A Pleasant and Sunny 82nd Edition
The big news from this BOM21 is that it took place at all! The pandemic was continuing to handicap Switzerland at the time the organizing committee announced that the 82nd edition would be held. It had to return to the basics: the regatta, the classic racecourse, and no land-based activities.
Under a harsh sun and very light winds, it’s Bertrand Demole’s TF35, Ylliam Comptoir Immobilier that won the race at 23:00, only seconds ahead of Zen Too and Art Explora. For their first BOM, the TF35s were challenged, starting out the race largely behind their competitors. They were finally able to fly on their foils during two hours of the return leg to Geneva and pass their floating competitors. In fact, it was M2, Emineo that rounded the Bouveret mark in the lead at 17:00!
Among monohulls, Raffica’s Hungarians won their second consecutive BOM, while the new Luthi, Katana, performed magnificently for second place.
439 boats took the start of the 82nd edition, an immense success for the organizing committee, which needed to put a strict public health protection plan in place.
The 2020 edition was canceled because of the Coronavirus
Due to COVID-19, the BOM organizing committee has taken the decision to cancel the 2020 edition. After evaluating different options to hold or delay the event, and in light of the health situation, the organizing committee had to face the evidence. Under such conditions, it’s not a time for sailing and even less so for celebration. The objective of the organizing committee is to maintain the spirit of the BOM as it’s been up until now, and appreciated by competitors and spectators: a great festival on and around the lake.
A Dantean Storm for a Memorable 81st Edition
Météo Suisse predicted it and the organizers called for vigilance: a serious storm descended on the central part of the lake and the Bol d’Or Mirabaud fleet around 17:00. The skies fell on competitors in this 81st edition, with gusts reaching 60 knots, hail, zero visibility and enormous waves. In spite of multiple distress flares, lots of damage and a few lost masts, all competitors got home safe and sound. They all exhibited excellent seamanship in conditions that are very rare for Lake Léman, and many took refuge in ports or lowered their sails before the storm hit!
196 boats crossed the finish line whereas 221 abandoned, 37 arrived too late and 10 didn’t take the start. Ladycat Powered by Spindrift Racing (Yann Guichard) won the overall ranking, Raffica (Kiraly Szolz) the Bol de Vermeil and Matière Grise (Lionel Maret) the ACVL-SRS trophy in handicapped time.
Bicentennial An edition that will remain in the annals of history, because of its epic storm marking the 200 years of its title partner: Mirabaud.
A Well Celebrated Birthday Edition
Décision 35 Mobimo (Christian Wahl) won the 80th edition of the Bol d’Or Mirabaud after more than 14 hours. The “Léman Wizard” executed a fantastic return run in the western lake sector, to finish neck in neck with Okalys Youth Project, helmed by the young Arnaud Grange with Loick Peyron onboard.
The first monohull, TBS (François Thorens), crossed the finish line at 3:30 Sunday morning, after 7:30:57. After having led the outbound and return legs, Hungarian Libera, Taxiphone Premium Raffica, skippered by Kiraly Zsolt, had to step aside at the entrance to the western lake sector.
Birthday A comic book, a photo exhibit on the Geneva quays and the Neptune in the port were all part of the 80th birthday celebration.
A classic Bol d'Or Mirabaud
The “bise” blew strongly on Saturday, June 10, delighting the 567 participants. Among them were 132 Surprises, the best represented class, which was won by Nicolas Mirabaud. The 79th edition’s ambassador, Alan Roura, honored us by sailing aboard a Diam 24. Alinghi won overall, while the Bol de Vermeil was awarded to Psaros 40, Syz & Co. TeamWork set a new record in the M2 class in 6h11'23''.
Speed An almost record-breaking edition in 2017 ! Alinghi (5h11) finished 10' after the record held by Triga IV
The Hungarian Libera Implantcentre Raffica wins the Bol de Vermeil trophy for keeps.
