Realteam Sailing clinches victory at the TF35 Geneva Cup

In stark contrast to the last three days when Lake Geneva delivered a brisk 10-15 knot breeze and a solid 5-race per day program, the final day of the TF35 Geneva Cup, hosted by Société Nautique de Genève, had to be put on hold due to a lack of wind.

Realteam Sailing TF35
Realteam Sailing

“Today was no wind, no race,” Principal Race Officer Benoit Deutsch explained. “This morning’s forecast didn’t look good because of the cloud cover, but we (the race committee) went on the water to see. The lake was like a millpond with no sun mid-afternoon, so it was an easy decision. There was no chance of racing.”

Sadly, with the wind remaining evasive at 14:00, the decision was made to abandon the day.

Winner of the TF35 Geneva Cup, Esteban Garcia’s Realteam Sailing co-skippered by Jérôme Clerc, had an excellent week, winning over half of the races sailed. The highlight was six consecutive victories over Friday and Saturday.

“The team is really satisfied, and we are also happy for the class because we had good conditions on the lake,” enthused tactician Sébastien Col at the prize giving. “We might have had six wins in a row, but it wasn’t easy. We know that in certain conditions, Spindrift and Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier are really fast, faster than us, so we need to keep pushing. We have to be careful not to think that we can’t be beaten; we are already working on what we need to improve for the next regatta.”

TF35 Spindrift

Second-placed Spindrift, with Yann Guichard at the helm, sailed an excellent regatta. Although on paper, the team is eight points behind leaders Realteam, the reality on the water is quite different; the competition is intense, and the two boats are within meters of each other in every race.

“A great start to the championship for everyone with excellent conditions”, added Guichard. “We had three days of full-on racing. The boats were flying upwind and downwind, and I think everyone had a lot of fun on the boats and for the spectators on the lake to see as well because it was a terrific show.”

In a comfortable third on the overall leaderboard Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier, helmed by Bertrand Demole with French tactician Billy Besson at his side, scored three race wins over the regatta with improved consistency and boat speed after the winter break.

The young crew on Alinghi Red Bull Racing, with Nathalie Brugger at the helm, finished a respectful fourth. Guy de Picciotto’s ZEN Too, with Loïc Forestier at the helm, peaked with a second place in race 10 this week and finished the regatta in fifth overall.


Meanwhile, new team Ylliam 17, helmed by new owner Julien Firmenich, finished their first regatta in seventh but were happy with the progress made. Firmenich reflects: “The welcome in the class has been so positive. There is a very good atmosphere between the owners and crews, making sailing together a pleasure. It’s a great class, they are beautiful boats, and I’m happy to be racing in the fleet.”

The TF35 2023 season will continue in two weeks’ time, with the Realstone Cup for Léman hope (2 until 4 June) hosted in Mies, Switzerland, by the Club Nautique de Versoix. The three-day regatta will consist of fleet racing on Friday 2 and Sunday 4 June, with the Genève-Rolle-Genève long-distance race on Saturday 3 June.

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(After 11 races, discard shown in bold)

  1. Realteam Sailing – 4 1 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 2 2 – 17
  2. Spindrift – 3 2 2 2 3 2 2 3 6 4 1 1 -25
  3. Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier – 1 3 1 4 5 6 3 4 3 1 3 4 – 32
  4. Alinghi Red Bull Racing – 2 4 6 7 2 3 4 2 2 5 4 3 – 37
  5. ZEN Too – 6 6 4 5 6 4 5 6 4 2 5 5 – 52
  6. Ylliam 17 – 5 5 5 3 4 5 7 5 5 6 6 6 – 55
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