The GC32 Racing Tour stopped in Lagos, Portugal, for the second leg of the championship. A new playground that had to be tamed, while facing an ever tighter fleet. Realteam just missed out on a medal, tied with the team led by Ben Ainslie. On Lake Garda, the Flying Phantom team shined at the top of the leaderboard, despite some complicated episodes on the equipment side. Realteam#1 finished the Foiling Week 2nd tie with the 1st.
On the GC32 side, the Portuguese stage started strong. “We had to take a reef for the fourth race of the day,” says the skipper Jerome Clerc. In 18 knots of wind, Realteam moved unevenly on a complicated water, placing itself twice in the leading pack. Facing difficult positioning, the team finished this first day 4th in the general.
The next day, it didn’t not miss much to Realteam to tighten enough the gap with its competitors. At the end of the day, coach Daniel Souben was adamant: “We have to go up a notch. We still lack precision, but we are not very far from the goal.” The third day started in unstable conditions again, and yet Realteam remained focused from start to finish: a foiling start at the last position, a fourth place finish of the first race. Then the team went on: 2-2-3, thus going back to the general in the 3rd place of the leaderboard.
And yet … nothing was decided yet. The last day in Lagos ended a bit steep for Realteam. Great conditions, a nice recovery on the first legs (5-3-4-2), then some rough maneuvers caused the team to lose many places (6-6). “The uncoupling of a foil has been fatal,” says Daniel Souben. “However, we must remain positive: we are joint with Ben Ainslie,” he continues with a smile. Let us also mention a nice speed record at 24.62 knots, which placed Realteam 2nd at the Anonimo Speed Challenge. Overall GC32 Racing Tour, Realteam retains second place.
On Lake Garda, the Realteam # 1 team also experienced intense Flying Phantom adventures. “We started by dismasting Wednesday,” says Bruno Barbarin. At the helm of the FP, he sailed with Bryan Mettraux for the 2018 edition of Foiling Week. After finding a replacement mast and preparing the boat again, the team was ready for Thursday’s regattas … which were canceled due to lack of wind.
Business resumed on Friday, for two rounds. During the second, the bowsprit exploded under pressure. Bruno and Bryan did not disassemble as much: “We had put the reserve bowsprit in place, hoping that it holds until Sunday …” Successful gamble for Realteam#1, which went on the good results (1-1-2 ) on Saturday, before repeating the performance on Sunday. At the end, Realteam finished 2nd tied with the 1st, on a 100% Swiss podium.