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Longtze European Tour at Lanvéoc, France - Preview

by Longtze European Tour 11 May 2010 10:29 BST 13-16 May 2010

17 crews to compete for title of French Champion

Never before have so many Longtze Premiers lined up on a start line - no less than 17 crews are expected at the Grand Prix de l’Ecole Navale from the 13th to the 16th May at Lanvéoc. Students, professional and switched on amateurs will meet for the very first time at this competition which was also the first in Europe to open its start lines to the Longtze. And this year, this event is also the French Monohull Championship.

“The Longtze class has shown great development since we welcomed it for the first time in 2008. We have always believed in this class!” announces Alain Daoulas, Commissioner General for the Grand Prix de l’Ecole Navale. “This year, all the available Longtze are reunited for the Grand Prix- French Championship. We are delighted to host the largest Longtze fleet ever gathered, from which one crew will be crowned French Champion for the first time!”

The Newcomers

From the 17 crews in the line-up, we expect some new owners. Some enlightened amateurs who have been seduced by the Longtze and her circuit of European competitions. Amongst them, Edouard Danel, co-owner of two Longtze Premier: “We have pulled together 6 co-owners and a team of 8 to 10 sailors in total to participate in the Longtze European Tour. The Longtze corresponds perfectly to what I was searching for: a fun support network, accessible, and one that I can readily share with others. Our group is comprised of excellent sailors, all busy with intense professional lives, but who will enjoy pitting themselves against the circuit regulars. The Grand Prix de l’Ecole Navale will be our first race, we don’t have grand ambitions but we hope to race some good rounds ! Next year, at least one of our two Longtze will actively participate in all stages of the circuit. “

The Faithful

At Lanvéoc, we will also meet the Longtze European Tour faithful, including of-course Nicolas Bérenger’s crew, currently in first place ; the German team led by Eckhard Kaller ( Wet Feet), 2nd, the Dutch Koos van den Heuvel ; but also the ‘Voiles & Voiliers’ Longtze team who are taking part in all stages of the 2010 circuit with a reader and a journalist on board. Another journalist, Dominic Bourgeois, will be heading up a crew… Jimmy Pahun, allured by his participation in the Primo Cup at Hervé Gautier’s side (Team HEC Ecole Navale), has formed a crew “Region Ile de France”.

The Students

For the first time, the student circuit (the Longtze Student Cup) joins the Longtze European Tour. Eight crews representing 15 schools will be in the ranks. The students are looking forward to this meeting with great pride and anticipation.

The stakes are in fact multiplied for them in this event : “we are very pleased to take part in the Grand Prix de l’Ecole Navale, it is a pivotal event which allows us to pitch ourselves against professional skippers. We are also very mindful of our responsibilities towards the Naval Academy who have actively supported us since the creation of our circuit. They help us a great deal on a logistics level by putting their infrastructure at our disposal, as well as providing the communication tools for promoting our sponsors…,” explains Louis Grimaud, a student from Centrale Lyon and one of Longtze Student Cup initiators.

Two Naval Academy Crews

The Naval Academy is heavily involved in the Longtze Student Cup. Two teams are registered on the circuit: one in partnership with HEC and the other, recently put together, “Générations Ecole Navale”, is sponsored entirely by the Naval Academy’s past students association. “We have established research teams around this Longtze, the students are indeed going to make their own sails. The Longtze has an extremely interesting technical and educational support element !”, states Alain Daoulas.

In total, 68 sailors, the young and the not so young, but each one armed with their personal motivations will battle it out on board the Longtze Premier. Four whole four days of fun and festivities for the Monohulls.

Experienced sailors, professional skippers, super-keen students : for this its 2nd series, the Longtze European Tour remains completely faithful to its core wish to unite skills from very diverse horizons. The eclecticism and pleasure of racing at a top level are the hallmarks of this new circuit.

Rendez-vous 13th to the 16th May at Lanvéoc-Poulnic for this unprecedented gathering.

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