Ladycat wins Bol d'Or Mirabaud
After one of the longest races, Ladycat, and her mostly female team led by Ernesto’s sister Dona Bertarelli, beat many of the top French offshore racing legends to win the 2010 Bol d’Or Mirabaud, after 16 hours and 50 minutes of racing.
The 11 D35 catamarans started on a line close to the French shore with Ladycat taking an early lead, the only boat able to start with their genniker full. The fuchsia-coloured cat then consolidated her position by taking a route down the middle of the 'Petit Lac' as the rest of the D35s chose to hug the French side of the course.
Ladycat led from most of the race across Lake Geneva, from Geneva to Bouveret and back, jockeying with the M2 catamarans, Safram and Tilt, the smaller cat nipping at the heels of the larger D35s, able to react faster to slightest zephyr.
Ladycat led around the turning mark at Bouveret at 19:05, extended their position in the last hours of race to arrive on Sunday morning at 02:49, an impressive one hour 43 minutes ahead of the next D35 catamaran, Pascal Bidegorry’s Banque Populaire.
Aboard Ladycat, Dona Bertarelli was joined by Emmanuelle Rol, Elodie-Jane Mettraux, Justine Mettraux, Morgane Gautier, and on this occasion two men - Arnaud Gavairon and Christian Wahl - Wahl recognised as being one of the finest tacticians on the lake.
“We made a beautiful start,” commented Dona Bertarelli on her arrival. “I did not believe it. I did not imagine a day I would manage to win the Bol d’Or Mirabaud. It is fantastic, but it hasn’t sunk in yet. All the race we were in the lead, although we knew that in the Bol d’Or Mirabaud reversals of fortune are possible until the last metres. So right until the last moment we did not ease up.”
Once again the M2 cats put in an impressive display with Safram, steered by Gitana skipper Yann Guichard, first home and claiming third on the water, arriving just 12 minutes after Banque Populaire with the Charles Favre-steered Tilt claiming sixth overall.
Elsewhere in the D35 (M1) class, Frédéric Moura’s Nickel was third. Foncia, last year’s winner with this year her crew including both Alain Gautier and Michel Desjoyeaux, was sixth D35 and eighth overall, seven minutes ahead of Alinghi 1, helmed of course by Ernesto Bertarelli, while Franck Cammas on Zen Too was ninth D35.
Among the monohulls, the Pharos 40, Oyster Funds was first arriving just ahead of Swiss Interim, the former Full Pelt, both taking more than 21 hours to complete the course.
Due to the windless conditions there were only 167 finished at this year’s Bol d’Or Mirabaud from a starting fleet of 501.