For the second event of the 2021 TF35 championship which took place between Friday and Sunday in Nyon, the crew of Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier took advantage of muscular conditions to continue their progress in this demanding series.
While last weekend’s gloomy weather didn’t benefit fans of backyard grilling or country walks. It did at least allow thrill-seekers on the water to benefit from the strong south-westerly current on Lake Geneva on Friday and Saturday.
As usual, Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier started the training and tuning sails on Thursday, in order to take advantage of the presence of the whole crew to prepare for the regattas. On Thursday, three quarters of the TF35 fleet were on the water, in a light Séchard of 5 to 7 knots. Manoeuvres and overall coordination were able to be worked on in optimal conditions, and the boats present organised a small informal race to sail in contact in race configuration.
On Friday, after the traditional welcome by the president of the Société Nautique de Nyon Blaise Guignard, the catamarans took to the water in the early afternoon to be ready to go at the official time of the first start, at 2pm. The committee managed to launch three races in a row, in a wind increasing to twenty knots, which is almost the upper limit for the TF35s. While the races were dominated by Alinghi, Realteam Sailing and Spindrift, who each took a win. Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier finished first 7th, then 3rd, and 6th. We had very nice conditions,” commented Pierre Pennec, mainsail traveller. It was the first time we sailed in so much wind, and in contact with the others, around the buoys. It was also the first time Erwan Israel was doing the tactics in this crew configuration. We have set up communication processes between Bertrand, Erwan and myself. We’re also discovering new headsails, and can finally focus on performance, rather than just managing the technical aspects. It’s really enjoyable. We have to improve on many aspects, starting, speed, manoeuvres, but we feel that it’s evolving with each regatta, and the atmosphere is excellent.”
On Saturday, four races could be sailed in still intense conditions, with wind oscillating between 14 and 18 knots. We had another great day,” continued Pierre Pennec. We are still learning and progressing. We broke a new record, passing 34 knots downwind. We have improved our starts and our tacking. We’re doing more and more foiling tack (tacking while still flying). We still need to make progress in contact situations, but I think that at this stage we are doing about 40% of the manoeuvres when we are alone, and we need to get to 80% in order to get through a small half of them in contact situations. But we are moving towards that goal. Everyone is finding their place in the coordination of the manoeuvres. Bertrand has really got into a performance dynamic and we’re having a lot of fun sailing and progressing together. At the end of this very intense day, Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier found itself in 5th place overall, preceded by Zoulou and just ahead of Team Sailfever.
Sunday, despite an encouraging pattern, the race committee resigned to cancelling the day, after sending the fleet out onto the water. There was a persistent squall to the west of Lake Geneva, giving no hope of launching a race in suitable conditions.
For Pierre Pennec, this fifth place overall in the second meeting of the season is encouraging. “We are ahead of Team Sailfever, which is helmed by Loïck Peyron and which is sailing with a great team. Bertrand Demole, even if he is a very good helmsman, remains an amateur in the noble sense of the word. Zen Too, which was our main competitor in the D35 also finished behind us. We can be satisfied with this ranking. We’re obviously aiming to catch up with the leading boats and get closer to the three professional crews who are currently dominating the ranking. But you have to know how to evolve in stages, and the main thing is to go in the right direction.”
The crew of Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier will meet for another training session at the end of May.
As for the regatta, the fleet is scheduled to meet on June 4 and 6 for the TF35 Mies, and the Geneva-Rolle-Geneva is scheduled to take place on June 5.
Photos: ©Loris Von Siebenthal