longtze continues to outstrip any the new crews in contention ...
Kaller, who is also a sailmaker commented: “We are of-course very happy with this result! There's no great secret to this, we have achieved this through the hard work put in by Seba, Theresa and Samy. We have been sailing together since the Longtze circuit was launched in Europe, and it has borne fruit. Jen, who replaced Samy (about to become a Father) on this final race, adapted perfectly to the team.
"Our other strong point, is of-course our sails, North 3DL (Eckhard works for North)! We are faster upwind than last year, especially in lighter winds. And then, with new teams coming onto the circuit also worked in our favour, but the regattas have always been really interesting. We will be back next year with pleasure, and we will try to participate in a maximum of events."
Top 5 jostle for position
The battle was tight throughout the season in the wake of the blue Longtze, evident of the very small margin between the overall top five, with only two points separating second-placed Shensu from fourth placed Ovik, while the recent arrival on the circuit Carissima was fifth, four points behind fourth. The crew of Voiles et Voiliers was different at each event but despite this was rewarded for its consistency taking third place on the podium.
The other major factor of the Longtze Premier’s second European season is indeed consistency through the circuit. Throughout the season, new owners attracted to the class, entered with the firm intention of participating in as many events as possible.
2010 was also the year the first Swiss national association for the class was created. The Student circuit has transformed its 'debut' into a success. Serious contacts have also been made in other countries to develop further Longtze Premier events...
"The atmosphere is always excellent on the circuit!" says the class' Pierre Mas. "The newcomers are delighted: the German and Swiss teams are highly motivated, they all want to train seriously to be ready for next year.”
The next rendez-vous for the class will be in early December at the Salon Nautique de Paris where the official awards ceremony of Longtze European Tour 2010 will be held and where the 2011 race schedule will also be announced.
Results - Bodensee Cup, final round of the Longtze European Tour
1 Eckhard Kaller (Germany) – WET FEET 5 points
2 Jarmo Wieland (Switzerland) – SHENSU 11 points
3 Stéphane Christidis (France) – ECOLE NAVALE – HEC SAILING TEAM 18 points
4 Laurent Berjon (France) – VOILES & VOILIERS 19 points
5 Markus Ziltener (Switzerland) – CARISSIMA 23 points
6 Matthieu Girolet / Georges Asperti (France) – OVIK 31 points
7 Michael Berenbach (Allemagne) – MAYCOR 32 points
8 Markus Graf (Switzerland) 34 points
9 Walter Schneider (Suisse) – OUTSIDER 36 points
10 Beat Frank (Switzerland) – QI 37 points
11 Orhan Gorbon (Turc) 39 points
12 Michael Begher (Germany) – CORVUS 39 points
13 Béatrice Maupas Sauvage (France) 63 points
Longtze European Tour 2010 - General ranking (Top 5)
1 Eckhard Kaller (Germany) – WET FEET 47 points
2 Jarmo Wieland (Switzerland) – SHENSU 35 points
3 Laurent Berjon (France) – VOILES & VOILIERS 34 points
4 Matthieu Girolet / Georges Asperti (France) – OVIK 33 points
5 Markus Ziltener (Switzerland) – CARISSIMA 29 points