The Décision 35, Ladycat powered by Spindrift Racing, skippered by Xavier Revil, wins the 78th Bol d’Or Mirabaud, ahead of Alinghi and Mobimo. In the monohull category, the Hungarian Liberia Implantcentre Raffica wins her third Bol de Vermeil in five years, allowing her owner Kiraly Zsolt to keep the trophy indefinitely, whereas the ACVL-SRS Challenge goes to the Luthi F10 Triumvirat, skippered by Yves Tournier. Another highlight of this edition is the victory of the small racing catamaran C1 Eagle 20XXL, sailed by Robin Maeder and Felicien Ischer, winner of its category in 15:28.
Premiere Bol d’Or Mirabaud opens up to small racing C1 catamarans (18 to 21 foot)
Dead calm, storm, then light winds on the return route: the kind of real Bol d’Or Mirabaud we like!
With 19 year-old Sébastien Schneiter at the helm, Team Tilt Decision 35 wins, only 18 seconds ahead of Alinghi and 1 minute 11 ahead of Ladycat powered by Spindrift Racing. He’s the youngest helmsman in history to win the Bol d’Or. Team Seven wins the M2 class, while Oyster Funds is the first mono-hull to cross the finish line, ahead of Psaros 33 Raijin. Ardizio Toitures is the winner in handicap time (ACVL-SRS Trophy).
19 years old: the age of Sébastien Schneiter, the youngest Bol d’Or Mirabaud winner
A Year of Records!
A fast and competitive Bol d'Or Mirabaud, raced under sustained “bise” winds with gusts up to 30 knots. Monohull, Grand-Surprise and Ventilo M2 records were all broken. After winning in light wind in 2010, Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard won again in heavier air aboard Décision 35 Ladycat powered by Spindrift Racing. It was an edition not to be missed!
05:38:18: New Décision 35 record (Ladycat powered by Spindrift Racing, Dona Bertarelli)
06:24:02: New M2 record (GSMN Genolier, Michel Vaucher)
6:57:33: New monohull record (SYZ & CO, Jean Psarofaghis)
09:51:04: New Grand-Surprise record (Tix Way, Philippe Raphoz)
A westerly wind blew right on schedule at 10:00, just in time for the start, pushing the tightly grouped fleet in a downwind run under spinnaker to Evian.
Light breezes then allowed the Jean-Philippe Bucher's Ventilo Zenith Fresh, helmed by Christophe Péclard, to be first around the mark at Le Bouveret, from where she brilliantly defended her position during the return leg, in spite of pressure from the D35 armada, which finally had to admit defeat during this 75th edition. Enough breeze continued Sunday to allow most of the competitors to finish in time. The Bol de Vermeil goes to Hungarian Libera Raffica of Zolt Kiràly and the ACVL-SRS trophy to Philippe Mathey’s Luthi 38.2, Canopus 3.
Zenith Fresh: First victory for a Ventilo M1
A slow start... very slow. The expected westerly wind was late to the show.
From the start, D35 Realstone escapes to the Swiss shore. Only De Rahm takes the same train but the CER youngsters, brilliantly led by Jérôme Clerc, control the situation from end to end, winning against the more experienced members of the class! A similar situation to 2010. The Bol de Vermeil goes to Hungarian Libera Raffica of Zolt Kiràly.
First victory of a crew exclusively consisting of youngsters.
The race started with spinnakers flying under strong rain.
Conditions were generally windy thanks to a weather front, with very windy conditions for the first boats to round the Bouveret mark. Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi won, following his sister's victory the prior year, and claiming his first D35 victory in record time of 6:25:50. Antonio Palma's Mirabaud 1, with Cyrus Golchan at the helm, won the most highly contended Surprise class. The Bol de Vermeil goes to Syz & Co, helmed by Jean Psarofaghis.
6:25:50’ New Decision 35 record (Alinghi, Ernesto Bertarelli)
Dona Bertarelli wins in ladylike wind conditions.
In the first victory of a mostly female crew with its woman skipper: Dona Bertarelli. D35, Ladycat crossed the finish at 2:49 Sunday morning. Ventilo M2 Safram, after a long sail ahead of he pack, finished on the podium in third place, behind Banque Populaire. 183 boats arrived before the close. The Bol de Vermeil goes to Messrs. Boaron / Delaye’s Psaros 40, Oyster Funds.
First victory for a mostly female crew
A record… for slowness.
