Two victories in 13 rounds took Ladycat powered by Spindrift racing to a second place in the GP Les Ambassadeurs, the first round of the D35 Championship, at the Société Nautique de Genève on Lake Geneva this weekend.
The heavyweights of the circuit were all back in force champing at the bit for the first event and testing winds also greeted Yann Guichard, the skipper of the Ladycat. The final analysis was very positive, with Ladycat finishing just three points behind the winner Alinghi and one point ahead of Mobimo overall.
On Friday, the D35 fleet had five races in a rather capricious wind of between 7 and 10 knots. After a good first day of competition for Ladycat, they were first in the overall rankings. “We had a great first day, we drove really hard and found some really good speed, especially upwind," François Morvan, the tactician on board Ladycat, said. On Saturday, the wind picked up to between 15 and 18 knots, which allowed the race committee to schedule six races. But that did not spread out the field on Lake Geneva, in fact the top four (Alinghi, Ladycat, Mobimo and Realstone) were still tightly bunched.
The podium was only decided today, on Sunday May 11. After two races in strong, gusty wind blowing between 8 and 18 knots, Ladycat held onto second place on the podium. It was a very positive warm-up for the whole Ladycat and Spindrift racing team. "The first day was great and the following days the wind was more unstable in intensity and we had a little more difficulty in manoeuvring,” Guichard said. “But that is normal, because although we have lots of experience individually, we are a new team and we have to keep working together on our manoeuvres and coordination. We only had six days of training and none in any breeze and if you want to be in the mix you have to do all your manoeuvres perfectly. The level has gone up again and you could see that there were four standout teams straightaway at the first grand prix. I really enjoyed helming and it's so encouraging to start with a podium, but we are going to have to keep pushing to stay amongst the leaders in the next regattas."
Conditions on the lake made for a great battle on the lake for the 11 one-designs who keep raising the level of competition every year. The next round will be the Open de Crans on May 24 and 25.
Ladycat powered by Spindrift racing crew for the Grand Prix Les Ambassadeurs
Yann Guichard, skipper
François Morvan, tactician
Xavier Revil, mainsail
Erwan Israël, headsail trimmer
Jacques Guichard, headsail trimmer
Christophe Espagnon, bowman
2014 SEASON FOR THE D35 CIRCUIT
May 9 to 11: Grand Prix Les Ambassadeurs - SNG
May 24 and 25: Open de Crans - Crans-près-Céligny
June 7: Genève-Rolle-Genève - Yacht Club de Genève
June 8 and 9: Open de Versoix - Club Nautique de Versoix
14 June: Bol d'Or Mirabaud - SNG
30 and August 31: Open Nationale Suisse - Club Nautique de Versoix
September 6 and 7: Grand Prix Grange & Cie - Yacht Club de Genève
September 19 to 21: Grand Prix SNG - SNG