The Bol d’Or Mirabaud is probably the most important inland lake regatta in the world. Started in 1939, it welcomes monohulls and multihulls each year on Lake Geneva, starting in Geneva, Switzerland and sailing the 123 kilometer (66.5 nautical miles) course from Geneva to Le Bouveret and back. There is typically upward of 500 boats entered and it’s a place where the latest high-tech foiling technology is showcased. It can be showcased because Lake Geneva is typically flat with light winds and easy sailing angles, but this most recent edition of the event was anything but. The fleet started off in typical conditions and the biggest headache was trying to avoid bumping into another yacht, but later in the day things started to change; and for the worse. An early summer squall suddenly piped up bringing with it 50 knot gusts. The entire fleet was caught off guard and many yachts were dismasted and/or sunk. This video is excellent as it shows the crew sailing along in perfect conditions, but then you start to see the black curve of the squall, the boat picking up speed and then… well I don’t want to spoil it for you.
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Brian is one of the most experienced sailors in North America having sailed over a quarter million offshore miles including participating in three Whitbread Round the World races. He has been an active sailmaker for the past four decades and is the owner of Great Circle Sails, a resource for anyone who wants to learn more about sails, sailmaking and sail technology. Brian has written two memoirs about growing up in South Africa and sailing around the world. His book on sails, Maximum Sail Power, is still considered the most definitive book on the subject.