The first finisher, D35 Foncia helmed by Alain Gautier and Michel Desjoyeaux crossed the finish line at 5:33 Sunday morning, at the break of dawn. The leaders had lost the habit of spending the night on their boats! Only 64 boats crossed the finish at the SNG and 62 were ranked based on their time rounding the mark at Le Bouveret. Nicolas Engel’s Taillevent takes his third Bol de Vermeil.
19:33:26 Decision 35 record for slowness (Foncia, Alain Gautier)
Only 64 boats make it to the finish line
10:00 is the new official starting time of the regatta
Franck Cammas doing some team building
Victory of Zebra 7 - Girard-Perregaux, a D35 helmed by Frank Cammas, followed by a surprising Ventilo M2, Parmigiani, helmed by Michel Vaucher. Bol de Vermeil taken by Messrs. Delaye and Lambert's Oyster.
2nd Best performance by a M2 catamaran (Parmigiani, Michel Vaucher)
Loïck Peyron, new king of Lake Geneva
Inauguration of a separate starting line for multi-hulls with an offset buoy to ensure the same distance racecourse as mono-hulls. Overall victory by Okalys, skippered by Loïck Peyron. Jean Psarofaghis takes the Bol de Vermeil at the helm of Syz & Co.
Mirabaud becomes the Bol d’Or Mirabaud title sponsor
Russell Coutts, a victory that makes some waves
Three-time America’s Cup winner, Russell Coutts, wins the Bol d’Or at the helm of Banque Gonet. This victory that made some waves with Coutts being embroiled in a painful conflict with Alinghi. Alex Schneiter’s and Patrick Firmenich’s Tilt wins the Bol de Vermeil for keeps after also winning in 2002, 2004 and 2006.
Bol de Vermeil attributed to Tilt for keeps (Alex Schneiter, Patrick Firmenich)
34 multi-hulls participate to the regatta, sharing for the last time the starting line with the mono-hulls
Loïck Peyron wins under light wind conditions in 16:29
D35 Okalys, helmed by Loïck Peyron, wins le Bol d’Or in 16:29. First ever participation of the newborn M2 catamaran fleet. Psaros 40 Oyster wins the Bol de Vermeil.
Mirabaud starts its partnership with the regatta
First participation and victory of a Decision 35 catamaran
Team Red Zebra 5, helmed by Etienne David, against seven other D35 one-designs. Second mono-hull victory by Psaros 40, Tilt, helmed by Alex Schneiter and Patrick Firmenich.
First participation by a Decision 35 catamaran
Fourth consecutive victory by Alinghi “Le Black”
Fourth consecutive victory by Alinghi “Le Black”, matching Happycalopse, the second most decorated yacht in the history of the Bol d’Or along with Ylliam IV (in 1966). The fleet of large Lake Geneva catamarans, practically dominated by Ernesto Bertarelli, was decimated by a terrible storm. Fourth consecutive victory by Alinghi “The Black”, a few months after Alinghi’s first America’s Cup victory in Auckland. Nicolas Engel’s Taillevent, is the first mono-hull to cross the finish line.
Third Alinghi victory in five years
Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi keeps the Bol d’Or Challenge in its third victory along with 1997 and 2000. Taillevent, helmed by Nicolas Engel, wins the Bol de Vermeil.
Bol d’Or Challenge won for keeps by Alinghi (Ernesto Bertarelli)
First victory for Alinghi “The Black”
now considered the most powerful multihull in the world. Bol de Vermeil won by Pascal Desplands’ Multilink-Relance.
11:24:32 Grand Surprise record (Wahoo, François Séchaud)
Fourth victory by Happycalopse
Helmed by Philippe Cardis, the famous trimaran designed by American Gino Morelli and continuously refined over the years, wins in 10:52:04. Willy Sauter's Libera BMS takes the Bol de Vermeil.
The Bol de Vermeil is awarded for the first time
Attributed to mono-hulls wining the Bol d'Or three times in five years, the Bol de Vermeil is won by M. Valerio’s Italian Libera Raffica after prior wins in 1996 and 1997. Pierre-Yves Firmenich's Ylliam wins among the whole fleet.
