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Zen Too shines in light airs on day two of TF35 Nyon Cup

Yacht Racing Podcast

Day two of the TF35 Nyon Cup started with a beautiful but glassy still morning on Lake Geneva. At the 10:00 skippers briefing, PRO Benoit Deutsch delayed the teams ashore, hoping for a repeat of the previous day’s afternoon wind.

The TF35 fleet remained poised at Société Nautique de Nyon, but it was not until 14:30 that the boats were called onto the water for a start. Unfortunately, the wind didn’t materialise enough to make this happen, and the Race Committee finally got the first of three races going at 16:30 in a delicate six-knot breeze.

Of the three races sailed in the late afternoon, the defending tour champions Realteam Sailing kept their TF35 moving well upwind and downwind, securing victories in the first and third races of the day. A third place in the second race meant that Jérôme Clerc and his crew were the only ones to survive the day without a deep result, putting them top the overnight leaderboard with a four-point lead.

“Today, conditions were much lighter. Our strong point was really the starts. Jérôme managed the whole phase well to get to the favourable side of the race course, and it’s mainly thanks to this that we managed to perform so well,” explains Realteam Sailing’s new bowman Eliot Merceron.

“All the boats are fast, so it was a question of small details today. The conditions were so light that there were a lot of choices to be made. For the most part, we were lucky today that our choices were good,” he added.

In the overnight ranking Sails of Change 8 still holds on to second and Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier third despite both teams suffering deep results. Sails of Change 8 finished last in the first race of the day after a penalty for hitting the mark at the second windward gate, and Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier dropped from fourth to six on the final downwind leg of race three after taking a risk going left that didn’t pay.

The standout team for today was undoubtedly Guy de Picciotto’s ZEN Too. In the second race of the day they started mid-line on port and were in contact with leaders Realteam Sailing after the first beat. Keeping Realteam in check downwind and at the leeward gate, ZEN Too split, heading for the favoured starboard layline. This move put them comfortably ahead, and with clean air, they extended away on the final downwind leg to finish with a four-minute lead over second-placed Sails of Change 8.

The final race of the day was similar for the team. Though this time, they were unable to catch Realteam, they defended well against threats from Sails of Shange 8 and Ylliam XII—Comptoir Immobilier to finish the race in second.

“After a long wait ashore, you have to get back into racing mode quickly, and Greg [tactician Grégoire Siegwart] got us back into the game pretty fast. He was clear with his tactics, enabling us to get out in front,” mused ZEN Too helm Loïc Forestier on shore after racing.

“The fleet is compact, and the level has gone up another notch. There have been four leaders in six races, and everyone can win, so it’s exciting. Tomorrow, we’ll try to do the basics well, get off to a good start, get a clear view of the race course, do what we know how to do, sail at our level, and I think we’ll have some great races”.

The final day of racing for the TF35 Nyon Cup tomorrow has been delayed. The skippers’ briefing is now scheduled for 11:30 local time. Visit to find out more.

(After 6 races)
1. Realteam Sailing (SUI 7) – 1 2 4 1 3 1 – 8
2. Sails of Change 8 (SUI 8 ) – 3 3 1 6 2 3 – 12
3. Ylliam XII—Comptoir Immobilier (SUI 12) – 5 1 2 2 4 6 – 14
4. ZEN Too (SUI 4) – 4 6 5 5 1 2 – 17
5. Sails of Change 10 (SUI 10) – 2 5 3 3 5 5 – 18
6. Ylliam 17 (SUI 17) – 7 4 6 4 6 4 – 24

Main image © Loris Von Siebenthal