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Yann Guichard, at the helm of the TF 35 hydrofoil catamaran Sails of Change 8, and his crew have won a very fine edition of the Bol d’Or Mirabaud. They took victory in 6 h 22 min 24 sec, 1 min 26 sec ahead of Realteam for Léman Hope and 2 min 44 ahead of Ylliam 12 Comptoir Immobilier.

Geneva, June 15, 2024 – The 85th edition of the Bol d’Or Mirabaud took place in absolutely splendid conditions, with a steady south-westerly wind and plenty of sunshine to delight the 398 competitors.

After a two-year drought, the formidable TF35 hydrofoil catamarans were finally able to show what they’re capable of, winning the first five places in the race with a comfortable lead over their direct pursuer, w-team, skippered by Christian Wahl, who put in a fine race but was nevertheless relegated to 45 minutes behind the winner.

“I’m extremely happy to have won this race. It’s my third overall in the Bol d’Or Mirabaud, and the fifth for our racing team,” said the skipper of the winning yacht, Yann Guichard.. “It was a great race, fast, strategic and intense. We fought until the last minute.”

Starting out with her grand-prix sails, smaller than those used by most of her direct rivals, Sails of Change 8 took the lead off Evian, during the main transition phase of the race. “ We managed to get into a good position after Le Bouveret”.says François Morvan, mainsail trimmer on Sails of Change 8. “We were arriving from Le Bouveret under gennaker when the westerly wind arrived. We furled that sail and continued under solent without stopping, while all our rivals suffered a temporary halt. We were in the right place at the right time.”

Sails of Change 8 is crewed by skipper Yann Guichard, No.1 Adrien Mestre, tactician Noé Delpech, who discovered Lake Geneva this spring, François Morvan, Bruno Mourniac and Solene Robert.

This morning at 10:00, the race started in moderate south-westerly conditions, which enabled the race leaders to reach Yvoire after a good half-hour’s racing, while the bulk of the fleet left Petit-Lac in less than two hours, which is quite exceptional.

Realteam for Léman Hope was the first to reach the halfway mark in Le Bouveret, at 12 h 44 m 28 s, after 2 h 44 of racing – the fastest time ever over the first half of the course. Realteam beat Ylliam 12 Comptoir Immobilier, skippered by Bertrand Demole, by 1 minute 45, and Sails of Change 8 by 2 minutes 12.

On the return journey, Christian Wahl, the “Wizard of Lake Geneva”, momentarily managed to take the lead, benefiting from the erratic winds that often characterize the Haut-Lac. But there was no magic this year. Significantly slower than the TF35s when the latter are able to fly, it logically relinquished the lead to the foilers. ” In fact, we already knew where we’d finish last night, after seeing the weather forecast,” Christian Wahl commented with amusement at the end of the race. “That said, we had a great race and the atmosphere on board, with the Mettraux brothers and sisters in particular, was fantastic.”

In the monohull class, the expected duel between Hungary’s Libera Raffica and Philippe de Weck’s brand-new K2 took place at the start of the race, and continues to this day, promising sparks at the end.

The south-westerly wind will diminish as the hours go by. The first monohulls are expected to arrive later this evening, but it’s sure to be a long night for most of the competitors, as Yann Guichard and his crew pop the champagne at the Société Nautique de Genève.