Despite the containment measures imposed by COVID-19, the members of the Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier team adapted and proceeded to a first assembly of the boat before the shipment to Switzerland scheduled for early June.
The strict confinement imposed in France since mid-March has completely disrupted the schedule of all the teams involved in the TF35 circuit, including the Ylliam XII Comptoir Immobilier team.
The team has however been able to adapt. It continued as best it could with its programme while complying with the rules imposed by this exceptional situation.
The team was able to adapt, however.
When the lockdown was announced, the ship was still under construction, and the hulls were about to go into paint. The yard was closed for a fortnight, but the painters, who have to observe drastic protective measures for their health anyway, were still able to finish their work. The sails as well as the decoration of them were also able to be finished before everything came to a halt.
After a fortnight’s closure, the Vannes yard has resumed some of its activities, adapting its pace to the situation and the health requirements in force. Thierry Briend, who lives ten kilometres from the yard, managed to get Teva Plichart to come from Montpelier, and he was able to find a small studio to rent.
The two members of the TF35 Ylliam XII crew were thus able to start assembling the boat, three weeks behind the original schedule. They worked with two people, instead of the planned four. Looking back, things went rather well,” confided Thierry Briend, in charge of the boat’s assembly. We managed to do the job with two people. It certainly took a bit longer, but we did it calmly. We were able to see everything, and in some respects, it was perhaps easier than with four people. Because everything is so light, we didn’t run into any handling problems. “
By mid-May, the platform is assembled and the boat is up to a few details. “We have just received the mast, and we have all the pieces of the puzzle. We need to make sure everything is in order, before we proceed with dismantling, and putting it in a container to be shipped to Switzerland. “
Pierre Pennec, who is overseeing the project notes the difficulty of working over the past two months. “We have only been adapting,” he explains. We have to move forward without having a deadline, and always in the conditional. I made sure that all the team members always had the right information at the right time, and updated what needed to be updated. It’s really complicated to work in these conditions, but all indications are that things will get better in the next few weeks. “
The latest news on the progress of the pandemic is reassuring, and gives hope for freedom of movement as well as open borders. This will allow the entire team to be brought to Geneva for final editing. “We don’t know yet if flights will be re-established from Brittany or La Rochelle to Geneva. We have to be prepared to drive ten hours rather than fly one hour, but in the current context, it’s almost a detail. “
If the situation continues to move in the right direction, the assembly of the boat should take place between June 10 and 20 at SNG, with a launch in the third week of June. It remains to coordinate the work with the other teams, so that the adjustments and electronic updates can be done on all the boats at the same time. Training can then resume during the summer. The goal is to get everyone sailing as quickly as possible.
As far as regattas go, it’s still too early to talk about an updated schedule. But training and tune-up sessions will be set up during the summer. A first training session (outside the championship) will take place between mid and end of August. If all goes well, two official regattas during the month of September will take place. Travel to participate in overseas events is postponed until 2021.