© Mateo Giraud / Bol d'Or Mirabaud
A smooth Bol d'Or Mirabaud, rich in human and sporting adventures
The big winner of the weekend was the crew of Christian Wahl from Geneva, on the Décision 35 catamaran, w-team, first to cross the finish line after 12:24:16 of racing. His team was made up of young regional talents: Romuald Hausser, Romain Defferard, Nelson Mettraux, Guillaume Rol and Mathieu Cadei. w-team took the lead of the race at the exit eastern sector of the lake, and never let go. He finished ahead of Loïc Peyron and his TF35 Artexplora, followed by the young sailors of the Okalys Youth Project helmed by Arnaud Grange.
Christian Wahl, the skipper of w-team, makes race history with eight wins. He is now the most titled racer in BOM history.
The new TF35 hydrofoil catamarans, great favorites of the event, were penalized by their appendages, designed to allow them to fly with 8 knots of wind or more, but less efficient in floating mode. Thus, Zen Too, second in the class behind Peyron, is in tenth place overall. Realteam (14th), Alinghi red Bull Racing (18th) and the other TF35s even finished behind the first monohulls, with the last of them - Ylliam XII - Comptoir Immobilier - occupying 21st place in the overall ranking.
Historic victory of the Hungarian Libera Raffica in the monohull category
The Hungarian Libera Raffica, winner of the monohull ranking and eleventh in the scratch ranking, wins - and for the third time - the Challenge Boll de Vermeil awarded for keeps to whomever wins the race three times in five years... a unique achievement in the history of the regatta.
His skipper, Zsolt Király, joins Ernesto Bertarelli, Louis Noverraz, Daniel Stampfli and Yves Detrey in the very closed club of sailors who have won the Bol d'Or six times.
Nice surprises among the (other) monohulls
Thomas Jundt and his amazing hydrofoil monohull QFX finished second in the monohull ranking and sixteenth in the overall ranking... a real feat, which made its designer very happy. "We had excellent speed in this light air," he said. "We just needed a little more wind to take off on our foils and be able to challenge Raffica."
Eric Monnin, designer of the monofoil, finished fifth on board his small foiler, just behind the Psaros 40 Cellmen Ardentis (François Thorrens) and Syz (Jean Psarofaghis).
Finally, the Australian 18-footer Peyrot Conseil Immobilier, owned by Cyril Peyrot, finished in a respectable 26th place overall. Patrick Ducluzaux's Toucan finished 46th.
One-designs in the spotlight
The largest class of the fleet, Surprises (107 boats), was dominated all of the the first day of the race by Adrénaline Les 2 Rives, owned by Thierry Campiche. Unfortunately for him, the wind came back from behind in the early morning on Sunday and his pursuers - although far behind – caught up. Off Corsier, Malice, skippered by Marius Lanz, managed to take the lead and hold on to it until the finish line.
The Psaros 33 class, with nine boats, was won by Raijin, skippered by Philippe Bertherat, 25th in the scratch classification. Luc Munier and his Carpediem Cube, who dominated most of the race, finished 26th, just ahead of Petrel3 (Cyrus Golchan).
Finally, Little Nemo (Bernard Borter) won again in the Grand Surprise category.
Gilles Fontan and his Nitro 80 win the compensated time ranking
Arriving at the Société Nautique at 5:42 after a long night of concentration, Gilles Fontan and his crew - including Frederic Peroche, recent French cruising yacht champion - won the compensated time ranking ahead of Patrick Ducluzaux's Toucan, Gaston 3 and David Pertuiset's Esse850, Darnetal.
Sailing Squad: not the best conditions to fly
The young sailors of Sailing Squad, who had great ambitions, did not benefit from the conditions that would have allowed them to fly, to master the show and to obtain the ranking they were hoping for. After a long night, they finally crossed the finish line in the middle of the afternoon. The only all-female crew entered this year, including five-time world kite champion Daniela Moroz and European and world 49er champion Odile Van Aanholt, showed resilience and patience and crossed the finish line with beaming smiles.
A very positive assessment
Yann Petremand, president of the organizing committee, had a very positive assessment of this 83rd Bol d'Or Mirabaud edition. "The wind was certainly very light, which logically led to many withdrawals (283 boats unclassified). But apart from that, which we don't control, the race went very well, both on the water and on land. Our organization system, which has evolved a lot this year thanks to the new infrastructure, proved its worth. We have learned a lot, and we are going to learn from this edition in order to continue progress toward the 2023 BOM. I would like to thank all the competitors for their participation and all our partners for their support."