Tough start for Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier
Bertrand Demole’s TF35 crew underperformed at the first meet of the year in Nyon. The result at the bottom of the standings, while disappointing, is still rich in lessons for the rest of the season, which is still long and promising.
Nyon, May 22, 2022 – With four days of racing on the agenda, the seven crews involved in the TF35 Trophy 2022 had planned to compete in about 15 races during their first meeting. The wind decided otherwise, and only four races could be run between May 19 and 22.
Hosted by the Société Nautique de Nyon, the fleet began with some practice races on Thursday afternoon in ideal conditions of about eight knots of wind. By the time the first official regatta of the weekend was launched, the airs had strengthened, and the race committee halted the start procedure, as the upper limit for racing was around twenty knots.
The catamarans then waited until conditions were navigable again. A race was launched around 4pm, and was able to be completed, despite the fairly steady airs. Two boats came close to capsizing, but managed to get back on their floats. Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier made a great start, with a very good start, and a fourth place on the finish line.
Waiting for the wind
The next day, the rendezvous was given an hour earlier than planned, in order to take advantage of a moderate and strengthening wind forecast. The race committee’s objective was to race as many races as possible, before the winds became too strong. But the weather is not an exact science, and if the surface of the water was marked several times during the morning, it was necessary to be patient before being able to launch the first race around 13:30 in about ten knots. Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier started a little late, but managed to catch up with the pack and pass the windward mark in 5th position, then regain 4th place during the first run. Unfortunately an inappropriate tactical choice placed them 7th on the second windward passage, and the crew had to settle for last place.
In the second race the boat got off to a great start, and made a good portion of the first upwind run in 3rd place. A technical problem occurred shortly before the windward mark, which destroyed all the hopes of Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier to stay in the lead. The antenna of the GPS, essential to the calculation of the speed, was torn off in a maneuver. The flight system being slaved to the speed of the boat, it was no longer possible for the catamaran to rise on its foils. The damage therefore forced the crew to abandon.
The technical team then got busy to find a solution so that Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier could continue its day. But while parts were being collected, the wind came in quite strong, and prompted the race committee to end the day. Olivier Hecking, the préparateur, assisted by some of the crew spent a good part of the evening getting the boat back in shape to continue racing.
On Saturday, while the weather files suggested an ideal day, only one race could finally be run, and Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier had to deal with further damage to the rear beam which cracked. We encountered a series of problems, which made us quite heavy”, says Franck Citeau, the team’s coach. We didn’t always sail well, that’s one thing. But all these events did not put us in the right conditions to be able to focus on performance. The team and the trainer had to work late after the races. We find ourselves caught up in technical concerns, without being able to take the time to review the progress of each race.”
On Sunday, while the boat had been temporarily repaired overnight, no regatta could be started, despite the insight of the race committee. The hot weather was not favorable to the development of the breeze. Benoît Deutsch, in charge of the race committee, said he was a little disappointed: “We had a complicated meeting; two days with too much wind and two days of heat wave without wind. So unfortunately we were not able to launch as many races as we would have liked.”
At the end of the Grand-Prix, Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier finished 7th in the ranking. But if this first result is obviously very disappointing, the crew keeps all its motivation for the continuation. There is not much missing, and the progress made is notable,” said Franck Citeau. One good result can give us the positive energy we need to change the dynamic. We hope to be able to string together the races in Mies in a fortnight, because even though we have trained a lot, our crew is recomposed compared to last year, and we need to log hours to acquire good coordination.”
The TF35 Trophy will play two matches between June 3 and June 5. A series of round-trip races are scheduled for June 3 and 5 in Mies. And the fleet will compete in the first major race of the championship – the Geneva-Rolle-Geneva – on June 4.
photos: ©Loris Von Siebenthal