After a slow start yesterday, Lake Garda delivered an afternoon of technical racing for the six TF35 teams in a southerly Ora breeze ranging from 7 - 14 knots. On a day where it seemed all too easy to pair a good result to a bad one, it is Yann Guichard's Spindrift who has risen to the top of the overnight leaderboard by a single point from Realteam Sailing at this midpoint of the regatta.
"It was pretty heavy on crew work and decision-making today," explained Ylliam 17 tactician Torvar Mirsky. "Eight knots is the tipping-point for if we foil upwind or not. Because the wind was stronger on the left side of the course by the time we had decided, or by the time the wind had changed on the lake, we were on the back foot."
In the first start of the day Guy de Picciotto's ZEN Too won the pin and in clear air led up the beat with Spindrift, Realteam Sailing and Alinghi Red Bull Racing chasing hard. At the first tack, with the four teams within meters of each other, Spindrift's cunningham broke as they tacked onto port. A testiment to the skill of Yann Guichard and his crew, dispite the brakdown they were able to take the advantage by the windward gate and held onto their lead until the finish, despite a consistent threat from Realteam Sailing.
In second race, with Spindrift deasperatly trying to get their cunningham fixed in time for the start, at 30 seconds to go headsail trimmer Peter Tack was still up the mast. Realteam Sailing led, Ylliam XII - Comptoir Immobilier in second and miraculously Spindrift were able to climb through the fleet from last to finish the race in third. They followed this up with a further second and third in the final two races of the day.
"It was pretty emotional onboard, the wind was shifting and it wasn't easy sailing. We tried to keep our focused, our head in the boat and sailing properly, and thankfully we recovered well," said Tack.
Ylliam XII - Comptoir Immobilier also suffered a malfunction in the second race when the lashing at the top of their mast holding the mainsail broke and the team had to retired to fix it. They bounced back in the next race adding a 2, 5, 4 to their scorline, enough hold onto third place in the in the overnight ranking.
Other hero-to-zero moments from the day belonged to ZEN Too, who's results bounced between third and sixth and Alinghi Red Bull Racing who finished consistently fourth until the final race when helm Marie Mazuay had good speed upwind and were able to hold onto the stern of Spindrift to take second place.
Racing contiues tomorrow with four races planned from 13:00. Follow the race coverage at www.TF35.org