Key Dates in the History of the Bol d'Or

As announced, the bise was blowing 20 to 33 knots. It was a fast and sportive Bol d'Or Mirabaud. The mono-hull, Grand-Surprise, M2 and Ventilo M2 records were all broken, some after 20 years of history. Aside from a few collisions, a few broken masts, a capsized boat (Raffica) and a few other minor incidents, everything went well overall on the water and on the land, where the terrace was particularly full Saturday evening due to the fast return of the competitors. After their 2010 victory in light wind, Dona Bertarelle and Yann Guichard also won in the bise aboard Ladycat, the Deicision 35 powered by Spindrift Racing. It was an eidtion not to be missed!

This time, a westerly wind blew sharply at 10:00, just in time for the start, giving the fleet a downwind run under spinnaker to Evian. Small breezes then allowed the Ventillo, Zenith Fresh, to be first around the mark at Le Bouveret, from where she brilliantly defended her position during the return, in spite of pressure from the D35 armada, which finally had to admit defeat during this 75th edition. Enough breeze continued Sunday to allow most of the competitors to finish in time.

A slow start... very slow. The expected westerly wind was late to the show. From the beginning, D35 Realstone broke away along the Swiss shore. Only De Rahm was aboard the same train, but the CER youngsters, brilliantly led by Jérôme Clerc, controlled the situation from end to end and prevailed over the favorites. A similar scenario to 2010!

The race started with spinnakers flying under strong rain. Conditions were generally windy thanks to a weather front, with very windy conditions for the first boats to round the Bouveret mark. Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi won, following his sister's victory last year, and claiming his first D35 victory in record time of 6:25.50. Antonio Palma's Mirabaud 1, with Cyrus Golchan at the helm, won the most contended Surprise class.

Hardly windy, but slightly better than 2009. First victory of a mostly feminine crew with its woman skipper: Dona Bertarelli. D35 Ladycat crossed the finish at 2:49 Sunday morning. M2 Safram, after a long reign on top of the podium, finished third. 183 boats arrived before the close.

A new record… for slowness.  The first M1, D35 Foncia helmed by Alain Gautier and Michel Desjoyeaux clocked in at the finish line at 5:33 Sunday morning at dawn.  The winners weren’t used to spending the night on their boats!  Only 64 boats crossed the finish at the SNG and 62 were ranked based on their time rounding the mark at Le Bouveret.

In the absence of the Syz & Co. Catamaran, not finished in time for this 70th edition, victory of "Zebra 7 - Girard-Perregaux", a D35 with Frank Cammas at the helm, followed by a surprising M2, "Parmagiani", with Michel Vaucher at the helm.  The winds were not steady enough for Mirabaud LX to repeat its exploit of the Bol d'Or of Neuchatel 2008.

Inauguration of a separate starting line for multi-hulls with an offset buoy ensuring a racecourse of equal distance to the mono-hulls.

Three-time America’s Cup winner, Russell Coutts wins the Bol d’Or at the helm of “Banque Gonet”.  Tilt, owned by A. Schneiter and P. Firmenich, win the Bol de Vermeil challenge following his 2002, 2004 and 2006 victories.

Alinghi, owned by Ernesto Bertarelli, wins the third Bol d’Or challenge following his 1997 and 2000 victories.

Raffica, owned by M. Valerio, wins the Bol de Vermeil challenge following his 1996 and 1997 victories.

First awarding of the “Bol de Vermeil” to the first mono-hull to cross the finish line. As with the Bol d’Or challenge, it must be won three times in five years to be kept indefinitely.

“Bise” windstorm. Multi-hull record beat by Triga IV, owned by P.M. Leuenberger, in 5:01’51”. Mono-hull record beat by Corum Modulo 108, owned by B. Siegfried, in 8:45’40”.

Eric Tabarly participates.

Record participation with 684 boats.

Dennis Conner and his revolutionary catamaran Stars and Stripes – with which he just won the America’s Cup - establish a new time record of 6:57’33”.

The threshold of 500 registered boats is passed.

New speed record of under eight hours set by Altaïr X, owned by Ph. Stern, in 7:20’55”.

Altaïr XI, owned by Ph. Stern, improves her race time, finishing in 8:37’14”.

Altaïr XI, owned by Ph. Stern, wins the second Bol d’Or challenge with a new victory in 9:24’20”.


First victory by a flying boat!!!  The Super Tornado Holy Smoke of A. Schiess wins thanks to its hydro foils, allowing the boat to set sail and fly in the "Morget" wind.

New speed record of under ten hours set by Altaïr X, owned by Ph. Stern, in 8:40’01”.
First victory by a multi-hull, Altaïr IX, owned by Ph. Stern, in 15:27’06”.

Participation of the first racing multi-hull, the Oiseau Roc owned by Pierre Muskens

First participation by a Surprise one-design, currently the largest and most competitive class (more than 100 boats starting).

200 boats registered. First victory by a Toucan, Toucan XI, owned by M. Stern.

H. Julliard wins the first Bol d’Or challenge with Marie-José II.
First race in less than twelve hours, by lliam IX, owned by A. Firmenich, helmed by Louis Noverraz, in 11:04’57”.

50 participants entered, 1st completion in under 20 hours achieved by Glana, 8mJI, owned by H. Guisan, in 16:25’45”.

First victory of an 8mJI, Glana, owned by H. Guisan, son of General Guisan, in 21:17’30”.
First edition, 26 participants, Ylliam IV, owned by F. Firmenich, won in 23:08’34”.