Victory by Alain Golaz' catamaran Khamsin, helmed by Pierre Bonjour
Bol de Vermeil Challenge put into play for the first time, to award the first mono-hull to cross the finish line. As with the Bol d’Or Challenge, it must be won three times in five consecutive years to be kept indefinitely.
Bol de Vermeil put into play for the first time, won by Raffica.
Trimaran Happycalopse wins in 15:12:24.
Crédit Suisse becomes the first Bol d’Or title partner, until 1999.
An historical record
Strong “bise” wind, Peter Leuenberger’s Triga IV beats Ruban Bleu and multihull record in 5:01:51. Ernesto Bertarelli disputes his first Bol d'Or aboard a competitive multihull, Charles Pictet's ex-Poseidon (bought for 1 franc and a promise to sail competitively), and crosses the finish line third in an uncomfortable position...
Beat Siegfried’s Modulo 108 Corum beats the mono-hull record in 8:45:40. Over 600 boats registered.
5:01:51 New absolute record (Triga IV, Peter Leuenberger)
Victory by Pierre-Yves Firmenich aboard trimaran Ylliam
Thanks to a sustained westerly wind, Pierre-Yves Firmenich and his crew shaved 40 minutes off of the standing record.
Photo: © Gilles Favez
6:19:11 New record time (Ylliam, Pierre-Yves Firmenich)
Seventh victory for Philippe Stern
Seventh victory for Philippe Stern, the most decorated sailor in Bol d’Or history (tied with Philippe Durr). Catamaran Altair XII uses standard rigging after its famous winged mast is destroyed in the prior edition. Eric Tabarly participates.
First entry by a wing-masted yacht, Philippe Stern’s catamaran Altair XII.
The rigging is destroyed during a terrible wind gust. Happycalopse wins for the second year straight.
New participation record with no fewer than 684 boats.
This record remains unbeaten. Victory to Marc-Edouard Landolt’s trimaran Happycalopse, skippered by Philippe Cardis.
Appearance of gennakers on Lake Geneva multihulls.
Dennis Conner and his revolutionary catamaran Stars and Stripes – with which he just won the America’s Cup – crosses the finish line at the head of the fleet.
But they're not ranked because his boat exceeds Lake Geneva rating limits. Victory goes to catamaran Le Matin, skippered by Edouard Kessi. Vincent Varesio, official starter of the Bol d’Or since the first edition in 1939, officiates for the last time!
6h 57’ 33’’ New record established by Le Matin (Edouard Kessi, Gérard Gautier)
The threshold of 500 yachts is crossed.
Amateur sailors are now in the majority. Sport sailing continues its democratization.
Photo: © Gilles Favez
New speed record of under eight hours and third consecutive victory for Altaïr XI
Philippe Stern and his crew win in 7:20:55. The hydrofoil trimaran ASL (see photo) participates for the first time in the Bol d'Or.
Third consecutive victory Altaïr XI.
Philippe Stern’s Altaïr XI improves its race time with 8:37:14.
On this occasion, the catamaran is rigged with composite materials, a worldwide first.
8:37:14 Record beat by Altaïr XI.
Philippe Stern’s catamaran, Altaïr XI, takes home the second Bol d’Or Challenge with a new win in 9:24:20.
First catamaran victory.
Victory by a hydrofoil and glorious feat by a winged dinghy.
Albert Schiess’ trimaran, Holy Smoke, wins thanks to hydrofoils attached to the centerboards, allowing it to fly across the water propelled by the “Morget” wind. This UPO (unidentified planing object) – catches the public’s attention, and rounds the Bouveret mark first.
First victory to a hydrofoil boat
The trimaran Altaïr X wins, beating the record set 26 years earlier, in 1956, by the 6mJI Ylliam IX.
Mono-hulls are henceforth demoted to the background.
8h40’01’’ Nouveau record de vitesse par Altaïr X de Ph. Stern
Zoé, the last victory by a mono-hull
Fernand Isabella's Améthyste Zoé wins agains an ever-growing number of multihulls.
Last mono-hull win
Philippe Stern’s trimaran Altaïr IX wins in 15:27:06, taming an unusually violent wind gust that caused 6mJI Valentina to sink just offshore from Evian.
André Mercier produces one of his mythical Bol d’Or charts, which he will continue to do yearly until 1983. His drawing imortalizes the storm.
