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Only a month to go to the Bol d'Or Mirabaud 2019

by Bol d'Or Mirabaud 15 May 2019 19:36 BST 14-16 June 2019
Bol d'Or Mirabaud © Event Media

The starting gun for the 81st Bol d'Or Mirabaud edition will go off Saturday, June 15 at the Société Nautique de Genève. There's only a month to go before this annual lake sailing fest begins!

Multihulls, monohulls, amateurs and professionals: more than 500 boats and 3,000 competitors will take part in the world's most important fresh water regatta, with 171 registered so far.

The 2019 edition of the Bol d'Or Mirabaud's theme will be technology, from the festival to its focus on sustainable development. To support its environmental partner, the ASL (Association pour la Sauvegarde du Léman), and its beneficiary partner, the ICRC, the BOM is joining the online donation platform: GivenGain. It allows each crew to collect money for both causes. The bicentennial of its principal partner, Mirabaud, will contribute to the festivities at the Société Nautique de Genève. Here's a snapshot of key moments, the challenges and the protagonists who will mark this year's edition.

BOM19 The Challenges

  • There are two new contenders for the record number of wins: Pierre-Yves Jorand might jump aboard Alinghi at the last minute, depending on weather conditions, in the hunt for an eighth victory. Christian Wahl will certainly be looking to obtain the same record aboard the Decision 35, Cabestan.

  • Phil Durr, also with seven victories to his name, will sail aboard the first boat to win the Bol d'Or Mirabaud in 1939. He won't be able to get his eighth win, but he'll make history aboard the 6mJI, Ylliam IV!

  • The time record (5:01:50 set in 1994!) might be beat if the wind joins the party. Boats are increasingly ready, and hydrofoils continue to penetrate the BOM fleet.

  • If a Decision 35 should prevail, it might be the last time this design wins the BOM since its flying successor, the TF35, is awaited at the start next year.

  • Besides the winners in each category, the 200th boat in scratch timing and the 200th crew to register will receive special prizes from our partner Mirabaud to mark its bicentennial.

Who are the favorites?

Scratch Ranking

  • Decision 35s are clearly favored for the overall scratch ranking. Of note are Alinghi, Zen Too, Ylliam Comptoir Immobilier and Realteam, all in shape in this early season, and let's not forget Cabestan (ex-Mobimo) helmed by Christian Wahl, current title holder.

  • GC32 flying catamarans could steal the stage from the Decision 35s if they're able to take advantage of their hydrofoils under sustained wind conditions and moderate chop.

  • Ladycat Powered by Spindrift Racing should also be neck in neck at the front of the fleet, with improvements made to the boat since last year (and sailing again outside of the Decision 35 class). Let's not forget M1 Safram, always ready for an ambush.

  • The Lake Léman monohulls: Psaros 40s: Outsider, TBS, SYZ or Notre Dame du Lac will be the prime competitors of the Hungarian Libera Raffica, loyal to the BOM. And let's not forget another Libera, Clandesteam, which will come from Italy in search of victory.

  • The Psaros 40's smaller brother, the Psaros 33 also has a shot at the Bol de Vermeil. This growing class, with more than ten units built recently: 10 meters long, weighing two tons and carrying 87 m2 of sail area, the 33s are real race beasts thanks to their swinging keel.

M2 Multihulls
  • Logically, victory should go to either a Ventilo M2 or an Easy to Fly catamaran. The 2018 M2 winner, Swiss Medical Network, seems to be the favorite again as a result of early season regattas.

  • Three Swiss ETF crews are registered so far: Luna (Guillaume Girod), Tixwave (Bernard Vananty) and Compass24 (Hans-Joerg Etter).

  • Diam 24 trimarans are also expected on the starting line once again.
  • The objective of the ACVL-SRS trophy is to reward the best monohull in handicapped time, independently of its size. Arrival time is effectively multiplied by a coefficient unique to each boat, making it possible for smaller ones to beat bigger ones
  • There are numerous favorites for this trophy, such as the Surprise class or the 2018 winners' podium made up of a Luthi 36 and two Megles 32s.

  • Among novelties, three LP 820s (co-produced by the Luthi and Psaros naval yards, with help from Michel Desjoyeaux's Mer Forte office) are worth a careful look within this ranking.

Key moments
  • Friday 18:30: Opening ceremony on the Neptune
  • Friday starting 20:30: Concert by Time Machine (70s-80s atmosphere) live from the Neptune*
  • Saturday 10:00: Start of the 81st Bol d'Or Mirabaud
  • Saturday starting 20:00: Night of the Bol: Concert by Wintershome (folk atmosphere) live from the Neptune*
  • Sunday 19:00: Closing ceremony and prize distribution
*Concerts supported by Mirabaud. The Société Nautique de Genève will be open to the public Saturday and Sunday.

Key Numbers

  • Total straightline distance: 123 kilometers (66.5 nautical miles)
  • Record number of victories: 7 - Philippe Stern, Philippe Durr, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Christian Wahl
  • Record participation: 684 competitors registered, all classes combined, in 1990
  • Number of participants in 2018: 567 boats (121 Surprises) representing 14 nationalities
What Participants are saying

Olivier Laurent, 81st in the 2018 scratch ranking: "My participation in the Bol d'Or Mirabaud isn't up for discussion! I've done it every year out of the last twenty. This will be my 15th time, sailing on our superb boat DERNIERE MINUTE, a Luthi 990 built in 1996. The BOM is THE race in which you try your best, but it's so competitive that you need to come back each year and try harder. One of these years it will be our turn (in our class of course)."

Laurane Mettraux, skipper of the winning all-women team in 2018: "I'm coming back this year to win! My 100% female crew has yet to be named, but it was such a great experience and it rewarded me with a trip to Mauritius. This is clearly THE regatta I need to win, especially in my family!"

Philippe Durr, skipper of 6mJI Ylliam IV: "In the end, one's boat speed doesn't matter; I do the Bol to participate in this grand festival. I love being on the lake with all its history."

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