Game, set and match for Realstone Racing

Jérôme Clerc's team claims the D35's Grand Prix Facchinetti Automobiles

Sunday October 14th 2012, Author: Sandra Mudronja, Location: Switzerland

Jérôme Clerc and his Realstone Sailing crew have won the Grand Prix Facchinetti Automobiles after a bitter battle with Dona Bertarelli on Ladycat and Ernesto Bertarelli on Alinghi, who finished respectively in second and third position on equal points. The same trio shares the podium of the overall championship ranking, Realstone Sailing winning the Vulcain Trophy 2012 ahead of Alinghi and Ladycat.

Today’s sailing has been an exciting battle between the top three: Realstone Sailing, Ladycat and Alinghi. Despite a cloudy sky and a lack of wind until 2 pm, the competitors of the Grand Prix Facchinetti Automobiles were sent on the water to sail three races, the last one in stormy conditions: "To finish the season in 25 knots wind is a real treat! It was magical," said Jérôme Clerc after moored his D35 Realstone Sailing at the dock at the Société Nautique de Genève. "We had to win the last race to win the Grand Prix! It was fabulous."

Throughout the year Realstone Sailing has been a training platform for the young sailors from the Regatta Training Center, who showed once again this weekend the extent of their talent. Nine crewmembers were selected early in the season to sail on the Decision 35. Jérôme Clerc paid tribute to his two tacticians, Denis Girardet and Bruno Barbarin who have exchanged that position during the season, as well as the trimmers and Arnaud Psarofaghis and Cedric Schmidt, Bryan Mettraux, the foredeck crew, and the grinders Thierry Wasem, Nils Palmieri and Christian Monachon.

After the last race of the season, Dona Bertarelli is moving up to the third step of the podium: "I am really happy! This is the result of six years of a learning process. I want to thank not only my current crew, but all the women sailors who sailed with me until today. It took us 4 years to win the Bol d'Or Mirabaud and 6 years to get on the podium of the Vulcain Trophy. I'm really proud of our work."

Ernesto Bertarelli commented on his sister’s performance: "I am very proud of what my sister has achieved. I am very happy that a woman, that is not a professional sailor, has been able to reach the podium. It really is a consecration and this is also the beauty of our sport!"

The day ended with the Prize Giving Ceremony, which took place in the presence of Bernard Fleury, CEO of Vulcain Watches: "The championship has been very promising since the very beginning of the season," he commented. "We were pleased to share these moments with the sailors with whom we share the same values: excellence, precision and team spirit. And especially the passion that drives us to innovate and go beyond our limits. We look forward to seeing you in 2013!". Vulcain Watches has offered a watch to the top three skippers of the Vulcain Trophy 2012. The watch is an Aviator Dual-Time Vulcain Trophy 2012, produced in limited edition of 100 copies.

Philippe Cardis – who finished in fourth place – announced officially his retirement from the D35 championship. He said a few words as one of the founders of the D35 class: "I am closing an important chapter of my life. First of all I want to thank my crew. Then I would like to thank my friends Ernesto Bertarelli, Nicolas Grange and Guy de Picciotto, without whom this class would never have existed. One day we sat around a table to set up this project. It was a fantastic adventure and it became a unique class of boats (…). At the end, I wish to pay tribute to Dona Bertarelli, with whom we fought for the third position until the end. We believed we would win but we now have to admit that she was faster and that she was better. I applaud because I'm really impressed how fast she learned to steer this boat!"

Bertrand Favre, the Class Manager of the Decision 35, said: "With the final results of this year, we can see that the D35 series remains an extremely dynamic class. The top ranking is reachable for newcomers in the series, which is very encouraging for the future!"

General Ranking Grand Prix Facchinetti:
1. Realstone Sailing (22 points)
2. Ladycat (25 points)
3. Alinghi (25 points)
4. Artemis Racing (35 points)
5. Zen Too (38 points)
6. De Rham-Sotheby’s (45 points)
7. Okalys-Corum (56 points)
8. Veltigroup (66 points)
9. Nickel (66 points)

General Ranking Vulcain Trophy 2012:
1. Realstone Sailing – Jérôme Clerc (8 points)
2. Alinghi – Ernesto Bertarelli (19 points)
3. Ladycat – Dona Bertarelli (25 points)
4. De Rham Sotheby’s – Philippe Cardis (27 points)
5. Artemis Racing – Torbjorn Tornqvist (34 points)
6. Zen Too – Guy De Picciotto – Fred Le Peutrec (35 points)
7. Okalys-Corum – Nicolas Grange (44 points)
8. Veltigroup - Marco Simeoni – Boris Lerch (48 points)
9. Nickel – Fred Moura (50 points)

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