For the second event of the 2023 TF35 Trophy, the fleet of cutting-edge hydro-foiling catamarans will mix up their standard windward-leeward championship racing by taking part in Saturday's Geneve-Rolle-Geneve long-distance race, the prologue to the renowned Bol d'Or Mirabaud.
Hosted by Realstone to raise awareness for sailing cancer charity Léman hope, the championship racing will be held on Friday, 2 June and Sunday, 4 June, with five windward-leeward races scheduled per day. However, the fickle winds on the lake at this time of the year may complicate matters.
"The conditions are looking a lot lighter than our last regatta. We will probably have some marginal foiling conditions, maybe not much foiling upwind. Tomorrow looks like 6-8 knots and very variable, so it will be one of those classic lake weekends with the wind shifting around all over the place, and Sunday's forecast is for rain and some storm action, so let's see," explains Yilliam 17 trimmer, Jason Saunders.
Based out of the Mies shipyard, where a large number of the TF35 fleet has been assembled and launched since 2020. The event will once again be hosted with the full support of the Club Nautique de Versoix.
Following the inaugural event held in Geneva just ten days ago, Jérôme Clerc and his on-form crew on Realteam Sailing are at the top of the leaderboard and earned extra merit at the start of spring by breaking the Blue Ribbon Lake Geneva record and the 1k speed record on the lake, making them the favourites on paper for the 30 nautical mile long-distance race on Saturday, competing against more than 200 other boats.
However, on the water, the reality of the racing is a much closer picture, with Spindrift and Ylliam XII - Comptoir Immobilier being consistent threats this season. With the light forecast, it will be a technical game of patience and gentle boat handling this weekend.
"We have locals Guillaume Rol and Nelson Mettraux on board; they will be our strategists for the long-distance race," adds Saunders. "For the rest of us, it's a new format with these boats. If the wind is going to be extremely light winds, it will demand intense concentration to keep the boats moving".
Live race tracking will be available on the TF35 website, while updates from the racecourse will be available on the TF35 Facebook page.