Even before the starting gun was fired on Saturday morning, the starting line was a hive of activity as strong gusts whipped up the water. The Les Décision 35 were propelled to head of the fleet by winds of 20 knots .

This year's Bol d’Or Mirabaud was marked by a high level of equality, at least as far as the D35 were concerned, with Ladycat powered by Spindrift racing, ZenToo, Alinghi and Veltigroup passing the mark at  Versoix almost simultaneously. From then on, Alinghi chose to hug the French shore, unlike Mobimo, Veltigroup, Realstone, Ladycat and Zen Too.

Ladycat powered by Spindrift racing turns first at the buoy, followed by Veltigroup, and and intense duel follows. Veltigroup had a slight lead entering the home straight but the intense pursuit-race saw Marco Simeoni's D35 caught and overtaken by Ladycat powered by Spindrift racing just before the finish line, as he discovered he had been awarded a penalty for crossing the starting line too early.

Equipage du Ladycat powered by spindrift

The crew of Ladycat powered by Spindrift racing © Miguel Bueno

The run back to Geneva was also dominated by Realstone, Alinghi and Mobimo, who were all closely following Ladycat powered by Spindrift racing. A content Yann Guichard summarised his race: "we set off quite well, quickly got into the rhythm and sailed well up to Le Bouveret [the turning point] and we took the lead. We were on the razor's edge as we entered the home straight with 25 knots of wind and strong gusts but it was a great finish." Dona Bertarelli, owner and skipper of Ladycat powered by Spindrift racing stressed that the Bol d’Or Mirabaud was an important target for her: "we are on standby in New York waiting for a weather window for an attempt at the North Atlantic crossing with Spindrift 2 but we came back for the Bol d’Or Mirabaud. We wanted to be here. I will savour this victory, especially since there were some tense moments on board given the difficult conditions we experienced. Anything can happen: breakages, capsizing, we had to remain focused throughout the race."

Ladycat powered by spindrift

Ladycat powered by spindrift

Jan Eckert, racing in his first Bol d’Or Mirabaud on his Décision 35 Django racing, finished 8th: "we had a difficult start but we were just behind the pack arriving at Lausanne. After rounding the buoy at Le Bouveret, the return trip to Geneva was fantastic, we had great sailing for two hours, the bow went under a wave once but everything was OK. We finished in 6 hrs 10 mins. I enjoyed sailing a D35 in 20 knots of wind."

There was no such luck for Ylliam-Comptoir immobilier, which had hydraulic problems five minutes after the start and had to retire. A very windy 76th edition of the Bol d’Or Mirabaud allowed the Décision 35 category to reclaim the prestigious trophy in a fine conclusion to the first half of the Vulcain Trophy season.