Caribbean Sailors Set Sail on Lake Geneva

The champions of Martinique in the monohull SURPRISE category of sailing have secured a spot in the Bol d’Or du Mirabaud. This regatta on Lake Geneva in Switzerland is the largest and most popular in Europe.

The idea originated nearly a year ago to race beyond the Caribbean waters. Following a successful season for Team Voile GFA Caraïbes, including a sixth consecutive Martinique championship title in Surprise, victories at the Grenada Sailing Week, the Heineken Regatta in Saint-Martin, and the Antigua Sailing Week, the crew was ready for new challenges.

Tristan Marmousez, the helmsman and skipper of the crew, is also the president of the La Morrigane association, named after their sailboat. The association aims to promote competitive sailing on habitable boats and train a competitive crew for Caribbean regattas.

Tristan Marmousez, Erwan Renoult, and Mathieu Bidault are in their thirties and have been involved in sailing since their childhood or adolescence in Martinique. Their shared passion for sailing and competition brought them together quickly on this project, from preparing the boat to seeking sponsors and spending weekends and holidays training and racing.

Their red Surprise boat « La Morrigane » has built a reputation on the Caribbean racing circuit. Achieving their goals of success in the Caribbean in 2023, they sought new experiences, leading them to participate in the Bol d’Or, the world’s largest regatta on an enclosed body of water.

Among the newest members of the association, two will be participating in the Bol d’Or du Mirabaud in Switzerland on June 16th. Laszlo Dubois, the youngest member at 23 years old, joined the group less than a year ago. Despite his limited experience in offshore racing, his background in various water sports has made him a valuable member of the team.

Alexis Étienne, another crew member, found his passion for the sea and racing after joining the team in 2020. Ranging from sailing at a young age to pursuing maritime education, he is determined to make a career out of his love for the ocean.

Participating in the Bol d’Or du Mirabaud presents a unique opportunity for the crew, showcasing their skills in Switzerland and competing against a diverse field of sailors. The race, dating back to 1939, covers a 132-mile course on Lake Geneva, attracting nearly 600 boats of various categories.

The participation of the Martinique crew in the Bol d’Or has garnered attention from fellow sailors, organizers, and supporters, highlighting the diversity and camaraderie in the sailing community. The crew’s journey to Switzerland reflects their dedication to the sport and their desire to push their limits on a new stage.

Overall, the crew’s participation in the Swiss regatta could pave the way for future collaborations and exchanges between Caribbean and European sailors, fostering a stronger global sailing community.