Please select your home edition
Allen Dynamic 40 Leaderboard

Sails of Change 8 wins 85th Bol d'Or Mirabaud

by TF35 Trophy 15 Jun 17:08 PDT 15 June 2024

Sails of Change 8 have proved themselves as masters of the long-distance race in a TF35, winning the 85th Bol d'Or Mirabaud in 6h22m24s after winning the Geneve-Rolle-Geneve last weekend.

"I'm thrilled to have won this race. It's my third Bol d'Or Mirabaud, and our racing team's fifth in fourteen editions, so it's great," said helm Yann Guichard. "It was a great race, fast, strategic and intense. We fought until the last minute. We've won the Bol d'Or and the Geneve-Rolle; it's a full house and a good feeling."

In contrast to the previous three light-aired editions of the Bol d'Or Mirabaud, the forecast for today's race was tantalisingly positive. Southwesterly, 12-15knots to start the day getting up to 18-20knots with the chance of a transition to an easterly wind at the end of the lake and then back to southwesterly on the way back to Geneva. The record for the 123-kilometre (66.5 nautical miles) course of 5h01m has been held since 1994 by the trimaran Triga IV, and there was a whisper on the dock that, given the forecast, the record might be up for grabs today.

On the morning of the race the six TF35s lined up with more than 400 boats and 3500 crew on the Société Nautique de Genève start line. In the 8-10knot breeze, the TF35s were on foils as the start cannon sounded and quickly clocked 25knots of boat speed as they ran down the lake. Guy de Picciotto's ZEN Too led the fleet for the first 30 minutes to the exit of the Petit Lac when Ylliam 17 edged ahead, sailing full speed down the centre of the lake with the five other TF35s in hot pursuit. Realteam Sailing touched a top speed of 33knots as the race timer ticked over one hour, and the fleet careered past Evian.

But then, as should be expected of Lake Geneva, at 1h 32m into the race, as the TF35 fleet passed Meillerie on the French side of the lake; the wind disappeared, the TF35s ground to a halt, and any ideas of breaking the record were soon forgotten as the teams full focus went on how to keep their boats moving.

Though the light patch was expected, the size of it was not, as Realteam Sailing's owner Esteban Garcia explained: "This transition was clear from the start. We tried to manage it as best we could, but every time we pass Bouveret it's the same thing, there's very little wind. The aim is always to concentrate as much as possible, sail as well as possible, enjoy ourselves and try to match the other boats. That's what we managed to do. We came first in to Bouveret. But that doesn't mean anything, especially for the Bol d'Or. When you're first, you have the challenge of setting the route, and if you get stuck in a phase with less wind, that allows the other competitors to see where you shouldn't go. That's what happened today."

It took the TF35s an hour to delicately creep forward the final 11km to the Bouveret.

In the short downwind hop from the clearing bouy to the turning barge, Sails of Change 8 managed to pull themselves from sixth to third overall behind Realteam and second-placed Ylliam 17. But it was a struggle to stay with the pack in the light breeze, confessed trimmer François Morvan: "We got a bit stalled, and it cost us dearly for a while, but when the wind came back, we managed to fly with the easterly wind and get back in contact just before switching back to the upwind with the southerly."

From Evian, the boats were back in the 14knot southwesterly breeze and sailing upwind at 19+ knots towards Geneva. Strong throughout the whole race, Julien Firmenich, at the helm of Ylliam 17, again had the lead, but this time with Sails of Change 8 and Realteam as their primary challengers. "We tried to tighten up on the left until we overtook Ylliam 17. Once we were in front, we dug in on them, but Realteam Sailing came back very strongly. We tried to stay constantly between the finish line and Realteam. We didn't make any mistakes; the plan worked well," said Sails of Change 8 tactician Noé Delpech.

In the final stage of the race, Sails of Change 8 held a slim lead over second-placed Realteam, and Ylliam 17 was close behind in third. But as they approached the finish line with meters to go, a tactical move from Ylliam XII - Comptoir Immobilier to stay further to the left and tack earlier meant they had enough of a speed advantage to overtake and claim third, putting Ylliam 17 into fourth. ZEN Too finished in fifth, and Sails of Change 10 unfortunately did not finish.

After the prize-giving, Guichard admitted, "With an unstable wind, we're always at the limit. We weren't far from capsizing at the moment of transition. The team did a great job." Delpech added, "We've had a pretty exceptional first half of the season with a new team, and the chemistry went down really well."

