The seven TF35s embraced salt water all together for the first time in their careers this week. The fleet migrated to the Italian town of Scarlino, in Tuscany, for the last two Grand Prix of the 2021 TF35 Trophy. A four-day regatta in lovely conditions made possible twelve races, at the end of which Alinghi finished second, just one point behind winner Realteam. Spindrift completed the podium.
"We had a lot of fun sailing here at Scarlino, with exemplary hospitality and organisation. The conditions were perfect, the TF35 reacted well at sea and we are going to work on some improvements to be made. Congratulations to Realteam, who sailed very well and fully deserves the victory. It was a pleasure to race against them!"
Finally at sea!
After five stages on Lake Geneva, the TF35 Trophy crews were able to test their foilers in competition mode in salt water. There were little differences to be found with sailing on the lake, thanks in particular to ideal wind and sea conditions all week.
"We didn't change our methods in relation to how we sailed on Lake Geneva - salt water does not influence foiling, or if it does only in an infinitesimal way. The main difference was that it was a bit windier than our first regattas on the lake. And the small waves reminded us that we were at sea! The damage to our two rudders yesterday cost us a few points, with the flaps having torn off (rear part of the rudder foil, which is angled). But that doesn't detract from Realteam's performance, of course!"
A tight ranking to the end at the top of the table
Only one point behind Realteam at the end of each day, Alinghi fought until the last. Jérôme Clerc and his team gave the team a hard time! After the first three races of Day 2, which were won by Spindrift, the three boats were tied even.
"We only had one day of training with the full crew before this Grand Prix and hadn't sailed the TF35 since the Bol d'Or Mirabaud, so we're happy with our result. We made some small mistakes, especially in some strategic and tactical choices. Realteam sailed better in all conditions and made fewer mistakes than us. To date, two groups of competitors have been identified within the fleet. The difference is probably due to the number of days training. The leading teams also experienced less crew changes and we may have understood better how this new foiler works."
Installed for two weeks in Scarlino, where the last stage of the season will also be held in two weeks, the TF35 Trophy teams have benefited from dream-like conditions.
"The wind was more stable than on the Lake, which created less difference between the boats. It was very tight and interesting! The duel with Realteam was intense. Finishing just one point away from them each evening and after four days illustrates this perfectly."
Everything to play for in the final
Now two points ahead of Alinghi, Realteam maintains its lead in the overall championship standings. The goal in the final in two weeks will be to finish ahead of them. Mathematically, it will also be necessary for a boat to come between the two rivals for a victory in the championship to be possible. There are lots of unknowns, but one thing is certain: the whole team is looking forward to returning to Scarlino for the final!
Before that, the direction now is Villasimius for the GC32 World Championship and the defence of the title won in 2019. The team has already taken off for Sardinia. The scheduled four-day regatta will start on Thursday September 16th.
Extract from the ranking of the Scarlino Grand Prix # 1 after 12 races (the worst score being withdrawn from four validated rounds):
1st - Realteam: 19 points
2nd - Alinghi: 20 points
3rd - Spindrift: 28 points
Click here for the full results.
Extract from the provisional general classification of the TF35 Trophy after six events (NB: from four validated events, the worst score is withdrawn / The results of the two long races are added together to form only one event):
1st - Realteam: 5 points
2nd - Alinghi: 7 points
3rd - Spindrift: 13 points
4th - Ylliam XII: 16 points
5th - SailFever: 17 points
Click here for the full classification.
Click here to watch the races in 2D thanks to the GPS tracker placed on board each boat.
To find out more
To learn more about the race monitoring system, the team composition and the TF35 Trophy in general, a summary of the event is here.
#GoAlinghiGo // #TF35Trophy
Credit for photos
© Loris von Siebenthal