Thursday 9 September 2010

Longtze European Tour: new victory for Eckhard Kaller

An unforgettable 4th stage!

Wet Feet celebrate their victory on Lake Garda. Image copyright Longtze Yachts.

by Catherine Ecarlat

11 Longtze Premiers met up last weekend on Lake Garda in Italy, to race the 4th stage of the Longtze European Tour 2010. The German team “Wet Feet”, led by Eckhard Kaller once again took out the event, followed by Ljarmo Wieland’s Swiss team “Shensu”, and the Longtze “Voiles et Voiliers”. After this superb Italian stage, the circuit finale will be played out, like last year, on Lake Constance at Kreuzlingen from the 22nd to the 24th of October.

A pleasant stage under a gentle Italian sun, a challenging stage in a light tactical breeze, a perfectly organized stage, a stage simply superb for its ambiance and countryside…The Trofeo Gorla will leave all the crews involved in the Longtze European Tour with a magnificent memory.

The Trofeo Gorla : absolutely fantastic !

Racing on Day One on Lake Garda. Image copyright Longtze Yachts.

“It’s an absolutely fantastic event!” remarks Pierre Mas. “ Perfect organisation, an incredible Italian ambiance, splendid countryside, no-one would regret making the journey!”

The first two days, the Longtze raced short windward-leeward loops and on the Sunday, with 300 other skiffs and race boats, the “Dragon’s Sons” took off on the “centomiglia” (100 miles round trip) of the Trofeo Gorla.

Wet Feet persists and wins

Day One Racing on Lake Garda. Image copyright Longtze Yachts.

The first Italian trip for the Longtze has been marked by a new victory by Eckhard Kaller’s German crew (Wet Feet). The master sailor and his crew have sailed together since the beginning of 2009 on the circuit; they have gained the ease and expertise necessary to be competitive in all conditions.

The 2010 competition has intensified and been refined with each race particularly with the Swiss team "Shensu" led by Ljarrmo Wieland, they were racing only their second event there in a Longtze but they are progressing very quickly. Note also the fine performance of the team “Voiles et Voiliers”, third, with Alain Chourgnoz at the helm, selected for the 470 at the Moscow Olympic Games.

“I would really like to come back!”

Racing on Day Two on Lake Garda. Image copyright Longtze Yachts.

Even if the first two crews have stalled on this event, thanks to the versatility and experience of the sailors engaged in the circuit, thanks to the easy handling of the boat, the tactical and technical game remains open and exciting, as Alain Chourgnoz says : " the boat is very interesting. The fact that this is a strict monotype adds even more spice to the racing. The Longtze is well bred, well-balanced, really well rigged, it doesn’t require much effort, and it planes really quickly... There were fun and games on the short rounds at the beginning of the race: you had to get a good start and be creative! It was a first for our crew ... And I would really like to come back! "

And, as always, the curious have not failed to notice this new boat, simple, efficient and great fun at the same time, also accessible financially and technically. "It’s one of the extraordinary charms of the class to be able to race in such different countries and sites: Monaco, Britain, Solent and now Lake Garda! And with crews from different backgrounds: five different nationalities at this event. It is a pleasure to meet up again, stage by stage", says Xavier de Lesquen, president of the Longtze Class.

The next and last meet of the Longtze European Tour 2010 is scheduled for the 22nd to the 24th October 2010, at Kreuzlingen on Lake Constance.

Longtze ranking from the Trofeo Gorla (Best 7 out of 9 legs)
1 - Eckhard Kaller (Germany) – WET FEET - 7 points
2 - Ljarmo Wieland (Switzerland) – SHENSU - 14 points
3 - Laurent Berjon (France) – VOILES & VOILIERS - 24 points
4 - Georges Asperti (France) – OVIK - 29 points
5 - Markus Ziltener (Switzerland) – CARISSIMA - 30 points
6 - Pierre Mas (France) – WAZABEE - 34 points
7 - Silvio Muller(Suisse) – 804 – 44 points
8 - Edouard Danel (France) – TCHIKK - 50 points
9 - Manuel Vaccari (France) – 65 points
10 - Ewald Aichinger (Austria) – 68 points
11 - Laurent Sailly (France) – P'TIT PIDUCE - 71 points

The fleet moored up. Image copyright Longtze Yachts.

Creation of a Swiss Longtze Class August 2010

Frank Beat, President of the Swiss Longtze Class : “We have created a national Longtze Class to provide the Swiss owners with a structure dedicated to this superb sportboat. Many boats have been bought this year by owners based in the Zurich region, it’s the right time to give the Longtze a push in Switzerland.

"Our objective is to gather together a strong fleet. The Longtze have all the assets for this : it is very fast, really fun and extremely easy to manage. It is also simple to transport and its price is truly attractive compared to other sportboats of the same type.

"We are working on putting together a race calendar, essentially following on from the existing events that the Longtze could slot into, and it covers all the Swiss territory so we can present the boat as widely as possible. As soon as the fleet is sufficiently strong, in association with the international Longtze Class, we will organise our own events. And we will of-course encourage our members to participate in the Longtze European Tour.”

Longtze European Tour 2010
Primo Cup-Trophée Crédit Suisse – Monaco (11 - 14 February)
Grand Prix de l'Ecole Navale - Lanvéoc (13 - 16 May)
Cowes Week – Ile of Wight (31 July - 7 August)
Trofeo Gorla – Lake Garda (3 - 4 September bananes et 5 september le Trofeo Gorla : 50 milles)
Longtze Final – Kreuzlingen- Switzerland Lake Constance (22nd – 24th October)

Longtze European Tour