After four days of racing on Lake Geneva in light conditions under sunny skies but with a far from straightforward meteorological picture to contend with, Esteban Garcia's Realteam, co-skippered by Jérôme Clerc, has claimed the opening event win of 2022 season after scoring two bullets over the first two days.
"It was a tricky weekend, the conditions were usual for the Lac Léman," explained Clerc at the prize giving. "The races we had were good and in foiling mode. From a sporting point of view, we are happy with our result because we trained hard over the winter to start this season ahead."
Of his competition, Clerc added: "It's good to see that Alinghi Red Bull Racing and Spindrift have also improved; our three boats seem to be really well matched in pace on the water. Spindrift especially is improving fast in the light wind; they are very strong."
With only four races sailed over four days, the TF35 Realstone Cup for Léman hope finished today with one attempted race, which started in seven knots of breeze but was abandoned as the wind died at the first gate. "We got really unlucky this week," said class manager Bertrand Favre. "At the start, there was a very strong wind at altitude, and this stopped the sea breeze system from kicking in, and today, there was very little difference in temperature between the altitude and the lake level, so again, the sea breeze couldn't get going."
"We've been racing here for 16 years with the D35, and for two with the TF35 and we've never had two single race days at a regatta!" he added.
Second placed Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi Red Bull Racing was a close match for Realteam in every race this weekend, taking the win from them in race three after finding better pressure on the right when the fleet split upwind. Bryan Mettraux from the team explained: "It's hard to have a long weekend and only do four races, but it is part of the game. We are happy with our result but also really happy to see the great level of competition between Realteam and Spindrift; this season will be a good fight".
Continuing to impress after showing real promise at the end of the 2021 season in Scarlino, Italy, Yann Guichard and his young crew onboard Spindrift finish the Nyon event in third after winning yesterday's race.
"The goal for everyone is always to be better and better, so it will be hard to beat them at the next event in Mies," said Mettraux of his rivals, laughing.
Of the chasing pack, Team Sailfever helmed this week by Loïck Peyron finished in fourth, six points off the podium, with ZEN Too, and Vitamina Sailing tied on points in fifth and sixth. An impressive result for new helm Andrea Lacorte as this is the first time the Vitamina crew have officially raced with the fleet. Ylliam XII - Comptoir Immobilier completes overall ranking just two points behind in seventh.
The TF35s will meet next in two weeks when the fleet will face a bumper weekend of Lake Geneva racing with two days of fleet racing for the TF35 Mies on either side of the Genève-Rolle-Genève long-distance race.