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Planet Sail Episode 6: Water & Wings, The world's largest lake race, Mike Golding

by Matt Sheahan 7 Sep 2020 08:16 PDT
OnCourse Episode 6: Water & Wings © Planet Sail

Flying and high performance sailing have never been closer. In this episode we take to the air to explain why.

Plus, we take a look at the world's biggest lake race the Bol D'Or Mirabaud and talk to the man who has won it seven times, double America's Cup winner Ernesto Bertarelli.

We go boat spotting too with round the world record holder Mike Golding. Plus, some of the news and chatter from the sailing world in Docktalk

In This Episode:

01:34 Water & Wings
07:50 AC Update
13:12 The world's largest lake race - Bol d'Or Mirabaud
22:55 Boat Spotting with Mike Golding
10:08 Docktalk

Wings & Water

As well as being obsessed with boats since childhood I've always been fascinated by flight, especially gliding. As an enthusiastic cross country glider pilot for many years I've watched the high performance end of sailing converge with gliding to a point that the operating speeds now overlap. The technology and the means by which flight is achieved in both cases have also got closer and closer. So, with the first races on the road to the America's Cup just a few months away I couldn't resist making the link in the air before the UK thermals fizzle out for another season.

America's Cup Update

What's been going on with the teams? Most are playing their cards close to their chests but we take a look at what's been going on.

The world's largest lake race - Bol d'Or Mirabaud

As famous for its light weather as it is infamous for being one of survival when the conditions let rip, the Bol d'Or Mirabaud is the biggest lake race in the world attracting over 500 boats and over 3,000 crew.

The Covid crisis meant that the 66mile race to the eastern end of Lake Geneva and back didn't take place this year but PlanetSail was there last year and as well as walking the docks and following the race, we spoke to lake local and two time America's Cup winner Ernesto Bertarelli who has won the race seven times.

Boat Spotting with Mike Golding

We've all done it, walked around marinas and boat yards looking at what's in and around the dock. And while we might not admit to it, the fact that we are rarely short of a story to tell about pretty much any given boat, the reality is that most of us are closet boat spotters.

So, I decided to come out into the open and invited Mike Golding along for a stroll around Southampton's Shamrock Quay and Saxon Wharf where we found far more than we had expected.


Composite engineers Gurit have clocked up some serious hours with many of the teams lining up for the next Vendée Globe, plus we find out about a new company, Race Yacht Management, that claims it can save owners a great deal of money.

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