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After the flat calm of the last two years, the storm of 2019 and the Covid, the Bol d’Or Mirabaud is smiling again and treating itself to a champagne edition. The TF35 hydrofoil catamaran Sails of Change 8, skippered by Yann Guichard, won the overall classification, while Philippe de Weck’s K2 monohull, with his two sons Alexander at the helm and Micha on the foredeck, won the Bol de Vermeil. Numerous other competitors distinguished themselves this weekend on Lake Geneva.

Geneva, June 16, 2024

The 85th Bol d’Or Mirabaud took place this weekend on Lake Geneva in very pleasant conditions, with a moderate westerly wind and beautiful sunshine. It’s enough to put a smile back on the faces of participants and organizers alike, after a succession of editions marked by lack of wind, tobacco blows and pandemics.

The TF 35 hydrofoil catamarans, which will succeed the Décision 35 from 2021, have finally been able to express their full potential and enjoy the dominant position they deserve. The first four boats, led by Sails of Change 8 skippered by Yann Guichard, crossed the finish line in three minutes and put on an exceptional show.

In the monohull class, the domination of the Hungarian Libera Raffica was interrupted by a new yacht designed on the shores of Lake Geneva, confirming the latter’s status as a technological laboratory and center of excellence for lake regattas.

Numerous individual feats were achieved this weekend in all classes of the race.

Monohulls: Change at last!

After four years of unchallenged domination, Hungarian Libera Raffica, two-time “definitive” Trophy holder and winner of thirteen editions of the race since 1996, found a stronger opponent. K2, the splendid monohull sponsored by Philippe de Weck and helmed by his son Alexander, won its first Bol. He leads Raffica, penalized late in the race by mainsail damage, by almost an hour. Designed to the maximum of the Lake Geneva class, but only slightly heavier than a Psaros 33, K2 proved much faster than Raffica upwind. He came 15th in the scratch rankings.

Behind these two leaders, the third monohull, the Luthi 1090 Katana, is two hours behind the winner, while its direct pursuer, François Thorens’ Psaros 40 Cellmen Ardentis, is one hour further back. The fifth is a Libera, Carondimonio, bought just a month ago by Gavain Ramseier and driven by a crew who are certainly novices but enthusiastic about this type of boat, and who deserve a lot of credit.

Bernard Borter and his Little Nemo win on corrected time

Bernard Borter, who has dominated the Grand Surprise class for almost twenty years, is the Bol d’Or Mirabaud’s overall winner on corrected time, a ranking system that measures the real performance of monohulls independently of their size and price, by multiplying their racing time by a clever coefficient. This is the first time that a Grand Surprise has won since the overall corrected time classification was first recorded (in 2012). Borter and his crew are ahead of two Esse 850s: Alexandre Grognuz and David Pertuiset.

Surprises, Grand Surprises, Esse850 and Psaros 33 monotypes

The most represented class in the fleet, the Surprises (93 units), was dominated by Club Nautique de Versoix sailors. Marius and Thierry Lanz, accompanied by Benoît Leuenberger and Michel Noverraz, already winners in 2022, finished 90th overall and took victory aboard their Surprises Malice, ahead of Benoît Deutsch’s crack team, with Victor Casas, Romain Deferrard and CNV juniors, on Fou du Vent. Thierry Campiche (Adrenaline) came third.

There were no surprises in the Grand-Surprises, with Bernard Borter (Little Nemo) winning ahead of Nicolas Denervaud (Manawa) and Christian Haegi (Mea Huna). Borter wins for the seventh time following victories in 2022, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015 and 2008. He also won on corrected time.

There were ten competitors in two other one-design classes: the Psaros 33, won by David Bugnon (MB’s), and the Esse 850, won by Alexandre Grognuz (NTFM), who finished a fine 45th overall.

Bowl’s hidden heroes

The Bol d’Or Mirabaud rankings are always full of surprises and individual exploits. which are not necessarily reflected in the rankings and are often hidden in the mass of class winners. We present three of them here:

Alexandre Schneiter and Kristoffer Jonsson, aboard their small hydrofoil catamaran Flying Phantom, finished 22nd overall and first among the “small” boats. At 5.5 meters long, their catamaran is certainly one of the most uncomfortable in the fleet. The Schneiter / Jonsson duo won the Foiler F2 class ahead of a certain Yvan Bourgnon.

Aboard an even smaller yacht, the 18-foot Geneva 18 footer Sailing Team, Cyril and Patrick Peyrot and Nicolas Groux finished a very fine 32nd overall, in the wake of Jean Psarofaghis’ Psaros 40. They win the (fictitious) cost/performance ranking.

Last but not least, three-time Bol d’Or winner Edouard Kessi finished 49th aboard his venerable Tiolu Ypso; a series designed in 1974 by Bernard Dunand. Sailing with his two daughters, Clara and Julie, and other friends, he’s ahead of many of Lake Geneva’s carbon sleds.

New Bowls (Basalt and Carbon)

Two new Bols d’Or were up for grabs this year: the Bol de Carbone for foilers and the Bol de Basalte for archimedean multihulls. Unsurprisingly, first place goes to best TF35, Sails of Change 8, while second place went to Christian Wahl and his w-team.

And apart from that…

Many other crews put in fine performances. The Organizing Committee, the Lake Geneva Lifesaving Societies, the volunteers and many other dedicated people did an outstanding job. The restaurateurs prepared a delicious paella. The Bol d’Or Mirabaud’s official village in Port Noir was packed with artists.