Photo: Chris Schmid/

Victory for Alinghi

First Bol d'Or Mirabaud win for Ernesto Bertarelli since 2003

Sunday June 19th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: Switzerland

Following a highly tactical race, Alinghi, skippered by Ernesto Bertarelli, won the 73rd Bol d'Or Mirabaud presented by Corum, on Lake Geneva.

Taking advantage of a stiff breeze, the D35 Alinghi won the regatta in 6 hours 25 minutes, setting a new time record for the D35 class in the Bol d'Or Mirabaud. The previous D35 record of 8 hour 59 minutes and 19 seconds was set in 2004 by Zebra 7.

Alinghi crew this year was Ernesto Bertarelli (Helm), Pierre-Yves Jorand (Mainsail), Tanguy Cariou (Tactic), Nils Frei (Trimmer), Coraline Jonet and Yves Detrey (Bow).

Only two hours and 14 minutes into the race Alinghi had already reached the le Bouveret turning mark. The passage back towards Geneva was a constant battle between the four leading teams. Alinghi managed to take the lead of this group at the entrance of the 'Petit Lac' and kept this advantage until the finish line. Alinghi arrived just ahead of Michel Desjoyeaux on Foncia, Arnaud Psarofaghis on Ylliam and Loick Peyron on Okalys-Corum, 10 minutes separating first from fourth. 

“We mad a great, aggressive start, which helped us to stay in command of the race from the outset,” explained Bertarelli, for whom this is his sixth victory in the Bol d'Or. “The rounding of the mark at le Bouveret was very tricky, as we decided to keep our main sail up in more than 25 knots of wind.

“We sailed really smoothly today and the crew did a fantastic job around the race course, being always chased closely by our competitors, but dealing well with every single wind change we had to face. We didn’t make any major mistake and it paid!

“Winning the Bol d’Or in our home waters is really fantastic, especially knowing that the Bol d’Or will stay in the family, as my sister Dona won it last year with her D35 Ladycat."

The Bol d’Or, one of the largest regattas in the world to be run on a lake, this year gathered more than 3,000 sailors and 477 boats.He led the race almost entirely despite fierce opposition.

The Bol d’Or was the last regatta of the season for the D35s on Lake Geneva. Next regatta for the class will be in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, South of France over 1-4 September and last Grand Prix of the year will take place in Antibes over 22-25 September.

In the monohull category, Syz & Co won the race after more than 11 hours of sailing.

"This year’s race benefitted from favorable wind conditions, which led to a dynamic and highly  tactical race. In all categories, winners won by a very small margin over their opponents even after several hours of intensive racing," said Michel Glaus, Chairman of the Bol d’Or Mirabaud Organising Committee. "All ingredients were there during this edition for a beautiful event, further confirming that this regatta has become a must on Lake Geneva and count’s among the world’s most prestigious races. It gathers passionate sailors as well as an international array of ocean racing champions."

Latest Comments

  • KingMonkey 20/06/2011 - 11:43

    We went out to watch the start in conditions which could be described as pretty biblically rainy. We got so wet so quickly that we decided to cash in our chips and go and have breakfast. Some time later, after we'd dried off, we managed to catch Alinghi and Foncia finishing. And got really, really wet again. The photos make it look like it was sunny, which I certainly don't remember!
  • Blackburn 20/06/2011 - 09:48

    From a Geneva newspaper -- In wind conditions that were often hard to handle, the (Alinghi) team achieved a perfect race without the slightest error. Their gamble on the way to the mark at Bouveret (Alinghi did not reef) in more than 20 knots wind, was no doubt one of the keys to this success. -- Alinghi then performed a return to Geneva at speed with a capital S, always tightly followed by Foncia who remained in contact to the end. Michel Desjoyeaux delivered an extended tacking battle with Ernesto Bertarelli and his team, which the latter finally won in 6h 25 minutes, which is the third best finishing time in the history of the Bol d'Or since 1939. -- Foncia arrived right behind, followed by Ylliam helmed by Arnaud Psarofaghis, and Okalys Corum. Nicolas Grange's boat skippered by Loick Peyron had problems at the start when a crewmember fell overboard, but succeeded all the same in catching up and gaining a spot at the foot of the podium. -- (note; Triga IV still holds fastest time of 5h01m51s, set in 1994). --

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