Press releases

Excitement and suspense planned on Lake Geneva

According to MétéoSuisse, the Swiss weather service, tricky winds will liven up the Bol d’Or Mirabaud, starting in Geneva Harbor next Saturday at 10:00. 520 sailboats representing 8 nationalities will battle for victory in this mythical race that continues to rejuvenate and innovate.

Geneva, June 9, 2016 – The great annual sailing festival takes place this weekend! Hundreds of sailboats of all sizes and categories have confirmed their participation in the Bol d’Or Mirabaud, a competition that promises to be intense. The 78th edition of the Bol d’Or Mirabaud, will be like its new website: more dynamic, modern, open and responsive, since the LIVE coverage will provide web users with realistic and instantaneous access to the race.

The new layout of the Société Nautique de Genève, easily accessible to the public, more comfortable to competitors and the commitment of a hundred volunteers should all add up to a successful 78th edition.

A wide open regatta with numerous prizes

“Between Saturday and Sunday a disturbance will cross Europe and our regions. Ahead of this disturbance southwesterly could blow significantly and also northwesterly wind (Joran) behind it. Right below this front, clouds and rain which will also produce very irregular wind in terms of speed and direction. Isolated and embedded thunderstorms may be possible. The activity of this disturbance is of course to be confirmed and especially its schedule that will determine the wind conditions of this bol d’or 2016” explains Lionel Fontannaz of MétéoSuisse.

If we believe statistics – 11 wins in 12 races – one of the Décision 35 catamarans will cross the finish line first. The most visible teams of the moment are: Ladycat powered by Spindrift racing (X. Revil), recent winner of the Geneva-Rolle-Geneva, Team Tilt (S. Schneiter), current titleholder, or even Alinghi (E.  Bertarelli). Only one different sailboat has a chance to break the D35 supremacy: Ventilo M1, Safram (ex Zenith Fresh …! steered at the time by Jean-Philippe Bucher and Christophe Peclard) already the winner in 2013. As for the M2 catamarans, they are standing by ready for battle, especially if there are light wind conditions.

The Bol de Vermeil, awarding the first monohull to finish in real-time, will foster a duel between local crews sailing Psaros 33s and 40s, Luthi F10s and other Taillevents, and the Hungarian Libera, Raffica, the only one with a chance to keep the trophy after her 2012 and 2013 victories. Remember that this trophy, copying the Bol d’Or, must be won three times in five years in order to be kept indefinitely.

Finally, the SRS-ACVL Trophy, given to the first monohull to finish in the overall handicap ranking, is in play with the peculiarity that its winner remains unknown until the last boat finishes the race.

Beside these prestigious prizes, the Bol d’Or Mirabaud will award numerous other sailors: the winners in each SRS class, the C1, Surprise (more than 100 boats expected) and Grand Surprise classes, without forgetting the handicap time winner and special prizes, such as the Sailing School Trophy and the Interclub Trophy.

As explains Antonio Palma, Mirabaud associate, “The Bol d’Or Mirabaud is the greatest Lake Geneva sailing festival, for all the racers, and not only for the high profile categories. We really admire the technological advancement and the duels fought at the head of the pack. But we’re are also proud to recognize youngsters and sailing schools, as well as the sailors entering with all kinds of boats: amazing duels are fought at all levels of the ranking.”

A more dynamic, modern and open Bol d’Or Mirabaud

Some spectacular new race entrants this year include C1 type sport catamarans, which will be making their debut, led by two-man crews hand selected based on their sailing experience. Five Diams 24 trimarans, among which one skippered by Bernard Stamm, are also expected. The Hungarian catamaran, Fifty-Fifty, will participate unofficially as its length exceeds 50 feet, the maximum allowed to be officially ranked. As a special invitee, she will nonetheless contribute to the show with her two masts (one on each hull)! Fred Meyer’s 10mJI monohull, designed by Fife in 1926 has also been invited by the organizers to race ex-ranking

The internationalization of the Bol d’Or Mirabaud continues with the participation of representatives from other classic Europen regatas, such as the Kékszalag (Hungary), the Centomiglia – Garda Lake (Italy), the Barcolana (Italy) and the Tour de Belle-Île (France).

The public is expected starting at 7:30 at la Société Nautique de Genève to watch the boats leave their docks, and at 9:00 and the Cologny quays, at the Pré Byron or the other viewing points around the Geneva harbor. The starting gun will be fired at 10:00 sharp by the rifle squad of the Vieux Grenadiers, under the orders of Geneva’s Mayor, Mr. Guillaume Barazzone.

Completely renovated this year, the Société Nautique will be open to visitors all weekend. For the first time, the public will have access to the adjacent “Les Voiles” from the club’s north jetty. A private space reserved for spectators will be open starting at 15:00 on Saturday. The club will be open all night to welcome competitors at the end of their race.

To facilitate spectators following the race, the Bol d’Or Mirabaud offers its completely redesigned website, that will be in LIVE mode during the regatta weekend: The complete website is also available in English.

Follow the race LIVE

All boats will once again be equipped with beacons to allow them to be followed in real-time by fans. You can access geotracking to follow your favorite boats at:

Social networks Twitter (@BoldOrMirabaud), Facebook (Bol d'Or Mirabaud), Instagram (@Instabom), and even Youtube (VideosBoldOrMirabaud) will be kept up to date. The hash tag “#BOM16” will be used across these different networks.


Bol d'Or Mirabaud

Mirabaud has been title sponsor of the Bol d’Or for ten years. It is passionate about this major regatta in the European sailing calendar which embodies simultaneously endurance, tenacity and team spirit.

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