When snow meets water
That’s what happenend last week in St Gervais, France during the 21st Mer Montagne Trophy, a traditional meeting between sailors and mountaineers. This amical event was created 20 years ago by former maxi-multihull and Whitbread skipper, Eric Loizeau. After three round the world races and numerous transats culminating in his skippers the maxi-cat Roger & Gallet, Loizeau turned his back on the sea and became a mountain man. He went to the top of the world, scaling Mount Everest. Then he wanted these worlds of water, ice and salt, to share their passions and hence the Trophy Mer Montagne was born.
Over four days the competitors enjoy several sporting challenges; ski touring (where you have to get to the top of the mountain using only your muscles and your sweat), biathlon (shooting & skiing), slalom, transtation and a ski race (ski touring by night). A torchlight ski session also happened, but for the rest, what happens in St. Gervais stays in St Gervais!
Some of the best sailors were there, including ORMA skipper Yvan Bourgnon recently returned from rounding Cap Horn in a beach multihull, Fred Le Peutrec who just finished completed the Jules Verne Trophy on Banque Populaire, MACIF IMOCA 60 skipper François Gabart the young gun competing in the next Vendée Globe and Steve Ravussin who is preparing for a big season on his MOD 70 Race For Water.
If some sailors are good skiers, other are rookies. But the goal is not solely to win this amical event but also to make friends with the mountain men and women, to discover and share their passion as often mountaineers invite sailors to discover their world and vice et versa. Like Aurélien Ducros (2 times FreeRide World Champion) who competed in the last Mini-Transat, or some Mountain Guides who invited sailors to share a ride to the top of the Mont Blanc, the tallest peak in Europe.
All of these stars also enjoyed a conference from Race for Water, a foundation who are trying to explain to the human race the fragility of our water resources and how to preserve them. Salt water and ice, everybody is concerned.
Full results here