Tomorrow (Saturday, June 10) morning at 10 am, the starting gun will sound from Société Nautique de Genève for the 84th edition of the Bol d'Or Mirabaud, the world's largest inland lake regatta.
Participating alongside the 421 other registered crews will be the TF35 fleet on the 123-kilometre (66.5 nautical miles) course from Geneva to Le Bouveret and back.
According to MétéoSuisse, the forecast for the day predicts light breeze for most of the day. This means that for the TF35 fleet, the race will be a game of tactics and patience, as they navigate their way through the wind holes on the unpredictable lake.
"Unfortunately, there won't be much wind; the breezes will be irregular and the direction difficult to predict," said Lionel Fontana of MétéoSuisse at yesterday's press conference. "There will be quite a bit of cloud cover on Saturday morning, with the sun returning later in the day—surprise gusts with the risk of showers or isolated thunderstorms over the Jura and the Pre-Alps. The start on Saturday morning is going to be very tactical, and the day is going to be relatively long given the different charts and breeze patterns forecasted."
After winning the Genève-Rolle-Genève last weekend, hopes are high on Bertrand Demole's Ylliam XII - Comptoir Immobilier for a repeat performance of the 2021 edition of the Bol d'Or Mirabaud when they took the win. To help bolster his chances, Demole will have the legendary French offshore sailor Thomas Coville, who set the record for a circumnavigation of the globe in 49 days in 2016, on board to hopefully provide a tactical advantage.
"I came here out of curiosity, to learn," explained Coville. "The TF35s are very innovative boats, and you can find all the great teams competing on the circuit. I thrive on serving a group, so I hope we'll have a great race sailing with good friends this weekend. Whatever the result, I'm happy to have the chance to do the race."
Having won the TF35 championship racing last weekend, tied on points with Ylliam XII - Comptoir Immobilier but winning the regatta on countback, all eyes will be on Esteban Garcia's Realteam Sailing, with Jérôme Clerc at the helm. Clerc's team broke the Lake Geneva Blue Ribbon record on the same course as the Bol d'Or earlier in the spring.
"Realteam Sailing is a notch above at the moment," continues Thomas Coville. "We pushed them around a bit last weekend, but they're still a step above us. I'm saying that to put a bit of pressure on them; it's always more fun to be the underdog."
Spectators ashore will be able to visit the race village hosted at the Société Nautique de Genève and watch the start and finish from the north jetty.