All 509 participants at the Bol d'Or Rolex 2004 have completed the regatta by Sunday morning. The stable meteorological conditions have rewarded those who made the right tactical choices for this 66th edition of the big tour of Lake Geneva.
Quite a few sailors were able to catch up during the night with a good analysis of the information and their knowledge of the currents. This was very true for the winners, the excellent young team of helmsman Etienne David on Zebra 5 (Decision 35), but also for the first monohulls (Tilt, Patrick Firmenich) as well as for each class and also the hundreds of « private regattas » which like every year took place on Lake Geneva.
Everyone's eyes were closely following the 8 teams on board of the new catamarans Decision 35. The expected fight between these elite boats was an absolute thrill. A close race from the very start, different tactical options resulted in many lead changes for the up wind leg towards the East end of the lake to Bouveret as well as down wind back to Geneva. It was only during the reach on the « Little-Lake », in the last hour of racing, that the ranking took shape. Team Red Zebra 5 managed to leave its opponents behind. Etienne David and his four young team mates could celebrate their first ever victory in the Bold'Or Rolex ahead of prestigious sailors steering identical boats. Ferrier-Lullin (Philippe CARDIS) had to fight for his 2nd place till the finish against Alinghi (Ernesto BERTARELLI), Team Red Zebra 7 (Loïck PEYRON) and Gonet & Cie (Emmanuel SCHAUB). Zen Too (Bertrand CARDIS) had to resign to a sixth place after having led for quite some miles in the first part of the regatta.
The Tilt yacht (Patrick FIRMENICH) won the monohull class with a lead of less than four minutes over Syz & Co (Jean PSAROSFAGHIS). Overall, 490 teams passed the finish line of the Bol d'Or Rolex 2004. Only two masts broke and some ripped sails were to report as far as damages. This very low level of DNF (did not finish) shows the excellent conditions the regatta did benefit from. This was confirmed by Jean-Loup Gabayet, President of the organization: "We would sign up for these breezes every year. The party was truly beautiful, despite some problems due to the construction of the new club house of the Société de Navigation de Genève, the organizing yacht club. We will remember true pleasure for the participants, the spectators and the organization"
. Next rendezvous June 11 -12 2005.