Bol d'Or Mirabaud victory for Realstone Sailing
Jerome Clerc's young crew aboard the D35 Realstone Sailing, once again beat the old hands by claiming the big prize of Lake Geneva sailing - line honours victory in the Bol d'Or Mirabaud.
The team from Geneva's Regatta Training Centre (CER) covered the course that runs from Geneva, the length of the lake to a turning mark off Bouveret before returning to Geneva, in a time of 10 hours 52 minutes, finishing just seven minutes ahead of de Rham Sotheby's, skippered by Philippe Cardis. Guy Picciotto’s Zen Too, helmed by Fred Le Peutrec, crossed the line 37 minutes later to secure third.
"We are so happy" said Clerc. "I want to thank my crew who did a great job: Cedric Schmidt, exceptional bowman, the king of the Code 0 and solent, our strong trimmer Nils Palmieri, our tactician Denis Girardet, our guru who was able to identify the best route as much today as during the Geneve-Rolle-Geneve and Arnaud Psarofaghis, whom I no longer need to introduce. He sailed with us for two years and it's a real pleasure to sail with him. And finally the youngest of the team Bryan Mettraux: his two older sisters already won the Bol d'Or two years ago on Ladycat. He has now saved his family honour!"
Philippe Cardis' crew on De Rham Sotheby's were the only ones to threaten Realstone Sailing. "We sailed really well," said Cardis. "We have always been in front of the fleet with Realstone and we even led at times. I must say that this result is unexpected for us as we had not practiced a lot. I must once again pay tribute to our tactician Christian Wahl. I would have loved to win my last Bol d'Or Mirabaud [he announced his retirement at the end of the season]. I have won four in my life, but I would have loved to get to five! But let’s make way for young people!"
The start of this year's Bol d'Or Mirabaud took place in a very light breeze from the west. To be able to get out of the Petit Lac, the crews had to observe the water and move from puff to puff most of the way to Le Bouveret. The leading boats made their early gains by hugging the Swiss shore of the Petit Lac. On the return, the wind grew stronger and they had got back to Evian it was at times very strong, the wind gusting up to 30 knots.
With the big conditions filling it, so this was not a year when the smaller M2 catamarans particularly threatened the larger M1s with the Didier Pfister-helmed KSR, ninth home overall, winning the smaller catamaran following her excellent start. Of the non-D35s in the bigger catamaran class, this was won by Comptoir Immoblier, the Kiwi-built SL33 skippered by Jean-Christophe Mourniac, finishing 2 hours 40 minutes behind Realstone Sailing, while the Italian Marstrom 32 Hagar III was 3 hour 15 minutes behind the leader.
Seeing a magnificent Libera class boat back in the Bol d'Or Mirabaud was an excellent addition and so the Hungarian Raffica, and her 10 trapezing crew, was first monohull home, 29th overall, with an elasped time of 15 hours 16 minutes, 4 hours 25 minutes behind the leader and just over 40 minutes ahead of the perennial monohull winner, Jean Psarohaghis' Psaros 40 Syz & Co.