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TF35 racing at its best on opening day in Mies

Yacht Racing Podcast

It was a solid opening day for the TF35 Mies, the second event of the 2024 tour, with four different race winners over the five races sailed and every boat in the fleet hitting the podium in at least one race. Topping the overnight leaderboard, Realteam Sailing’s helm, Jérôme Clerc, and tactician Sébastien Col made the best start with two victories and two seconds.

“Great conditions today. Five superb heats, very tight, and increasingly close at the end of the day, with crossings everywhere at the gates,” explained Realteam Sailing’s mainsail trimmer Jeremy Bachelin. “It’s not like in previous years when the fastest boat won. Now, you have to be out in front from the start to compete for podium places. Overall, we are happy with our results; we were able to pull out all the stops and build up power during the day.”

After a short delay ashore, racing opened in a steady 12-knot southwesterly breeze and bright sunshine on Lake Geneva, Switzerland, these conditions were perfect for the TF35 high-performance one-design foiling catamarans.

In Race 1, Yann Guichard’s Sails of Change 8 was one of the first teams to recognise the advantage on the left side of the course. With a clean, impeccably timed start, they led the race from early on to win by a solid margin. Behind Realteam took second in a photo finish with Ylliam 17, who impressively climbed through the fleet from fifth to third.

The call to take a more central line in Race 2 proved a winning move for the newest helm to join the fleet Duncan Späth, and his tactician Yann Jauvin, on Sails of Change 10. Third at the first windward gate, they gained ground downwind eking out a slight lead ahead of teammates Sails of Change 8 in second and Realteam in third.

“We got our first win, which is really cool,” confessed helm Späth. “We made good progress on the points we identified in Nyon. We had very nice conditions, around 13-15 knots, so it was a good day.”

“Everyone sails well in good conditions. You have to find the little spaces and the nice angles, play your game correctly and then the opportunities open up. But of course, the fleet is very close.”

In Race 3, a good start and going left in a clear breeze meant that Realteam was off and uncatchable. Sails of Change 10 and 8 were left in their wake to battle it out for a photo finish, taking second and third, respectively, with ZEN Too finishing a respectable fourth.

Realteam repeated their performance in Race 4 to take a second easy victory in a row, this time chased down by Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier in second and Sails of Change 8 in third.

The fifth and final race of the day delivered another shakeup. Having been caught mid-pack in dirty air off the line, ZEN Too tacked off early on the beat to find a clear breeze on the right. Coming into the first windward gate on the starboard lay line, she was able to cross the fleet and, with more pace than the closest competitor, Sails of Change 8, pulled into the lead and staved off a challenge by Realteam on the second beat to take the win.

Unusually for the TF35 fleet, this weekend’s grand prix racing is broken up tomorrow by the Genève-Rolle-Genève long-distance race when the six TF35s will join a fleet of 200 boats of all shapes and sizes for a 13:30 start from Yacht Club Genève. Normal windward leeward grand prix racing for the TF35 Mies event will resume Sunday.

“We’re sailing in a magnificent place. The windward leeward regattas are great, and the long-distance races are top-notch. They’re two different approaches, and I like them both,” Späth concludes.

TF35 MIES RESULTS:
(After five races)
1. Realteam Sailing (SUI 7) – 2 3 1 1 2 – 6
2. Sails of Change 8 (SUI 8 ) – 1 2 3 3 3 – 9
3. Sails of Change 10 (SUI 10) – 4 1 2 4 4 – 11
4. ZEN Too (SUI 4) – 5 6 4 5 1 – 15
5. Ylliam XII—Comptoir Immobilier (SUI 12) – 6 4 6 2 5 – 17
6. Ylliam 17 (SUI 17) – 3 5 5 6 6 – 19

Main image © Loris Von Siebenthal

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