The foiling boat Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier was launched on Thursday 18 June in the early afternoon in Tannay (Mies). This is the third TF35, out of the seven built, to reach its element.
The emotion was palpable in the port of Tannay, when Bertrand Demole’s new catamaran hit the water last Thursday. “This is the realization of a project of nearly two years, exclaimed Pierre Pennec member of the crew of Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier. And to continue: We were first presented with a drawing in 2018, then plans. Then there were moulds, hulls, a first boat number 0, and today ours which will be able to sail tomorrow. It’s really a culmination, we’re all thrilled and can’t wait to start training. “
A few hours before the launch, the entire crew was busy fine-tuning the final details. Alexis Rochat and Pierre Pennec polished the foils (flying appendages). Thierry Briend, Téva Plichard, Erwan Israel and Florian Trub prepared the handling and installed the lifting straps. Thierry Briend directed the operations with precise instructions so that everything would be ready at 2pm, as planned.
“We have already assembled the boat in Vannes, with Téva,” commented the mainsail trimmer. It was a very good choice to do this assembly in the open, close to all the craftsmen who built the TF35s. It enabled us to anticipate everything and to work in the same way as those who designed and built all the elements. It still took six days to assemble after the parts arrived by container. “It’s a giant puzzle, but now that we’ve gained experience, it will go a little faster next time. It’s still a complex operation though, and there’s a lot to do. We have to assemble the platform, the mast, the rigging, the trampolines and the foils. The parts are fragile, you have to be careful, have method, and take the time to do things right. “
Once ready, the boat, placed on specially designed wheeled trolleys, was pushed onto the dock by the crew. It was then suspended from the small crane truck driven by Nicolas Rossier the boss of the SUI 46°16 shipyard, where most TF35s are assembled. Once lifted, the machine rolled over the last twenty metres separating the quayside from the quay with the catamaran suspended at the end of its boom. The team members positioned themselves around the boat with mooring lines ready, and the descent into the water could begin. Once afloat, Téva checked the interior of the hulls for leaks before unhooking the crane. The boat was then moored to its tender (semi-rigid motorboat). Thierry took command of the maneuver to reach the mooring buoy located about 100 meters away.
Each member of the team took his place at the ends of the hulls, to guide the pilot between the buoys and other boats at anchor to his place. When everything was secure, Thierry gathered the team for an initial briefing, where all the tasks to be completed were reviewed. “The rigging needs to be re-tensioned, this block needs to be moved, this rope needs to be lengthened, the hatch covers need to be screwed back on…”. The sum of the little things still to be done is significant, but does not seem to impress the sailors, who are eager to go sailing.
The schedule will depend on the weather. Sailing is planned as soon as possible and for the next two weeks. The crew will first proceed with a commissioning phase of the electronic flight tools, with the assistance of Luc du Bois and Morgan Guillou, the system developers. Several reliability sailing sessions will then take place, in order to test and optimise all the critical elements of the boat. The racers will then be able to move on to the actual training phase.
“We have to do everything we can to make sure that the boat is ready to go.
“We have to relearn everything,” noted Pierre Pennec. We have acquired a good cohesion in the D35, but we will have to adapt it to this boat. It’s going to go faster, and there’s an extra dimension to manage. The decision-making processes will have to be improved, as everything is going to go very fast on board. I’m also looking forward to sailing with Bertrand Demole again, he’s put together a great project and we’re all having a lot of fun sailing together. “