Day 2 of the TF35 Geneva Cup was marked by an exceptional performance from Jérôme Clerc and his crew on Realteam Sailing, as they claimed victory in four out of five races sailing an almost perfect day.
The only team to consistently challenge Clerc's dominance matching their speed, boat handling, and often finishing within seconds of them, was Spindrift, with Yann Guichard at the helm and Yann Jauvin calling tactics. Spindrift finished second in all races today except for the fifth, in which Alinghi Red Bull Racing fought their way through the fleet from an average start to take second and bump Spindrift into third.
"It was a difficult start to the season yesterday," admitted Clerc. "But today, the team won four in a row, so I think we have found our pace. It had been six months since we were last in a fleet race situation. We needed to adjust and get used to the format again".
The weather conditions on Lake Geneva added an element of unpredictability with sunshine and variable winds. The 10-knot La Bise (northeasterly wind) from the start of the day dropped to an unstable 6 knots during the fourth race, testing the team's boat handling skills before it picked up again to 12 knots for the final race.
The unstable conditions made it difficult for the rest of the fleet to maintain consistency. Ylliam XII - Comptoir Immobilier, helmed by Bertrand Demole, started the day with a win after repeating his successful format from yesterday, nailing the pin end start and finding more pressure closer to shore to pop out ahead at the first gate. Demole finished the day with a third, doing enough in the middle to hold on to third place on the overnight leaderboard. Meanwhile, Alinghi Red Bull Racing struggled with boat speed for the first two races today and eventually found their foils, finishing with a 2-3-4 scoreline.
The new team, Ylliam 17, impressively clinched their first podium with a third-place in race four. Helmed by Julien Firmenich, the team were last after the first beat, but Australian tactician Torvar Mirsky pulled out all the tricks and, at the top of the second beat, Ylliam 17 found herself in third and closing the gap on Spindrift ahead. But she also, unfortunately, suffered an untimely breakdown as the horn sounded for the start of race seven, resulting in a costly Did Not Start (DNS). Guy de Picciotto's ZEN Too, with Loïc Forestier at the helm, also improved on yesterday's performance finishing fourth in races three and six.
Racing continues tomorrow with another five races scheduled. Follow live from 11:30 CET at www.tf35.org