A BOWL AS LONG AS A WINDLESS DAY
The result obtained by Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier during the Bol d’Or Mirabaud 2021 did not live up to the expectations of its crew. Despite this disappointment, the crew compensated for its desire to shine in the rankings with the pleasure of sailing in an exceptional landscape.
The 2021 victory on the most prestigious big race on Lake Geneva should have given wings to Ylliam XII Comptoir Immobilier, which was off to repeat its feat. Unfortunately, and despite the unfailing commitment of the entire team during the 16 hours of racing, a small twist of fate changed the course of events and did not allow Bertrand Demole’s TF35 to illustrate itself as it intended.
The weather forecast was certainly not encouraging, and everyone knew the race could be long. The TF35s, who need a minimum of wind to reach their full potential knew going into the race that it would be tough, and that the flying moments would be numbered.
The boat had been prepared for the race, and the weather forecast was not very encouraging.
The boat had been prepared in the days leading up to the start. The crew had even gone on a short maintenance trip on Thursday before the race, to identify any final items that needed to be addressed. On Friday, everyone was busy working on the small details. Cleaning, oiling? We don’t prepare the boat specifically for the Bol,” said Thierry Briend the day before the start. We are always ready, it’s a boat that does a circuit throughout the season. The only thing that changes is that we take a little more water and food on board.”
Moving up in the pack
The gun went off as planned on Saturday at 10 a.m., in particularly shy airs. Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier sailed quite well and stayed in the TF35 pack, led by Spindrift. At the exit of the small lake Bertrand Demole and his men were in the middle of the fleet. No clear option was taken, and the competitors followed the breeze patterns as the day progressed, rather on the Swiss side until after Lausanne, then after crossing to St-Gingolph on the French side before passing the midway mark. At the end of the lake, in the middle of the afternoon, the wind dropped completely, and the sailboats remained stuck before getting some wind to take the direction of the main lake. Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier passed the Bouveret barge 3rd TF35, behind Alilnghi Red Bull Racing and Zen Too. Spindrift, leader of the game throughout the first part of the race was forced to retire after a technical problem.
Shock on the way back
On the way back, the fleet dropped by Team Sailfever, which tried a daring option south of Lausanne to escape, found itself bunched up at the entrance to the small lake in the middle of the evening in a new windless zone. A collision with a floating branch forced Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier to stop to clear the object, and the time lost in the maneuver could never be made up. It was a long race, we had to hang on,” said Bertrand Demole back on land. He continued: “There was a bit of wind but still a bit of action. Unfortunately, we caught a piece of wood during one of the rare moments when it was flying on the way back. We had to heel the boat, tinker with it a bit before we could leave, but there was no serious damage. Just time lost. On the other hand, the end was very long, there was no wind at all. Of course, we always have fun, there is a magnificent environment, beautiful light, motivation, competition. But when there’s no wind, especially for a flying sailboat, it can be quite painful.”
In the end, and after an interminable descent to Geneva in the small lake, Ylliam-XII – Comptoir Immobilier crossed the finish line at 2:56 a.m., after 16:56 of racing. Fifth in TF35, the boat is 21st overall. The light airs were beneficial to the light boats designed to glide in archimedean mode… The foilers have their limit in the really light wind. But it was no surprise. “I think it’s my worst result in the Bol d’Or, so obviously we’re not super confident. But it was a good day, there was a good atmosphere on board, we finally had fun.”
Note that the event was won by Christian Wahl on his D35 Double You Team. The wizard of the lake signed his 9th victory on the event, a record in the history of the race.
At the end of this event, the D35 Double You Team was the only one to win.
At the end of this first part of the season, Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier finds itself in 6th place with 16 points ahead of Vitamina Sailing which has 21. Zen Too, 5th has 14 points, Spindrift and Team Sailfever, respectively 4th and 3rd with the same number of points have 12 points each. The championship is led by Alinghi Red Bull Racing on 4 points, followed closely by Realtam for Léman hope on 5 points. The small gaps keep the game open for the next few matches.
The TF 35s will now take a summer break, before leaving Lake Geneva for Lake Garda. The Malcesine Cup will take place from September 8 to 11, with the final in Cannes from October 6 to 9.
photo: ©Yves Ryncki