by Chris Schmid
Alinghi wins the 73rd Bol d’Or after 6 hours and 25 minutes of tactical racing in strong conditions, setting a new time record for the D35 class.
Alinghi - Vulcain Trophy D35, Geneva-Rolle-Geneva
Ernesto Bertarelli and his team won the Bol d’Or for the sixth time since their last victory back in 2004, crossing the finish line at 16:25 on Saturday, June 18th, followed by Foncia (helmed by Michel Desjoyeaux), Ylliam (helmed by Arnaud Psarofaghis) and Okalys (helmed by Loïck Peyron).
The Alinghi Team demonstrated a very good technical control during the whole race and managed to stay in the lead of the regatta most of the time. The victory of Alinghi in this year’s Bol d’Or is setting a new time record for the D35 class as the previous record was held since 2004 by Zebra 7 which at that time had won the Bol d’Or in 8h59’19’’.
Alinghi crew was composed of Ernesto Bertarelli (Helm), Pierre-Yves Jorand (Mainsail), Tanguy Cariou (Tactic), Nils Frei (Trimmer), Coraline Jonet and Yves Detrey (Bow).
After only 2h14’ of race Alinghi had covered half of the race course, between Geneva and le Bouveret. The way back towards Geneva was the theater of a constant battle between the four leading teams as they all finished in less than a 10 minutes delta.
Alinghi managed to take the lead of this group at the entrance of the 'Petit Lac' and kept this advantage until the finish line.
'We took a great and aggressive start, which helped us to stay in command of the race since the first moments' explained Ernesto Bertarelli. 'The rounding of the mark in 'le Bouveret' was very hot and tricky, as we decided to keep our main sail up in more than 25 knots of wind'. Adding, '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 was the last regatta of the season for the D35’s on Lake Geneva.
Next rendez-vous for the class will be in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, South of France (September 1st - 4th) and last Grand Prix of the year will take place in Antibes (September 22nd -25th).
Vulcain Trophy website