The magical Bol d’Or Mirabaud! Professional and amateur sailors would not miss this event for anything. With more than 500 boats due to take the start line in front of the Société Nautique de Genève, this huge event in Swiss sailing has lost none of its magic over the years. The 77th edition, due to begin this Saturday at 10am, is already set to be a huge success, with a top-quality fleet taking part. Dona Bertarelli became the first female sailor to win the event in 2010. She repeated her success in 2014, so this year she will be defending her title in the D35 class, at the helm of Ladycat powered by Spindrift racing. Dona and her tactician Yann Guichard will be supported by the crew members who sail with her throughout the year on the D35 circuit, as well as offshore aboard the maxi-trimaran Spindrift 2 (Christophe Espagnon, Jacques Guichard, François Morvan et Xavier Revil), so the navigator will be aiming for a top-place finish.
‘Le Bol’ is an awesome event. Whether they are part of a professional crew or sailing with their family, all the competitors have a unique experience on the 123 km round trip between Geneva and Bouveret. "Some spend the night on the lake and don’t finish until dawn, or even until the daytime," explained Dona Bertarelli, who followed many editions before competing for the first time in 2007 with an all-female crew. "The Bol d’Or Mirabaud is a legendary race," she continued.
Intensive competition in a unique setting
Much of it is down to the location. "We’re sailing on the longest lake in Europe, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and UNESCO world heritage vineyards. We move from smooth terrain on the Swiss side to sheer cliffs on the French side. The landscape is astounding!"
This configuration, with open water surrounded by high mountains, produces unique sailing conditions. "You never really know what weather you’ll get on any part of the course. People often say there are a hundred winds on Lake Geneva. Anything can happen during the transitions from one wind to another. You can spend hours in mirror-like waters, then a few minutes later a mountain wind can sweep violently across the lake, so you can’t let up until you reach the finish line, because your position can come under threat at any time. We’ve competed in the lull of 2010 and the breeze of 2014, and in both cases there was lots of tension, as well as great joy when we secured the win at the end."
A strong multihull line-up
The crews for the D35s and the other multihulls include some of the world’s most experienced and successful sailors. Lake Geneva experts, Olympic champions, America’s Cup sailors and offshore racers will all compete on Saturday. "In the one-design D35 class in particular, anybody can win on this tough, unpredictable course, as we saw recently in the Geneva-Rolle-Geneva, where the boat that was last past the half-way mark went on to win the race."
Mirabaud, partner of the Bol d’Or and Spindrift racing
The Swiss bank is a leading sponsor in sailing. The longstanding Bol d’Or sponsor also backed Dominique Wavre’s circumnavigations. In 2013, Mirabaud embarked upon a new adventure, becoming one of Spindrift racing’s Gold Partners, alongside bio-tech firm Genes-x. The two Swiss brands are joined by the watchmaker Zenith, which joined the team as ‘Official Timekeeper’, notably for the oceanic record attempts.
Mirabaud participates in the D35 class with Ladycat, as well as in the Diam 24 trimaran class in the 'Tour de France à la Voile', which begins on July 3rd. The bank has also joined the European GC32 circuit, with Spindrift racing joining the foiling catamarans in their series, which this year travels to Austria, England, Germany, Italy and France. Finally, Mirabaud will board Spindrift 2 this winter for the first around-the-world sailing record attempt by a Franco-Swiss team. An extraordinary adventure. "Mirabaud has a great history in Swiss and international sailing. It’s a real pleasure to associate our project with a company and a group of partners who understand what we do and convey the same values as Spindrift racing," said Dona.
All the information about the Bol d’Or Mirabaud: Click here
Ladycat powered by Spindrift racing crew
Dona Bertarelli, skipper/helmsman
Yann Guichard, tactician
Xavier Revil, mainsail
François Morvan, trimmer
Jacques Guichard, trimmer
Christophe Espagnon, bowman
Nicolas Débordes, shore crew
2015 Calendar | D35 Trophy
May 8th-10th – Grand Prix d’Ouverture – SNG May
23rd-24th – Open de Versoix – CNV
June 6th – Geneva-Rolle-Geneva - YCG
June 5th and 7th – Open de Versoix – CNV
June 13 – Bol d’Or Mirabaud – SNG
September 5th-6th – Grand Prix Comptoir Immobilier – YCG
September 12th-13th – Open de Crans – CNC
September 25th-26th – Grand Prix de Clôture – SNG