With the Swiss half of the TF35 season complete, the cutting-edge hydro-foiling catamarans now move on to Italy for the final two events of the 2022 season; the TF35 Malcesine Cup over the 8 - 11 September and the TF35 Scarlino over 6 - 9 October.
It’s only the second year of racing for the newly designed fleet, but already during the first four regattas of this season, compressed into May and June, a dramatic improvement has been seen across the fleet as the teams have got to grips with their new racing machines.
As in their debut year, Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi Red Bull Racing and Jérôme Clerc's Realteam for Léman hope hold a firm grip on first and second place in the overall ranking at this halfway stage with just two points between them. Clerc and his crew took the first win of the season in Nyon, but fell second to the dark blue hulls of Alinghi after she claimed the TF35 Mies and the Genève-Rolle-Genève race with back-to-back victories.
"Being at the top of the championship rankings after the first half of the season is obviously nice," said Alinghi Red Bull Racing head coach Nils Frei who admits the team's focus over the summer has been on the preparation and launching of the Boatzero for their 37th America’s Cup Campaign. "But we also know that the other teams are sharp, their full focus is on the TF35, so the last two stages of the season will be very competitive. That's what we love."
Team SAILFEVER's mastery of the TF35 in the painfully light airs of the Bol d'Or Mirabaud this year puts Frédéric Jousset's team in third place on the podium but tied on countback with the young crew of Spindrift. Led by Yann Guichard, Spindrift has been a contender in every race this season. However, an unfortunate breakdown and DNF during the Bol d'Or Mirabaud will mean they need strong performances in Italy to have a shot at the podium.
ZEN Too is also showing promise. Having taken second in the Bol d'Or Mirabaud, Guy de Picciotto's team is only two points from the podium and holds a slight lead over Bertrand Demole's Ylliam XII - Comptoir Immobilier. A third in Mies for Demole shows his crew are more than capable of fighting for the podium.
New to the TF35 fleet for 2022 is Vitamina Sailing. The Italian team, led by Kiwi tactician Adam Minoprio with Andrea Lacorte on the helm, has had strong starts but is playing catch-up this season. If they can refine their technique, they will begin to get the results needed to move up the leaderboard.
All seven teams will meet again next week for the TF35 Malcesine Cup over the 8 - 11 September, hosted by the Fraglia Vela Malcesine. Racing for the first time on Lake Garda with the expectation of flat water, 12-18 knots and the dramatic backdrop with the Dolomite mountains, there is much anticipation in the fleet after the summer break: "It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful stretches of water in the world, flat, with steady wind every day, perfect conditions for these boats! Let's hope they will be faithful to what Malcesine has given us in the past," Frei concludes.