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The main single-handed regatta on Lake Geneva, organized by Société Nautique de Genève, brought together 107 competitors this weekend in dream conditions. French sailor Charlie Dalin, second in the last Vendée Globe, was the first to cross the finish line. But it was Arnaud Machado on his Surprise Du Leman a l’Ocean who won on corrected time.

The SYZ Translémanique en Solitaire 2021 concluded on Saturday evening with the victory of French sailor Charlie Dalin, second in the last Vendée Globe and recent winner of the Fastnet race.

But this event is run on compensated time: each competitor’s race time is multiplied by the rating of his or her yacht, which takes into account length, beam, weight, etc. And it’s an armada of Surprise one-designs that leads this ranking, itself dominated by Frenchman Arnaud Machado, aboard the yacht Du Leman a l’Ocean.

“I really set out to win the Surprise class,” says Machado. “So I’m super happy, and even happier with the overall victory on corrected time! It was a splendid race, and it was just magical to be up against the Vendée Globe runner-up, on the same starting line…”

Arnaud Machado is also no stranger to ocean racing, having competed in the Mini Transat. It’s funny,” he says, “Dalin is coming to Lake Geneva for the first time, while I’m dreaming of going to sea. Our destinies have crossed. But I’m off to Brittany to do some ocean racing, and that was probably my last Translem for a while…”

Machado made a memorable return to Geneva, building up a substantial lead over his direct pursuers and eventually finishing 22nd in the real-time rankings. Remarkable for a 7.5-metre yacht designed in the late 70s… ” I gybed under spinnaker. I gybed under spinnaker, but the boat went luffing and I sprained my ankle,” he explains. “As if nothing’s decided until the end, but fortunately I had enough of a head start.

Machado is ahead of Cédric Pochelon on Kahlua, and Matthieu Sistek on Allégretto.

As for Charlie Dalin, the godfather of this edition, he sailed against the best Psaros 33 and 40 until the exit of the small lake before escaping, crossing the halfway mark with a comfortable lead. But the return journey wasn’t easy, and was marked by a minor scare. “My spinnaker fell into the water, so I stopped the yacht rather abruptly to avoid tearing the sail, but I lost control of the yacht during this maneuver and it went down on its side. The situation was quickly restored, but it reminded me that these Lake Geneva sailboats are very sensitive, and that you always need to keep a margin of caution. At the end of the race, I put my foot down and enjoyed the scenery, with Mont-Blanc… It was magnificent.”

97 yachts crossed the finish line out of the 107 entered. Among them were six sailors under 20 and six over 65, and sadly only seven women.

Christophe Amberger, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, takes a very positive view of this year’s event. “The conditions were exceptional, and the field very strong. All the competitors arrived very close together, the vast majority before midnight, which illustrates the intensity of the regatta. They all showed great mastery of their boats, and put on a great show!