With only two races sailed due to light winds on the final day of the TF35 Malcesine Cup 1, Realteam Sailing, skippered by Jérôme Clerc, who have been victorious every regatta of the 2023 season, claim the annual TF35 Trophy with one event remaining.
"It's been an incredible four days of Grand Prix racing. I think we've done a total of 12 races, going head-to-head with Spindrift until the last race. It was like a cat-and-mouse game; the lead kept shifting between us. But we managed to make the difference on the final run thanks to our great team. We didn't give up, even though the first race of the day was difficult. I'm really proud of what we have achieved", said a thrilled Clerc on the dock.
After a brief onshore delay, the final day of racing commenced in unusually light winds of 7-10 knots. The spotlight was on the top two teams, Spindrift and Realteam Sailing, who had been closely matched all week. In Race 11 of the series, Spindrift immediately appeared more comfortable, getting off the line faster than Realteam, which struggled. Spindrift maintained their lead, securing the first win of the day, with Alinghi Red Bull Racing coming in second and Realteam in third.
Able to discard their third-place in that race ment Realteam still held a one-point lead overall.
In Race 12 the two teams started side by side, but in the first beat Realteam found more speed and lift to stretch away from Spindrift. At the first windward gate, Ylliam XII - Comptoir Immobilier and Ylliam 17 rounded ahead going right towards the center of the lake. As the breeze began to weaken, the left shoreside of the course proved more favorable, and Realteam stayed ahead, with Spindrift finishing second. The two Ylliam boats had a close finish for third and fourth.
"It was an intense week of battling with Realteam right from the start. The winner of the last race would secure the overall victory, so congratulations to them," commented Spindrift's helm Yann Guichard.
"We sailed really well, and I'm happy because I can feel the crew making progress. We have a solid grasp of the boat, performing well upwind, which also boosts our tactical confidence. Everyone in the fleet was delighted as these conditions were perfect for sailing".
In a week's time, we'll be back for the last event of the season; we'll be battling it out for second place with Ylliam XII Comptoir Immobilier, so it's going to be fun right to the end", he added.
With Realteam winning the overall 2023 season, the competition is now focused on securing the remaining podium positions in anticipation of the final Malcesine event, scheduled in two weeks' time. Spindrift has now drawn level on points with Ylliam XII but holds the advantage on countback. Tied on points are also ZEN Too and Alinghi Red Bull Racing in fourth and fifth place, respectively, with the new team Ylliam 17 just one point behind in sixth.