Day two of the TF35 Nyon Cup, and in contrast to racing being cancelled at the morning briefing yesterday due to thunderstorms, today the TF35s enjoyed a cracking day of light-airs racing in the sunshine, with Realteam Sailing emerging as top boat.
With the breeze between seven and ten knots, this was a day when good starts and the strategic decision of whether to foil was key to success in the cutting-edge catamarans.
Realteam Sailing, helmed by Jérôme Clerc, has been the most consistent team this season, winning the previous three regattas and claiming victory as the first TF35 home at the Bol d'Or last weekend. They continued their impressive performance, securing wins in the first two races today, followed by a third-place finish in Race 3, and second-place finishes in Races 4 and 5.
Second-placed Ylliam XII - Comptoir Immobilier, helmed at this event by Billy Besson, had a tough time in Race 2 when a windshift meant they overshot the leeward gate. However, they hit their stride in Race 3, finishing in second and topped it off with two race wins in Races 4 and 5. This performance puts them just two points behind Realteam Sailing in the overnight ranking.
Reflecting on the day's racing, Besson said, "Today was incredibly tough. The conditions demanded tactical and strategic decision-making throughout the day. The decision on which mode to be in, if we should roll up the gennaker to try and make the boat fly, is complex. Sometimes we suceeded, sometimes we didn’t and believing in our decisions was challenging.
"Sometimes we'd set off at the wrong angles, but if the speed was good then we trusted our choices. You had to be very tactical because the winds were changing, so we had to reposition ourselves and put in some very precise tacks."
Third overall, ZEN Too, skippered by Loïc Forestier, has struggled with their consistency this season. Still, they have turned up today in excellent form handling the unstable light conditions well and claiming three podium finishes out of five races.
Forestier acknowledged the difficulties faced: "Today was not an easy one. The conditions made it difficult to decide the upwind jib, the gennaker, the code. So in the end, we're happy to be third this evening."
Among the other TF35s competing, Spindrift currently sits in fourth place. They posted unusually deep scores in three of the races but showed a glimpse of their regular performance with a second in Race 2 and a win in Race 3. The newest team to join the line-up, Ylliam 17, currently sits in fifth overall, having had the most consistent day of all the fleet posting a third in Race 1 and four fourth-place finishes throughout the rest of the day. In sixth, Alinghi Red Bull Racing remarkably achieved their best result of the day after being called OCS on the start line and fighting their way through the fleet to finish third in Race 2.
The competition will continue tomorrow with five races planned to start from 11.30CET.