First multi-hull victory
End of the Toucan reign
Victory by Fernand Isabella‘s Améthyste Zoé, putting an end to Toucan domination, winners of the eight prior editions.
First multi-hull in the race, Pierre Muskens‘ l'Oiseau Roc
First victory by King Jean!
Jean Psarofaghis wins at the helm of Toucan Psaros. It's the last Toucan victory.
Photo: © Gilles Favez
Victory to Henri Breitenmoser’s Toucan Sansom.
First Surprise one-design participation, which goes on to become the most numerous and most heavily disputed class (over 100 units presently).
First Surprise one-design participation
Victory to Toucan Sansouci, with 6:20 advance on the runner-up: the absolute record of this kind.
6h20’ The winner’s lead over the runner-up
Participation is up 21%, with no fewer than 390 yachts on the starting line, Victory to Daniel Girardet’s Toucan Samaoui.
200 boats registered. First Toucan victory.
Marcel Stern’s Toucan XI takes first. Pictured here during the Eynard cruise, Marcel Stern always brought a chicken aboard to provide fresh eggs! Toucans sweep the next seven Bol d’Or editions.
First Toucan victory
First victory to a foreign sailor, Swede Arne Tengblad aboard Swedish 75m2, Margot II.
On the starting line under strong rain, the 6.5m's have the advantage!
Eighth and final victory to 8mJI Marie-José II, the most decorated yacht in Bol d’Or history.
Victory to the 6mJI Vega IV
which already won… 23 years prior and which holds the record for longevity among Bol d’Or winners. Claude Bourquin and Michel Nerbolier round the mid-course mark at the head of the fleet aboard their Tornado catamaran. They achieve the first non-stop lake round-trip aboard a multihull. They finish fourth, but aren’t ranked by the race committee at the time.
First non-stop lake round-trip aboard a multihull
First participation by a catamaran
Charles Pictet’s Shark, with the crew organized into two watches (Charles and Bénédict Pictet to Le Bouveret, Bernard Bourquin and François Devaud back to the finish). The yacht crosses the finish line, but isn’t ranked. Victory to 6mJI Sylphe.
First participation by a catamaran
Death of André Firmenich and (momentary) end to the long line of Ylliams (eleven yachts).
Second consecutive victory by 6mJI Diane.
Horace Julliard wins the first Bol d’Or Challenge for keeps on Marie-José II, helmed by Henri Copponex
Henri Copponex became the first Swiss helmsman to win an Olympic medal (1960 Summer Olympics in Rome).
Horace Julliard’s 8mJI Marie-José II wins its fifth race, ahead of André Mercier’s surprising 6.50 Nausicaa.
Photo: © Gilles Favez
31:54:49 Slowness record! Marie-José II, Horace Julliard
First race in less than twelve hours, by André Firmenich’s Ylliam IX, helmed by Louis Noverraz in 11:04:57.
5.5mJI l’Insoumise sinks shortly after the start.
11:04:57 new record time that will hold until 1982!
Victory by André Firmenich’s d’Ylliam VII, helmed by the legendary Louis Noverraz
First participation by a catamaran (although not completing the race)
50 participants registered.
First race in under 20 hours, by Henri Guisan’s 8mJI Glana in 16:25:45.
Photo: © Gilles Favez
The Société Nautique de Genève succeeds the "Faces Pâles" yacht club, and organizes the Bol d’Or for the first time.
First victory to an 8mJI, Glana, belonging to Henri Guisan, son of General Guisan, in 21:17:30.
First victory to Glana, which goes on to win eight!
First victory by a woman, Riquette Thévand, aboard Vega.
Not until 2010 does another woman, Dona Bertarelli, win.
Madame Madeleine Bigar replaces her husband Pierre, called into service during the war, at the helm of Borée II.
She finishes second in the wake of Louis Noverraz.
First edition under the name, "Tour du Lac des Faces Pâles"
26 participate in the race created by Pierre Bonnet. Fred Firmenich’s Ylliam IV, helmed by the great talent of the time, Louis Noverraz, wins.
23h08’34’’ first Bol d’Or record time, established by F. Firmenich’s Ylliam IV