Bol d'Or 60th

500-600 boats to take the start of line of Lake Geneva's foremost race in two weeks

Saturday June 3rd 2006, Author: Denis van den Brink, Location: France
For the 68th year straight, the Société Nautique de Genève is organising the Bol d'Or Rolex, the greatest European sailing competition on inland waters, to be held on 17-18 June 2006. The newly elected President of the Organisation Committee, Thierry Chapatte and his team, are currently directing the great Helvetian nautical festival.

Between 550 and 600 boats are expected to take the start on Lake Léman, divided into seven monohull classes and two multihull classes. Talented amateurs from all around the globe will spend the weekend sailing alongside the world's sailing stars such as 2005 winner Loïck Peyron, Russell Coutts, Ernesto Bertarelli, Dominique Wavre and Alain Gautier, winner of the Vendée Globe 1993.

The mass start promises to be a spectacular event for both spectators and competitors alike, with all the boats massed together on a single start line spanning the entire width of the lake. The multihulls and the large and small monohulls, are free to manoeuvre around on a start line split up into three. The small monohulls will set off from the South, the multihulls from the North and the rest of the fleet will take up position in the centre of this line.

The course starts off the harbour of Geneva and includes rounding a mark situated at the southeastern extremity of Lake Léman, near Bouveret, prior to the finish at Geneva. The 150km or 80 mile course enables racers to discover the Swiss lake in its entirety.

A new facet to the race this year is that the general public have the opportunity of following the progress of participants in the Bol d'Or Rolex in real time. Thanks to a solution put in place by technological partners LogiFleet, INSER and Cross Systems, the position of a hundred competitors will be accessible to internet users.

For this particular race, boats will be equipped with a GPS beacon coupled to a GSM system. The information transmitted by these beacons will be used by a cartographic website to supply precise information on the position, speed, direction and trajectories etc adopted by the boats.

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