Mission accomplished for Nostromino, the brand-new Wally Nano MK11 007. There could be no better way to test its qualities than the 2019 edition of the Bol d’Or Mirabaud, which will probably remain in sailing history books for the tough, stormy conditions that hit the fleet.
Christened the day before its debut at the Bol d’Or Mirabaud 2019, Nostromino is owned by Sir Andrew Cook, an Englishman living in Switzerland, who also owns Nostromo, a 100-foot sloop designed by the late naval architect Ed Dubois.
Sir Andrew chose the 81st edition of the world's most important inland lake regatta as the opening race for his new boat, captained by Sweden’s former Finn Gold Cup winner Thomas Lundqvist and teamed with Danish triple Olympic medallist Jesper Bank, Dutch builder Joop Doomernik, UK’s John Archer, multihulls’ expert Bertrand Geiser and Swiss artist Anthony Bannwart.
But he surely would not expect Nostromino’s debut to be so tough. After a start with light south-westerly breeze, followed by a pleasant afternoon, gusts exceeding 50 knots blew over the water, bringing hail and very poor visibility. 212 boats quit the race, many were dismasted and several capsized. A number of sailors fell overboard.
Sir Andrew remembers the storm: “In 60 years of sailing, I have never known a storm so violent and so sudden. We knew something nasty was coming when the orange warning lights on the coast started flashing, but I never expected a hurricane. One moment we were afloat on a flat calm with good visibility, the next we saw a grey mist racing towards us. We had less than a minute to get the sails in before the wall of wind, water, rain and hail struck us. Visibility was down to less than 100 metres. Thankfully we had ‘clocked’ the Le Bouveret mark, and with the storm dead astern and Thomas working away skilfully on the tiller, we raced through the murk towards it under bare poles, at times exceeding 11 knots.” The crew kept their nerves and the afterguard Lundqvist and Bank contributed with their huge skills and racing experience.
“After this race you understand that Lake Geneva is very complicated in every sense of the word. We finished 45th and it's fantastic because we were in 58th at Bouveret. Only 5 boats that rounded after us finished ahead of us in Geneva and we overtook 13 boats on the leg back. The Bol d'Or is wonderful but so tough at the same time,” commented Swiss Bertrand Geiser, who has raced the Bol d’Or 20 times.
Thomas Lundqvist is very happy with the result: “We scored an excellent result, considering it was a new boat and that the crew never trained together on Nostromino.”
The GYC congratulates its members Dona Bertarelli for the good result of her Ladycat powered by Spindrift Racing and Ernesto Bertarelli for the D35 Alinghi.
Gstaad Yacht Club