For 2023, the Sailing Squad will team up with the highly experienced Christian Wahl and his legendary D35 catamaran – winner of the 2022 Bol d’Or Mirabaud. The aim of the game is of course to win. Will the young Sailing Squad athletes, who are unfamiliar with both Lake Geneva and the boat, manage to convince their coaches to be selected on race day? Sailing Squad Season 3: an adventure full of twists and turns to be enjoyed in three thrilling episodes from 5 to 15 June.
Following the success of the first two seasons of Sailing Squad (Season 1 & Season 2), the founding partners – Hublot, Forward Wip, the Société Nautique de Genève and Mirabaud – are delighted to expand their range of sponsors with the support of Verbier Tourism and the InterContinental hotel.
The Sailing Squad is a mini-series filmed before and during the Bol d’Or Mirabaud, and was conceived by Mirabaud in 2021 with various objectives in mind: to celebrate the return of the Bol d’Or Mirabaud after a year’s absence due to the pandemic, to spread the word about the world’s largest inland regatta beyond the Franco-Swiss shores of Lake Geneva, and to allow young hopefuls from the nautical world to participate together in this mythical race under the watchful eye of a renowned sports coach.
The third season will adhere to a similar format with the participants and their coach, Shirley Robertson, followed by a camera crew for an immersive, multi-episode adventure, broadcast on various digital channels.
However, there will be no shortage of novelties in the 2023 edition. The three young international racers will be heading to the dizzying heights of Verbier, where they will be greeted by Christian Wahl. Alongside Shirley Robertson, Christian will introduce them to the collaborative nature of his Double You Team. So, just how will the two coaches decide which athletes should take part in the Bol d’Or Mirabaud? The final choice remains uncertain and there may well be some contestants going home disappointed.
As the coach of the first two seasons of Sailing Squad, sailor Shirley Robertson is the first British woman to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals (in 2000 and 2004) in the Europe and Yngling class. Now a well-known British TV presenter, she is also a much sought-after sports coach.
Nicknamed the ‘Wizard of the Lake’ following his multiple victories in the Bol d’Or Mirabaud – including his 8th win in 2022 – astute strategist, Christian Wahl, is one of the undisputed masters of the Decision 35 multihull class. Having notched up more than 30 appearances in the Bol d’Or Mirabaud and 15 podium finishes, he not only knows every inch of Lake Geneva but is also familiar with all its many fickle winds. With his twofold experience as a top-level sportsman and manager, Christian Wahl also heads up several companies, including bj office & coffee, a family-run firm founded over 110 years ago by his great-grandparents.
This third season brings together three promising young female sailors, all of whom have competed at international level and hold world rankings:
Much like the Mirabaud Group, the success of the Sailing Squad is based on the sharing of knowledge and trust that exists between the various members of the team. Nicolas Mirabaud, Managing Partner of Mirabaud & Cie, explains the approach: “In creating this concept, we wanted to offer talented young sailors a unique sailing challenge, as well as exceptional coaching, with a view to taking part in the Bol d’Or Mirabaud (BOM), a race that we have been sponsoring for over 15 years. This is a human and sporting endeavour, rooted in the values of passion, entrepreneurship and team spirit. For this third series of Sailing Squad, the involvement of Christian Wahl, the BOM’s most titled competitor, seemed a natural choice. As director of the Regatta Training
Centre for seven years, Christian knows how to bring young people together to perform at their very best and is also extremely familiar with Lake Geneva.”
Shirley Robertson discusses her role as coach: “Each edition is a challenge because these young sailors are all highly successful in their own discipline. Here they will have to learn to sail as a team, on a lake riddled with fickle winds and alongside the reigning race winner. It is an exciting challenge both in terms of human interaction and sailing. This team-building experience is based on the exchange of knowledge and sailing techniques, the search for common solutions, as well as moments of shared passion, laughter and a strong desire to succeed together.” Looking ahead to the 2023 edition, she adds: “I have every faith in my athletes, who have a multitude of talents and complementary abilities that they will be able to put to good use in this collective endeavour.”
The three episodes of Season 3 of Sailing Squad, preceded by a teaser, will be screened in June 2023:
The Double You Team project is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Its initial objective was to build a 100% professional, passionate and ambitious team and to integrate young sailing talents from Lake Geneva. From 2013 to 2019, Double You Team participated in all stages of the Decision 35 Championship.
In 2019, the team became 100% Swiss and brought on board a selection of young talents from the Regatta Training Centre. Led by the wizard of the lake, Christian Wahl, Double You Team thus became the youngest team to participate in the Bol d’Or Mirabaud (BOM) on a D35.
In 2022, Christian Wahl offered the first BOM to the youngsters and at the same time became the holder of the highest number of victories, 8 to date.
For 2023, with 25 successive participations since 1997, Christian Wahl, a man of challenge, is embarking on a new challenge, which he hopes to win with the Sailing Squad and his team. An unprecedented edition that will be held on his birthday!