D35s set sail
The Vulcain Trophy (formerly the Challenge Julius Baer), presented by Business & Decision, for the Decision 35 catamarans gets underway on Lake Geneva today with the first regatta of the season - the Grand Prix Les Ambassadeurs by the Beau-Rivage Palace.
There are several new features of the Swiss one design catamaran circuit this year. Firstly the grand prix format has changed with racing now divided between Lausanne and Geneva and including, in addition to the normal windward-leewards on the Friday morning and on Saturday and Sunday, a coastal race taking place on Friday afternoon. So later today at 13:30 the boats will head from Ouchy, Lausanne bound for Geneva via some gates along the way.
The Vulcain Trophy this year will see the season divided into two with the first part comprising five regattas on Lake Geneva, starting with three conventional Grand Prix, followed by the Geneve-Rolle-Geneve and ultimately the Bol d'Or Mirabaud. Following the summer break the series will resume with two regattas in the south of France, the first time the D35s have left Switzerland.
There are several changes to the teams this season. Now helming the Foncia D35 will be Michel Desjoyeaux, who previously sailed on board, including in 2009 they won the Bol d'Or when Alain Gautier was helm. New to the circuit will be Artemis, which joins the circuit as part of their training for the 34th America's Cup in addition to their participation in the Extreme Sailing Series and their recent acquisition of one of Gitana's ORMA 60 trimarans. Skippering the boat will be Paul Cayard.
On Guy de Picciotto's Zen Too, French former ORMA 60 skipper and round the world sailor Fred le Peutrec will take the helm while more French sailors are being brought on board Multi One Design boss Marco Simeoni's Veltigroup, where Steve Ravussin continues to be the helmsman.
Otherwise the D35s will feature a similar roster to previous years with Ernesto Bertarelli helming Alinghi while his sister Dona, last year's Bol d'Or winner will be steering the fushcia-hulled Ladycat. As ever Nicolas Grange will be steering Okalys-Corum, another past Bol d'Or victor.
SUI 1 -Alinghi - Ernesto Bertarelli
SUI 2 - Okalys-Corum - Nicolas Grange
SUI 3 - de Rham Sotheby’s - Philippe Cardis
SUI 4 - Zen Too - Guy de Picciotto
SUI 5 - Foncia - Michel Desjoyeaux
SUI 7 - CER - Jérôme Clerc
SUI 8 - Nickel - Fred Moura
SUI 10 - Ladycat - Dona Bertarelli
SUI 11 - Veltigroup - Marco Simeoni
SWE 12 - Artemis Racing - Torbjorn Tornqvist