The next event for the TF35 Trophy is the Les Voiles de Choisi, over the 30 August - 1 September. To find out more visit

TF35 Bol d'Or Mirabaud Results:

1. Sails of Change 8 (SUI 8)
2. Realteam Sailing (SUI 7)
3. Ylliam XII—Comptoir Immobilier (SUI 12)
4. Ylliam 17 (SUI 17)
5. ZEN Too (SUI 4)
6. Sails of Change 10 (SUI 10)

TF35 Trophy Overall Ranking 2024:

1. Sails of Change 8 (SUI 8) - 1 2 1 - 4pts
2. Realteam Sailing (SUI 7) - 2 1 2 - 5pts
3. Ylliam XII—Comptoir Immobilier (SUI 12) - 3 5 3 - 11pts
4. ZEN Too (SUI 4) - 4 3 5 - 12pts
5. Sails of Change 10 (SUI 10) - 5 4 6 - 15pts
6. Ylliam 17 (SUI 17) - 6 6 4 - 16pts

Related Articles

Sails of Change wins thrilling Bol dOr Mirabaud
Lake Geneva sees the team's fifth win Sails of Change has taken the team's fifth win in one of the most exciting recent editions of the iconic Bol d'Or Mirabaud on Lake Geneva. Posted on 16 Jun
2024 TF35 Mies Cup overall
Consistency key as Realteam Sailing Esteban Garcia's Realteam Sailing, helmed by Jérôme Clerc, was the top-scoring boat on a testing day of shifting, light breezes on Lake Geneva, Switzerland, for the final of the TF35 Mies. Posted on 9 Jun
Sails of Change 8 wins 60th Genève-Rolle-Genève
Mastering the delicate breeze on Lake Geneva After 04h 41m 02s, Yann Guichard and his Sails of Change 8 crew consisting of tactician Noé Delpech, trimmers François Morvan and Bruno Mourniac, bowman Adrien Mestre, and grinder Solune Robert, mastered the delicate breeze on Lake Geneva to win. Posted on 8 Jun
2024 TF35 Mies Cup Day 1
Racing at its best for day one in Mies It was a solid opening day for the TF35 Mies, the second event of the 2024 tour, with four different race winners over the five races sailed and every boat in the fleet hitting the podium in at least one race. Posted on 7 Jun
TF35 Nyon Cup overall
Final day shakeup sees Sails of Change 8 win in Nyon With a new boat and an all-new crew, Yann Guichard's Sails of Change 8 clinched the first victory of the 2024 TF35 season in a to-the-wire final race at the TF35 Nyon Cup. Posted on 26 May
TF35 Nyon Cup Day 2
Zen Too shines Day two of the TF35 Nyon Cup started with a beautiful but glassy still morning on Lake Geneva. At the 10:00 skippers briefing, PRO Benoit Deutsch delayed the teams ashore, hoping for a repeat of the previous day's afternoon wind. Posted on 25 May
TF35 Nyon Cup Day 1
New team Sails of Change 8 tied at the top with Realteam Sailing After three good races today on Lake Geneva - each with a different winner - Realteam Sailing leads the TF35 Nyon Cup after day one but only on tie break ahead of Yann Guichard's new boat and new crew onboard Sails of Change 8. Posted on 24 May
TF35 2024: New team and fresh influx of crew
The first of a six-event series raced on Lake Geneva in Switzerland After a long winter break, racing for the TF35 high-performance one-design foiling catamaran resumes this week with a new team joining the fleet and crew changes on all the boats ahead of the TF35 Nyon Cup. Posted on 22 May
Six-stop tour of Lake Geneva for TF35 Trophy
The TF35 Nyon Cup will be the first chance for the teams to compete against each other The fourth season of the TF35 high-performance one-design foiling catamaran will kick off this month in Nyon, Switzerland, with the first of six events on Lake Geneva. Posted on 9 May
TF35 Malcesine Cup 2 overall
Realteam Sailing wins every event of the season to be crowned 2023 TF35 champions In an impressive show of skill, skipper Jérôme Clerc, tactician Sébastien Col and the crew of Realteam Sailing have clinched the sixth and final event victory of the 2023 TF35 season and the overall season title. Posted on 17 Sep 2023
J Composites J/99MySail SkipperETNZ Store 2024 728x90 BOTTOM