Yann Guichard and his crew on Sails of Change 8 win the Genève-Rolle-Genève and Duncan Späth secures his first race victory as the new skipper of Sails of Change 10

The two Sails of Change 8 and Sails of Change 10 crews made their return to Lake Geneva in June ready to battle in the second Grand Prix of the season in Mies. It proved to be a rather special weekend with the first long-distance event of the season on Saturday: the Genève–Rolle–Genève, won by Yann Guichard and his men (Noé Delpech, François Morvan, Bruno Mourniac, Adrien Mestre and Solune Robert).
With the teams coming together to resolve a few technical issues with Sails of Change 10’s forward beam at the start of the week, an intense session of hard work soon saw the TF35 running on all cylinders once again. Their efforts were later rewarded with a first race victory going to Duncan Späth, Yann Jauvin, Xavier Revil, Pieter Tack, Jules Bidegaray and Thibault Julien!

It was a succesful start as soon as the Grand Prix got under way, with both of the stable’s two TF35s winning a race, one of which saw Sails of Change 10 secure her first victory. Duncan Späth: “We bagged our first win on the first day in Mies, which is really cool. We still have some work to do but we’ve really raised our game in terms of the points identified in Nyon. The fleet is very evenly matched so it’s important to find little spaces and the right angles to really tweak your game. We’ve had a good debrief and we’re going to continue working on trying to post a more consistent performance throughout the regattas.”
Yann Jauvin, tactician on Sails of Change 10: “This first day went rather well. We’re happy to have got the boat straightened out. She works well. Thank you to the shore team for their excellent work. It’s the first race win with Duncan on the helm, which is fantastic! We were at the front of the pack and performed consistently. Weather conditions were wonderful today. We were foiling upwind and downwind and we completed 5 races in a 10-14-knot W’ly wind, so it’s been a superb first day!”

On Saturday, we continued on a roll with Sails of Change 8’s victory in the Genève-Rolle-Genève, the first long-distance event of the season. Excellent training, one week away until the season’s highlight : the Bol d’Or Mirabaud. Yann Guichard: “It’s fantastic for the team, for everyone in fact! Now we can turn our focus to the Bol d’Or, but it’s a really great result! It was a very intense race with Duncan and his team coming right back into contention. There was nothing separating us.”
Noé Delpech, tactician aboard Sails of Change 8: “We got off to a good start so we were happy. Fairly early on though, our rivals overtook us. We were not well placed in relation to the breeze as we were slightly off the mark. We also made a few minor errors in terms of steering and trimming, before managing to get ourselves back up into a favourable position and snatch the lead. Racing was tight for the whole of the final section. Sails of Change 10 came back into play at that point, which began to worry us. Everyone moved up into the top spot at some point, constantly jockeying for position. Next, Yann made a last call to cross astern of Realteam to hug the French coast a bit more and that separation gave us a big advantage for the end of the course. The crew sailed very well and it’s always such a nice ride. The communication with Yann regarding strategic and tactical choices flows naturally so life aboard is generally fairly simple.”

To round off this 2nd Grand Prix, three races were run on Sunday afternoon in more complicated conditions involving a shifting NE’ly wind. Results are positive then for both the Sails of Change crews on this 2nd weekend of the championships. Yann Guichard explains: “We finished 2nd in the Grand Prix but we won the first one, so we’re tied on points with Realteam. All we have left now is the Bol d’Or next weekend and two Grands Prix in August and September. It’s a fabulous start to the season because we have a new team. I think we’ve all made fast progress and we’re managing to vie for the top spots. We still have a lot of work ahead of us and we made a number of errors like all the other teams. Perhaps the fact that we made slightly fewer mistakes than some has enabled us to reach the top of the leader board and be in contention for the outright victory this season. It’s a very positive result for Duncan too. He’s been raising his game to end on 4th (and tied on points with the 3rd boat). With every Grand Prix, we can see the progress they’re making. They’re quick and on the pace, which augurs well for the rest of the season. We’re turning our attentions to the Bol d’Or now, which is really one of the primary objectives. However, it’s absolutely anybody’s game with any one of the six boats in the class capable of taking the win so we’ll be working on that.”
“One Family. One team. One mission.” The full force of the racing stable’s motto came to the fore this weekend. The next instalment will take place this Saturday 15 June in Geneva with the Bol d’Or Mirabaud. Game on!

Crédit : Loris Von Siebenthal

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