The TF35s ended their season last weekend in Scarlino, Tuscany. Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier finished 6th in this final 2021 meeting, but took 4th place in the championship. “The objectives are achieved” for the crew.
The sporting result achieved by the team of Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier at the last meeting of the year is certainly not the expected one. And Bertrand Demole’s men would have preferred to finish the season in a better position. But this 6th place remains ultimately satisfactory, as it allows them to reach 4th place in the 2021 championship standings, just behind the three professional teams involved in the circuit.
The first day of the TF35 Scarlino Cup 2 took place in dream conditions. And the six boats in the running, Zen Too having had to give up due to technical problems, were able to compete in the first three official races in a warm breeze of 6 to 12 knots. The spectacle offered by the foilers, sailing with a view of Monte Cristo Island, was particularly appreciated, both by the crews and by those on shore.
On Friday, in view of the forecast, the race committee decided to bring forward the start of the races by an hour in order to race as many races as possible before the wind got too strong. Three races were run in a southerly wind of 9 to 14 knots. The fleet returned to port shortly before 3pm, as the anemometers were reading 20 knots, the upper limit for sailing these boats.
On Saturday, racing began in 7 to 9 knots of wind, with conditions strengthening during the late morning. At the end of the second race, the committee sent the boats back to shore as the airs were too strong to continue racing. The fleet returned to the water at 16:30 to race the final race.
Sunday, the crews stayed ashore, and the race committee quickly cancelled the day, as the forecast did not suggest a significant drop in wind strength. In the end, 9 races were able to be sailed over three days.
The race committee had to cancel the day.
Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier failed to stand out from the rest of the fleet during the event. Technical problems marred the first day of racing, and the crew was unable to get back into the swing of things on Friday and Saturday. The TF35 is a remarkable boat but very demanding,” said Bertrand Demole at the end of the season. He continued: “She’s not easy to handle, and she forced us to step up our game. He doesn’t always do what we expect of him and we still have a lot to learn. There were some disappointing races, but you have to look at the whole picture and it’s satisfying. It’s also great to have experienced these events at sea, with waves, wind and salt. We are no longer freshwater sailors.”
Pierre Pennec, who obviously remains a little disappointed with this Mediterranean week, also notes the positive aspects. “We sailed with Pierluigi De Felice, who did the America’s Cup with James Spithill. He gave us a lot of input on the potential for improvement that we had. We learned a lot, but we still have to put things into practice.
In terms of the standings, you have to look at the standings for the season, which is pretty good. Our victory in the Bol d’Or Mirabaud puts us in 4th place, just behind the big professional teams. Art Explora is sailing with Loïck Peyron, Zoulou is sailed by Erik Maris who is competing in the GC32, and Zen Too is sailed by Fred Le Peutrec, who has a huge track record. We can be happy with our result.”
“We looked at this project over three years,” Pierre Pennec continued. 2020 was half a season, so we will continue until 2023. We have made a lot of progress and learned during all these regattas. Several external contributors have brought us their know-how. Now we’ll have to exploit all that in preparation for next year.” The man from La Rochelle also reminds us that sailing is a mechanical sport, and that the TF35 is particularly stressed. “The big teams ahead of us have very efficient technical teams, and are freed from maintenance constraints. We have to be aware of the importance of this aspect, because it is an essential point for performance.” The team will be partly overhauled for 2022, and all the TF35s will undergo a major winter refit in order to be strengthened, and ready to face a new championship, the programme of which will be unveiled in the autumn.
For Bertrand Demole, “Even if there were some disappointments, the objectives have been achieved. We finished 4th behind the big teams, and we won the Bol d’Or Mirabaud. We’re already looking forward to racing again in 2022.”
To read the TF35 Scarlino 1 article: click here
To see the images: tf35.org