Two new Decision 35 teams
On Lake Geneva the Decision 35s start their racing season this weekend with the Grand Prix Beau-Rivage Palace, first event in the 2010 Challenge Julius Baer.
The 35ft catamaran class have two new additions this year in Ylliam of Pierre-Yves Firmenich and Erik Maris’ Zulu. Firmenich, who is President of the Societe Nautique de Geneve, will be sailing the former Alinghi boat SUI 6 while Ylliam has been the name of many of Firmenich’s previous multihulls. Steering the boat will be Arnaud Psarofaghis, winner of the Safram Tour 2009 for the smaller M2 multihulls and who is also Switzerland’s leading foiling Moth sailor. Maris, raced on the Extreme 40 circuit last year but this year moves to the D35 where his crew includes round the world sailor Bruno Jeanjean, America’s Cup sailor Thierry Fouchier.
Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi, winners of the last three Challenge Julius Baer championships obviously remains favourite for this season and her crew remains unchanged. Pierre-Yves Jorand, on main traveler, says: " We have developed new sails, we trained with our usual crew and we have taken part in some races with other teams. The team is sailing well and is prepared as as well as we can be for the new season."
In addition there is Foncia as usual skippered by former Vendee Globe winner Alain Gautier and Nicolas Grange’s Okalys-Corum. For this his sixth season on the D35, Grange will take the helm, sharing steering duties once again with Loïck Peyron.
While these are the top three teams, several others are biting at their heels. They include in particular Philippe Cardis’ Julius Baer and Guy de Picciotto on Zen Too, the latter steered by Franck Cammas with Gildas Philippe with the tactics.
New to the circuit in 2009 was Marco Simeoni’s Veltigroup on which ORMA 60 ace Stève Ravussin steers and Pascal Bidegorry’s Banque Populaire on which Yvan Ravussin, Xavier Revil, Christophe Espagnon, Nicolas Charbonnier and Arnaud Jarlégan will sail.
Other teams hoping to post better performances will be the all-female team aboard Dona Bertarelli's LadyCat, Loïc Forestier's Zebra 7. Frédéric Moura's Nickel, the former Romandie.com.