The Bol d’Or Mirabaud has a major economic impact. For the event’s partners, who invest in associating their name and identity with that of the BOM, but also for a whole economic fabric made up of shipyards, sailmakers, designers, fittings specialists and so on.
“It’s crazy to see how passionate people are about the Bol d’Or Mirabaud,” says Julien Monnier, director of North sailmakers in Geneva. ” For us, there’s the Bol. Then life stops! ” Sail delivery, advice, tests: the whole team is mobilised in preparation for the queen of Lake Geneva regattas. ” Before the Bol, people are worried, they ask a thousand questions. The fever starts around Easter and you can feel the pressure building right up to the day before the BOM. The economic impact is impossible to estimate, but for a company like ours, it’s substantial .
Jean-Marc Monnard, from sailmaker Europ’ Sails, agrees: “The impact is felt throughout the year. ” Sailors who don’t normally race will order a sail specifically for the BOM. As for the more regular sailors, they start debriefing the day after the race and think about the sails they needed for the BOM, and how they can prepare better for the following year. ” Jean-Marc puts today’s BOM into perspective, however, by comparing it to the big years, when there were over 600 competitors on the start line. “ Back then, all that mattered was the Bol d’Or. The Altaïr, Oiseau Roc and other Triga boats didn’t have a championship. They staked everything on a single race. Today, the TF 35s, M2s and Psaros 33s have their own championship, of which the Bol d’Or is just one stage. ”
François Gauthiez, from the Ship Shop in La Pallanterie, makes a similar observation: “ The drop in participation inevitably leads to a drop in sales. In the past, the day before the Bol, things were crazy. Nowadays, particularly with the emergence of online sales, people shop differently and are better at anticipating their purchases. There’s not the same buzz as there was twenty years ago. ”
For Vincent Boaron of the Psaros shipyard, the Bol d’Or Mirabaud is ” extremely important! Our DNA is to build racing yachts; their objective is the BOM, ” he explains. ” In the weeks leading up to the Bol, we have to work on dozens of boats to carry out minor repairs – it’s very intense. Then, from the day after the race, the pressure is off. I’d almost say the season is over. We – and our customers – have done everything to be ready on D-Day, and that day is the BOM. ”
The Bol d’Or Mirabaud also remains an important support, particularly in terms of marketing. “We analyse the results at the end of the race, we congratulate the participants who use our sails for their good results, and we take advantage of the event to network,” explains Monnard. “The racers know who is sailing which brand of sails, and they analyse the results, especially in the big classes like the Surprises,” adds Monnier. “ “We’re also feeling the impact internationally. Our head office in the United States is aware of the importance of the event for us. They are making a special effort to deliver as quickly as possible and allow us to benefit from the latest developments. ”
“It’s still a very important event, even if we can’t measure the effects,” concludes Jean-Marc Monnard. “And it’s undoubtedly thanks to the Bol d’Or Mirabaud that we have all these fantastic boats on Lake Geneva.“