Swiss Film Selection

How I survived the Bol d’Or boat race on Lake Geneva 

The Bol d’Or Mirabaud race on Lake Geneva – the world’s largest inland lake regatta – attracts around 500 boats and 3,000 competitors, both amateurs and professionals, every year. The 2019 edition will be remembered as one of the most dramatic, after a ferocious storm wreaked havoc on the lake.  

This content was published on June 8, 2022 - 09:00

This 2019 documentary by Swiss public television, RTS, features remarkable on-board footage and first-hand accounts from participants of the 2019 Bol d’Or race, which will go down in the regatta’s history books. 

On that fateful June race day, competitors set off from Geneva in good weather, but a spectacular storm built up quickly and swept across the lake for almost an hour, with winds reaching speeds of 100 kilometres per hour. This resulted in capsized boats, destroyed masts and sails and other damage. Less than half of the participants finished the race and several came close to losing their lives.  

The Temps Présent documentary brings together personal testimonies from those who lived to tell the tale of the terrifying storm. 

The 2022 Bol d’Or MirabaudExternal link takes place from June 10-12. The main race, which involves a 123-kilometre course from Geneva to Le Bouveret and back, is on June 11. The regatta first started in 1939. 

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