Over 300 boats were on the starting line off the Societe Nautique de Geneve at 1000 yesterday for the 74th running of the Bol d’Or. It was a sunny day with Mont Blanc clearly visible, but there was little wind for the start. Artemis Racing was participating again this year with Torbjorn Tornqvist at the helm.
We were literally drifting at the start, but fortunately the fleet was divided over three starting lines.
The breeze was light all the way up to the East end of the lake making the 42 nautical mile journey take over seven hours for the fastest boats…the D35s and the M2s catamarans. The stops and starts are too numerous to recall. The lead changed countless times as boats 100 meters apart often had wind from the opposite direction.
Our route East took us past Versoix, Rolle, Nyon, Lausanne, Evian and Montreux to La Bouveret. The green hills rolling down to the lake with snow capped mountains in the background provide a dramatic setting for sure. But it was slow going, at times we were just drifting wondering which mountain the next breath of air would descend from.
Artemis rounded the half way point at 1745, last of the D35s. Immediately after turning the “barge” at Le Bouveret, we made a B-line for the Northern shore along with Alinghi and Lady Cat. We managed to pass two boats with that move although it seemed like we might have gotten more out of it initially as the fleet in the middle of the lake was parked as we reached along at 15 knots.
As we headed west toward the finish in Geneva, we met the Southwesterly breeze which had been in place all day in the “Petit Lac”. That is the Western third of the lake. So, as things settled down with the wind, the fleet made good progress and not much changed in the positions.
At the finish, the kids on Realstone edged out a well sailed Julius Bar by just seven minutes, for the win. Zen completed the podium. Artemis Racing finished at 22:05 in 7th place, bettering last years position by three places. It was a long day! As Torbjorn said at the finish, we found a few more of the bad spots on the track. It seems that winning a Bol d’Or might be a project that takes time as experience on the many twists and turns of the lake counts!
Back to VLC right now. Wishing all fathers a great day of being pampered by your family!