Lake Geneva presented a challenging third day of racing for the TF35 as the light-to-no windforecast eventually rewarded the patience of the teams and perseverance of the race committee with one successful race.
In this, it was Spindrift, helmed by Yann Guichard, who mastered a clean start closest to the pin in a delicate six-knot breeze and found good pressure alone on the left as the rest of the cutting-edge hydro-foiling catamarans went right.
"It was the only race, but it was good for us," explained Guichard from the helm of his TF35 as they towed ashore. "I'm really please with how we sailed today; we had a good start, Yann Jauvin, our tactician had already made the call to go left, and it was the right decision. It wasn't easy to stay in flying mode, but this was the key, keeping the boat flying as long as we could."
Downwind the only real threat to Spindrift's lead came from Jérôme Clerc on Realteam but, as the call to finish the race at the windward gate came through on the radio, Guichard's team found a pocket of pressure and lurched across the finish line ahead of their rivals.
Guichard admits the conditions today: "The boats are very sensitive, so sailing in the light winds is an entirely different skill from the stronger winds of yesterday. You have more time to think, make tactical moves, and consider what is happening on the lake, but you also need to keep the boat flying, which takes a lot of concentration from everyone onboard. It is a real team effort to win a race."
Despite several attempts to set a course for a subsequent race as the fickle lake gave glimpses of more breeze on the horizon, the ever-hopeful Principle Race Officer Benoit Deutsch finally admitted defeat at 1700 and ended the day.
Making the most of the downtime on the water, a group of 15 young people from Léman hope, a charity based in Lausanne that supports, inspires and empowers young people in recovery from cancer through sailing, joined each of the TF35 teams. There may not have been enough wind for a reliable racecourse, but there was enough for the crews to take their young guests for a blast on the foils.
Going into the final day of racing for the TF35 Realstone Cup for Léman hope home team Realteam hold a single point advantage over Alinghi Red Bull Racing, who is in turn a point ahead of Spindrift. Behind the leading trio, Team Sailfever is in fourth with a six-point gap to bridge to make it onto the podium. ZEN Too and Vitamina Sailing Team are in fifth and sixth respectively, tied on 15 points with Ylliam XII - Comptoir Immobilier two points behind in seventh place.