Join the crowds of cheering spectators who line the shores of lake Geneva every summer to cheer on the competing sailing teams in the Bol d’Or Mirabaud Regatta. The party atmosphere along the lake is a great reason to explore the Swiss city in June. Of all the events in Geneva’s busy annual calendar, the Bol d’Or Mirabaud holds a special place in the heart of the city’s population. The race is the world’s largest lake regatta, attracting up to 500 yachts to compete along its 123km route from Geneva to Le Bouveret and back. |
Groups of families, friends and neighbours set up along the length of the course and enjoy barbecues, picnics and parties as they watch the yachts race by in this annual sailing event.
This year the regatta will take place from the 16-18 June; the party atmosphere which accompanies it makes it the perfect time of year to take a city break to Geneva and discover its many charms.
History of the Sailing Event
Set up in 1939 under the name Tour du Lac des Faces Pâles, the Bol d’Or Mirabaud is one of the oldest regattas in Europe. But while it may have begun life as the preserve of wealthy yacht owners and great families who wanted to play on the lake, it has, over the last 79 years, developed into one of the most open and international events in Geneva. Today teams come from across the globe to compete in the annual summer event.
Where to Watch
Like many events in Geneva, the regatta is very well organised with special consideration given to spectators keen to join in the excitement of the race. Organisers have set out key spectator positions along the race’s course so that you can be sure to feel right at the heart of the action.
• Starting Line – There are two starting lines which span from the left to right bank from Port Tunnel. Organisers advise spectators watching from the right bank to head to Vengeron beach, while those on the left bank should take up their positions at either the Cologny Waterfront Promenade, Pré Byron or Cologny Heights. The race will begin at 7am on 16 June.
• Views of the Race – Watch the progress of the yachts from the many terraces of cafés, bars and restaurants along the lake’s shore. On the Swiss side these run from Bellevue to Montreux and on the French side from Saint-Gingolph to Yvoire. The boats turn at Le Bouveret which is a great sight. The entire race can be watched from the vantage point at Signal de Bougy.
• Finish Line – Join in the fun and carnival atmosphere at the Société Nautique de Genève from 3pm onwards and watch the boats cross the finish line close to the north jetty.
How to Get to Geneva
It’s quick and easy to get a direct flight from the UK to Geneva on a range of premium airlines including British Airways, Swiss, KLM and Lufthansa. The flight takes around an hour and a half.
For a comfortable, convenient way to get from the airport to your accommodation for the regatta or any of the other summer events in Geneva, book a transfer with Shuttle Direct before you set off and your driver will be waiting for you when you touch down.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re heading off to any of the excellent events in Geneva, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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