Bertrand Demole’s TF35 proved to the rest of the fleet that it was a force to be reckoned with at the TF35 Mies, as it finished in 3rd place, after seven contested races.
After the meeting in Nyon, punctuated by numerous technical problems and disappointing results. The second leg of the TF35 Trophy was much more satisfying for the crew of Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier, which achieved a fine performance.
Four races were run late Friday, after a long wait on shore. While the competitors had almost resigned themselves to not sailing, the committee sent everyone out on the water in the middle of the afternoon, and started the races from 4pm. The crews returned to shore exhausted around 7pm. During these four regattas, Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier showed its competitors that it was in the game, and to be reckoned with, by finishing 2nd, 3rd and twice 4th.
“The boat was able to sail where it belongs, and fight with the top of the leaderboard,” said Billy Besson, at the end of the match. He continued, “We are very happy, these races have allowed us to regain confidence. We made some good starts, and continued with good placements, which allowed us to stay in the lead. The boat was going better than in Nyon, and most of the technical problems were solved.”
The diligent work of Olivier Hecking, who worked on all the little details the week before the race, paid off. And the crew was able to focus on speed and tactics.
“Bertrand handled the helm really well,” Besson added. We got him in shape, and a very good teamspirit was established, with a very positive dynamic.”
Frank Citeau, coach also declared himself satisfied at the end of the first day of racing. “I have the impression that today the team is at its level. We still have progress to make in several areas, but it is more in line with what we expected from the crew and the potential of the boat. We were able to play at the front, it was a great day.”
On Saturday, the TF35 fleet took a break from the Grand Prix, and competed in the first Lake Geneva classic, considered by many to be the prologue to the Bol d’Or. The Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier team got off to one of the best starts, and led the way for the first ten minutes of racing. Sailing on the Swiss coast until the hollow of Genthod, then on the French coast until the exit of the small lake, the crew made nearly twenty-five tacks until the Rolle buoy which marks the halfway point. Fourth at the exit of the small lake, Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier passed at the 5th mark, in the pack. Taking advantage of a good speed downwind, the boat was 3rd at the entrance of the small lake in Nernier, reached on a single tack from Rolle. Unfortunately, a gybe too close to the coast put the foiler at the back of the pack on the French coast. We had a good race, but we got stuck on a gybe too close to the coast on the way back,” said Billy Besson. We picked up some seaweed in the foils, which disrupted the flow, and prevented us from flying. We had to reverse the boat to get rid of it. Given the very tight game, this maneuver, although done very quickly, was fatal to Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier, which has to settle for 7th place at the end of the event. “It’s a pity, because we were well in the pack, we had always repositioned ourselves well.”
Back to business
Thankfully, this result did not dampen the motivation of the crew, who returned to the second day of the TF 35 Mies with a knife between their teeth. The committee managed to send three races on Sunday, in steady airs. A rather violent squall even crossed the water, and Spindrift was turned over, capsizing by the bow, bottom on bottom. Fortunately, no injuries were reported, but Yann Guichard and Dona Bertarelli’s yacht was unable to compete in the final race.
Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier, meanwhile, managed to spread out the storm, and was able to compete in the final race, after fixing a computer problem with the flight system. Bertrand Demole’s team was able to stay in the game and finish on the podium. “Despite a slightly frustrating Geneva-Rolle at the end, we managed to put our strength back into the Grand Prix, and that’s pleasing,” concluded Billy Besson, very satisfied with this third place, and looking forward to racing the Bol d’Or Mirabaud on Saturday, June 11.