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ETF26 series at Ecole Nationale de Voile et des Sports Nautiques

by Robin Clegg 16 Oct 2020 08:52 PDT
ETF26 series © Thomas Deregnieaux

After a weekend of intense racing at the ENVSN / Port-Haliguen event, Billy Besson's Racing by Ethik team have been crowned the winners of this year's ETF26 series.

Besson, alongside Matthieu Vandame and Fran├žois Morvan lifted the trophy with Ville de Nice/ABC Arbitrage, skippered by Jean-Pierre Dick taking second place overall. Charles Dorange's Youth Foiling Team took third place on the podium. Jean-Christophe Mourniac's Team Pro, winners last year, ended the series in fourth position ahead of Team Rockwool, led by Nicolai Sehested and Team Bourgan.

The shortened series of four events saw a total of 52 races involving 29 crew members who, between them, have won 15 world-champion titles.

Billy Besson said: "The conditions were insane, the races were really close and the competition fierce but we had a really great season and managed to come out on top."

Series creator Jean-Pierre Dick said that the ETF26s have proved what they can do in some epic battles on the water.

He said: "Congratulations to Billy and his team for winning the series against some of the world's most talented sailors and up and coming ones who will make a big impact in the future. We were pleased to be able to produce an intense racing series despite the Covid restrictions and will come back bigger and better next year."

The versatile, super-light foiling, one design catamarans, with a crew of three, are capable of high speeds and performance. They can reach 2.5 times the wind's speed and have a proven track record in adapting to diverse weather conditions.

"With the EFT26 you can learn how to sail on foiling catamarans at the highest level but with a reasonable budget. Competing with the best of the sport is really raising our level. Next season we will have new sails, more training practices and hopefully more results," added Yvan Bourgnon.

Arnaud Dorange, ETF26 class president, said: "Despite all the difficulties we've had this year, I've been proud to be part of this class - the level has been incredible and the budget for each team was really reasonable. It's a fun and fast foiling boat that has attracted top sailors such as Billy Besson and others from SailGP. For 2021 we already have a great program lined up with international sailors, many of whom are world champions, so great things are on the horizon."

The series was conceived by Jean-Pierre Dick, the four times winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre Race, and the boats were designed by Guillaume Verdier, the naval architect behind the winning boat Emirates Team New Zealand for the 34th edition of the America's Cup.

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