Esteban Garcia's Realteam Sailing, led by helmsman Jérôme Clerc, emerged triumphant at the thrilling final day of the TF35 Nyon Cup. Impressively, this marks their fourth consecutive event win, for the seemingly unstoppable Swiss team.
"What's great is that the level of the fleet is really increasing," explained Clerc on the dock after racing. "All the teams are making progress, and even if we look dominant, it's really tight. All the boats can perform, it's great fun to play, and it pushes us to keep improving to keep up. This Grand Prix was particularly tactical, not just technical; you had to play the pressure game, it was quite open."
Since the inception of the TF35 Trophy in 2021, this weekend showcased some of the closest races the teams have experienced, with every boat making finishing in the top three but also suffering deep results.
Ylliam XII - Comptoir Immobilier managed to steer clear of trouble today and secured a second-place finish in the Nyon Cup, a mere five points behind their rivals, Realteam. Meanwhile, Spindrift, who faced difficulties on the second day, regained their speed and concluded the regatta on a high as helm Yann Guichard explained: "It was a great day, we were waiting for a light thermal breeze, the famous sechard, and it came in for the last two races where we were finally able to foil upwind and downwind and it's great because we won both."
He added, "We got off to some good starts and sailed fast, so finishing the first part of the season with two heat wins is a good feeling."
Alinghi Red Bull Racing also delivered an impressive performance today, much to the delight of their helmswoman, Nathalie Brugger. She shared her excitement, saying, "I think this is the best present the team could have given me today. It's been a great day, and we've won our first two races of the season."
Although the new Alinghi Red Bull Racing crew encountered some challenges on the second day, struggling with their starts, everything seemed to fall into place today. They ultimately secured a fourth-place finish in the overall leaderboard, tantalizingly close to a podium position.
"We had a good debrief on Friday's starts, we corrected what needed to be corrected and the whole team did a great job. We hope to continue to win races and challenge for the podium. We still have hours of training to do compared to the other teams, we're a bit behind, but we're going to come back to Malcesine even stronger," Brugger adds.
ZEN Too finished the regatta in fifth place, with Ylliam 17 following closely in sixth.
Attention now shifts to the second half of the season when the TF35 fleet will relocate to Malcesine for two regattas in September and October, taking place on Lake Garda.
"It's been a good start to the season for all the TF35s. We sailed some great races, most of the time in windy conditions. Now we're going to concentrate on the second half of the season, where we've got two grand prix on Lake Garda, and where the conditions are likely to be a bit rougher with stronger wind. We've had a lot of fun and we can't wait to get going again," Guichard concluded.