The TF35 high-performance one-design foiling catamaran is set to launch its third season this week on Lake Geneva, Switzerland, with new crews turning up the heat for the 2023.
New to the fleet for the start of the year will be Swiss businessman Julien Firmenich leading Ylliam 17, which boasts an all-star international crew featuring Australian Match Racing star Torvar Mirsky, 470 Olympic Champion Will Ryan, Kiwi multihull sailor Stuart Dodson, two-time Olympian Jason Saunders, and Swiss SSL sailor Nelson Mettraux.
Firmenich, who has spent a few days training at the helm of Ylliam 17, explains: "It's a great challenge and a fantastic boat. I have surrounded myself with extraordinary sailors, extremely professional and used to racing together at the highest level. Being at the helm is intense, but there is such a sense of control on board that it makes the experience much more serene for me. We have a lot to learn and don't have any goals for results this year other than to enjoy making progress together.”
The Ylliam 17 team has partnered with Bertrand Demole's Ylliam XII - Comptoir Immobilier to benefit from joint logistical support and the experience of a more extensive support crew ashore.
Having seen great progression over the last two seasons Demole's team will remain mostly unchanged with the Franco-Swiss crew led by Billy Besson joined by Sandro Lacan.
Guy de Picciotto's ZEN Too, skippered by Loïc Forestier, will also keep the same experienced TF35 crew, including Grégoire Siegwart in charge of tactics with the aim to keep building on the steady growth they saw last year.
Celebrating their 10 year anniversary as a team Esteban Garcia's Realteam Sailing, skippered by Jérôme Clerc, started their 2023 season with an early show of speed and power by breaking the Lake Geneva Blue Ribbon speed record (Geneva-Bouveret-Geneva) in 3 hours and 43 minutes and setting a new Lake Geneva record for maximum speed over 1,000 metres after averaging 35.39 knots.
For Yann Guichard and Dona Bertarelli's Spindrift the young talented crew of Yann Jauvin, Duncan Späth, Jules Bidegaray, Antoine Rucard and Thibault Julien are expected to continue to impress and progress as they have done over the last two seasons to be a consistent challenger at the front of the fleet.
The defending tour champion team, Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi Red Bull Racing, is 'returning to its roots' with the TF35 this season, but with the twist of an entirely new crew. With the 2022 team is focused on the AC75 and AC40 in Barcelona in preparation for the 37th America's Cup, there is the opportunity on the TF35 to develop new talent. The foiling catamaran will be crewed by young sailors and supervised by an experienced core team composed of Nathalie Brugger, Jérémy Bachelin, Laurane Mettraux and Matthieu Ravussin under the watchful eye of Yvan Ravussin. The team will continue to develop the talent pool in Switzerland with a view to selection for the Youth & Women's America's Cup.
"It is a great pride to join this team which has been the reference for professional sailing in Switzerland for decades, " explains Brugger. "Our goal this season is to integrate young people and women on board, introduce them to flying, and build a solid team".
The season kicks off this Thursday, 18 May, with the first of seven scheduled events: the TF35 Geneva Cup hosted by the prestigious Société Nautique de Genève.
Alinghi Red Bull Racing (SUI 100)
Owner: Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI)
Realteam Sailing (SUI 7)
Owner: Esteban Garcia (SUI)
Spindrift (SUI 10)
Owners : Dona Bertarelli (SUI) / Yann Guichard (FRA)
Ylliam 17 (SUI17)Julien Firmenich (SUI)
Ylliam XII - Comptoir Immobilier (SUI XII)
Owner: Bertrand Demole (SUI)
ZEN Too (SUI 4)
Owner: Guy de Picciotto (SUI)