Another top of the range day off Scarlino, Italy, for the TF35 season final saw Esteban Garcia's Realteam Sailing claim two bullets from three races, further extending their lead over the chasing pack.
"On the racetrack the fleet is regrouping," observed Principal Race Officer Benoit Deutsch. "The overall level is rising, there are the three stand out teams, but it is increasingly with less of a lead. Team Sailfever, Ylliam and Zoulou are coming back strong and hooking in the leaders."
With a forecast suggesting similar strong, southerly conditions to that of yesterday, the race committee had the teams on the water early to make the most of the light breeze before the gradient wind picked up.
After a short delay, racing was underway in 7-9knots of breeze. The compact fleet of six TF35s approached the windward gate bow-to-stern with Spindrift edging ahead, she hung on for the next lap, but a substantial shift at the second windward gate as the teams approached layline benefited the right. Realteam Sailing and Zoulou, with owner Erik Maris at the helm, took the advantage and accelerated away to finish first and second respectively.
In race two Alinghi and Spindrift started in the second row on port going right, while Zoulou led the charge out to the left. Realteam Sailing was ahead at the first gate, and she held her position, despite a strong challenge by Spindrift, to take the race win. Alinghi was lucky to steal second from Yann Guichard and his crew who misjudged their final gybe in the stronger wind and almost ran straight into the Race Committee boat.
As conditions grew, the winds occasionally edging into the 20s and the wave state increasing, the race committee decided to display the AP over A and teams were sent ashore to wait for conditions to improve.
Two hours later, the sea state had subsided enough for Principal Race Officer Benoit Deutsch to squeeze in a third and final race. In this Realteam Sailing and Alinghi were perfectly matched until the last downwind leg when Alinghi found the speed she needed to pull away and take the win.
In the overall standings going into the final day of racing for the inaugural TF35 Trophy, Realteam Sailing is clear ahead with an eight-point lead.
Behind her the scores are close, with second-placed Alinghi on 18 points and third-placed Spindrift on 19 points, and it is a similar story for Zoulou in fourth, just two points ahead of Team SAILFEVER in fifth. Ylliam XII - Comptoir Immobilier finishes off the leaderboard in sixth.