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Alinghi takes stock of the 2021 TF35 Trophy

by Alinghi 27 Sep 00:23 PDT

The seventh and last stage of the 2021 TF35 Trophy, the #2 Scarlino Grand Prix today marked the end of the very first season of this new class of foilers in Italy.

Second behind Realteam, both this week and overall for the season, Ernesto Bertarelli's team ended this championship on two good notes: Alinghi won the first grand prix at the beginning of May, and won the season's last race. Spindrift made up the rest of the Grand Prix's podium and the TF35 Trophy.

Ernesto Bertarelli:

"It was another great weekend of competition. Spindrift has come a long way, but Realteam remains the team to beat. These boats are very demanding and it's positive to see the teams perform after such a short time on the TF35s. I look forward to welcoming an eighth crew next year. In a circuit of boats over 30 feet foiling upwind, racing with eight is already a substantial fleet and I think twelve would be the maximum. The boats will be improved by next year, which is why we have just decided not to race this winter in order to have time to work in the yard."

Second behind the team to beat: Realteam!

Jérôme Clerc and his team recorded an almost perfect score around the marks. Winner of four out of five Grand Prix this season, Realteam has set the bar high. Thanks to the team's work on shore and on the water, Alinghi fought to the end, but finished three points behind in the annual championship.

Nils Frei:

"The Realteam crew sailed very well all year. Solid, they had excellent starts and were very hard to pass. We have the potential to beat them and know what we must work on, but this year they were better! We had a lot of fun sailing here in Scarlino, although we are still in the development phase on the boat."

A windy Grand Prix to close the season

Six teams competed in Scarlino's second Grand Prix, with Zen Too unable to compete due to technical issues. The race committee was sensible and made reasoned decisions to preserve the boats. This Sunday, no race was launched because of wind that was too strong.

Nicolas Charbonnier:

"There is obviously some disappointment in finishing second, given we invested a lot of time and energy this season. We have been very consistent throughout the championship and will carefully analyse what we can improve upon to come back stronger next year, including manoeuvres, speed, starts, and tactics. It is the combination of a series of details that will make the difference."

Positive results for the first season of TF35

After a short test event in 2020, the seven crews of the TF35 Trophy have raced as a fleet for real this season. And like any class launch, the progression curve is huge.

Pierre-Yves Jorand:

"It was a wonderful first season for the TF35! We had varied conditions on Lake Geneva and at sea, and the boats showed good performance. Even on the two long distance runs in light airs. Now it's time for the development of the flight software and sails, the reinforcement of certain parts and we are already delighted to see eight TF35s line up in the spring of 2022 with the arrival of an Italian team."

Valuable learning for 2022

After five Grand Prix and two long distance races, the team members will take stock after the first 100% foiling season. Between the GC32 and TF35, it's been a year full of flying! It is now time for debriefing and to look to progress next year.

Arnaud Psarofaghis:

"We still have work to do to get a good handle on the boat, especially on-board operation and manoeuvring. By also improving the system and the software that control the foiling I think it will be possible to do a "dry lap" (doing the entire race while flying "dry" from start to finish, without even touching water in the manoeuvres. To this day, tacks are not foiling ones). This winter, we will continue to analyse our performance and that of our opponents. We will also try to simplify the processes as much as possible."

Bryan Mettraux:

"We have been very lucky with the weather conditions this season, from the training sessions in March before the first TF35 Trophy races, to these events at the Marina di Scarlino in Italy in open and salt water. It was very interesting to sail in the sea. These boats were designed primarily for light air on the lake, but future developments will make them more reliable even in medium wind and wave."

David Niklès & João Cabeçadas:

"This winter the class will make some changes to the foils, especially the flaps. In strong winds and waves, like here in Italy, they need to be reinforced. We will also work with the class on a number of other improvements. From Alinghi's perspective, while respecting the monotype rules of this class, we will also try to optimise our boat to be faster than our rivals!"

A memory of this very first TF35 Trophy?

Ernesto Bertarelli: "The successful launch of a class of boats that foil upwind and downwind and that can be steered by passionate sailing owners. Thrills are guaranteed and sailing is very likely to be challenging!"

Florian Trüb: "The start of the Genève-Rolle-Genève, when we almost capsized a minute after crossing the line!"

Nicolas Charbonnier: "When I was at the top of the mast to observe the wind during the Bol d'Or Mirabaud, and the boat started to foil. A first!"

Arnaud Psarofaghis: "The progress that we will have made throughout this first season and the solutions found to accelerate this new class."

Pierre-Yves Jorand + Nils Frei + Bryan Mettraux: "The arrival in the Bol d'Or Mirabaud at night, with the seven TF35s flying shoulder to shoulder around Yvoire in Geneva."

While the TF35 returns to Switzerland for its winter break, there is still one event in the team's 2021 calendar: the last stage of the GC32 Racing Tour, in early November in San Pedro del Piñatar (Mar Menor, Spain).

Extracts from the rankings of the 7th and last stage (Scarlino #2) after nine races (the worst score being removed from four races validated):

1st - Realteam: 10 points
2nd - Alinghi: 18 points
3rd - Spindrift: 19 points
...

2021 general classification of the first ever TF35 Trophy after seven events (NB: from four validated events, the worst score is removed / The results of the two long races add up to form only one event):

1st - Realteam: 6 points
2nd - Alinghi: 9 points
3rd - Spindrift: 16 points
4th - Ylliam XII: 21 points
5th - Zulu: 22 points
6th - SailFever: 22 points
7th - Zen Too: 31 points

See the full classification here...

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