Published on 2019.06.16

Ladycat Powered by Spindrift Racing Emerges Victorious from the Tempest

  • The 81st edition of the Bol d’Or Mirabaud was run in variable conditions, with light winds at the start and a memorable storm on the return journey that caused much damage. Ladycat Powered by Spindrift Racing emerged victorious from the tempest.

    The competitors in the 81st Bol d’Or Mirabaud will remember the storm that ravaged the fleet at 17:00 with torrential rains, hail and wind gusts of rare violence, measured at nearly 50 knots.

    Everything started calmly, with a start under radiant sunshine and gentle breezes. The light southwesterly wind allowed the monohulls to start under spinnaker, while the multihulls glided toward the Bouveret.
    Ladycat Powered by Spindrift Racing managed the race the best. Rounding the Bouveret barge at 14:35, after 4:35:04 of racing. In second place, Realteam Sailing was 37 minutes behind (although not very far given the light wind), while Eleven Sailing Team followed three minutes later.

    Meanwhile, for monohulls, the sky filled with threatening clouds. The storm hit the fleet around 17:00, as predicted exactly by Météo Suisse during the previous 24 hours.

    With winds blowing at nearly 50 knots, visibility reduced to a hundred meters, random waves: the chaos caused by Mother Nature lasted a good half-hour, and caused significant concern to the fleet of 480 sailboats.


    Numerous boats lost their masts, numerous sails were torn. Crew members fell overboard and certain boats sunk, notably the Toucan Baloo. Security crews did their best to assure the safety of the crews. Realteam, one of the race favorites, lost its mast while M2s Santanas and DCM capsized and lost their masts.


    Three boats emerged at the head of the fleet. Ladycat Powered by Spindrift Racing, Alinghi and Ylliam Comptoir Immobilier. These three never let up from Thonon to Geneva, engaged in an aggressive battle. Showing his expertise, Yann Guichard and his crew aboard Ladycat Powered by Spindrift Racing knew how to keep their aggressors in check to achieve a magnificent victory in 10:36:21.
    Second in the race was Ylliam Comptoir Immobilier, helmed by Bertrand Demole in 10:39:38, followed by Alinghi (Ernesto Bertarelli), in 10:42:35.


    “It was extremely hard,” declared skipper Yann Guichard. “During the storm, we weren’t able to reef our sails and we spent fifteen minutes in survival mode under our full mainsail. Then when the wind backed down to 35 knots, we continued the race, fighting against Ylliam and Alinghi, which kept the pressure on until the end. We are very happy with this victory.”

     

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