Photos: Pierre Menoux

Realstone Sailing takes an early lead

As Zen Too and Artemis Racing suffer a major collision on the opening day of the D35's Vulcain Trophy

Friday May 4th 2012, Author: Sandra Mudronja/Paul Cayard, Location: Switzerland

The Vulcain Trophy presented by Business & Decision kicked off today on Lake Geneva for the D35 catamarans with the Grand Prix Les Ambassadeurs, held out of the Societe Nautique de Geneve.

Weather-wise the opening day came in two stages: the first races were held in sunny conditions and a light breeze of 7-8 knots. Then after a break of about an hour, a significant change took place with some clouds around the mountains and the wind starting to build to a gusty 20 knots from the west.

After four races, the young crew on Realstone led by Jérôme Clerc, had the best day, with a 1-3-2-1 launching them into the lead ahead of the Bertarellis with Alinghi holding second and Ladycat third. 

Clerc said: "I am really pleased. We felt some pressure at the start [they won the first stage of the Vulcain Trophy last year]. But now I am reassured. The team is fantastic and we feel strong!"

In the last race, just before passing the first gate, there was a spectacular collision between Torbjorn Tornqvist's  Artemis, skippered by Paul Cayard and Zen Too skippered by Fred Le Peutrec, fortunately without consequences for the crew.

"I’m happy to be back on the circuit!" said Cayard. "We suffered a collision, fortunately nobody was injured, only one crew fell overboard. The boat will be fixed during the night and we'll be on the starting line tomorrow morning." Zen Too's hull has been damaged, but thanks to composite materials in which the hulls are designed, a repair can be performed in the night.

Tomorrow racing will start at 11:00 with more westerlies forecast.


Pos Team Owner R1 R2 R3 R4 Net
1 Realstone Sailing Jerome Clerc 1 3 2 1 4
2 Alinghi Ernesto Bertarelli 3 2 3 2 7
3 Ladycat Dona Bertarelli  5 1 5 3 9
4 Zen Too Guy de Picciotto 4 6 1 DNF 11
5 Okalys-Corum Nicolas Grange 2 5 8 4 11
6 Artemis Racing Torbjorn Tornqvist 8 4 6 6 16
7 de Rham Sotheby’s Philippe Cardis 6 9 4 7 17
8 Nickel Fred Moura 9 8 7 5 20
9 Veltigroup Marco Simeoni 7 7 9 6 20

Artemis Racing's Paul Cayard reports: 

Today was the beginning of another season in the D35 Class here on Lake Geneva. This first regatta, Grand Prix Les Ambassadeurs, is part of a series of regattas called The Vulcain Trophy, which includes the Bol d'Or Mirabaud in June. Artemis finished fourth last season and we were excited to get back out there this morning.

Six races were planned for the fleet of nine boats sailing out of the Societe Nautique de Geneve today. We had clear blue skies this morning and the wind filled in around noon. Racing got under way at 1230. We had a very mediocre day onboard Artemis during the first three races, with scores of 8th, 4th and 6th, in the 6-8 knot breeze from the Northeast. Nothing in particular happened, but a lot of little things did not go well. Probably a little 'rust' from not having sailed competitively in the boat for six months.

Then there was a long pause while the wind shifted 180 degrees and filled in at 20 knots with gusts to 22 knots and lulls of 9 knots. As the wind was coming off the city, it was very puffy and shifty. The sailing was very exciting and the boats were traveling at high speeds in the conditions. We'd had a decent third race but in the 4th race of the day we were sailing upwind on starboard tack and we were on a collision course with Zen who was on port tack. They tried to slow down to get behind us and misjudged it. The result was a violent crash into our port side. The hull is okay, but the port rack is destroyed. We had to withdraw from further racing for the day. One of our crew members was thrown into the water from the impact and we narrowly avoided a pitch pole as Zen spun us away from the wind.

Anyway, we got the boat back to the dock at the SNG and are in the midst of a repair so we can compete again tomorrow.




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