Where Skiing & Yachting Meet on the Racecourse

Editorial photos HERE / Password 24GYCSkiYachting

When the boating season is already in full swing in many destinations in Europe, just before the snow melts in the Alps it is time for the annual winter sailing community to reunite at Gstaad Yacht Club!

The 24th edition of GYC Ski Yachting event officially started on Friday, March 8, previewing its traditional two-day program of ski races combined with remote-controlled America’s Cup model boat racing at the Gstaad Yacht Club swimming pool. Although this year’s snow conditions were challenging for the downhill slalom at night, skiers still gave their best to be on top in the rankings.

Once the “bise”, the typical northeasterly wind picked up, a cup of mulled wine, a bonfire and fondue warmed body and spirit at the Eggli Mountain restaurant with a backdrop of snow-covered Swiss Alps, allowing old friends to catch up and new friendships to be made.

GYC Sailing Officer Daniel Heine awarded the most consistent racers with the long-awaited cowbell prices.
Was it the motivation of International Women’s Day that made only ladies stand out that night? With a time difference of 0.01 seconds, Petra Hofer of Yacht Club Costa Smeralda claimed the podium, followed closely by GYC’s Sandro Bolton. First-time participant Henry Holman of the Royal Yacht Squadron took home the 3rd bell.
Sailors and team captains attended a sailing clinic on Saturday morning with well-known umpire, Adrian Bauder who refreshed their knowledge of the rules, marks, track, and perhaps most important, the penalties. Besides the warm temperatures, one could feel the competitiveness in the air, and even though everyone wanted to win, the Corinthian spirit. Many long-lasting friendships have started in this very place.

Representing 10 clubs overall, 12 teams were in pursuit of the Trophy, but the final round came down to a local battle between GYC Mistral and GYC Smokey teams. Many of the eliminated competitors spectated through the very last race to see GYC Smokey Team participants making their way to seeing their names on the perpetual Trophy!

The “Antonella Visconti di Modrone” Trophy for best woman was won by Patricia Matti. Congratulations to Smokey Team who had on its side the Black Star professional sailor Flavio Marazzi, unwilling to go home without the Trophy!

The night wrapped up with the prize-giving ceremony, dinner and dancing at the GYC Clubhouse.
One of the club’s objectives is to promote youth sailing, so an identical event was organized for the under 16, which also saw some great moments! Youth were invited to ski just before the adults on Friday evening, which allowed parents to watch their Juniors compete and finish the evening together. For many participants, it was clearly a family event within a truly familiar event! On Saturday, Juniors were allowed to use the swimming pool to race remote-controlled Riva motorboats, turning their event truly fun and exciting!

Winners of the GYC Junior Ski Yachting were Julian Schönmann and Marc-Oliver Müller from Saanen Ski Club, followed by Nicolas and Emilia Heine (GYC) in second place. Valentine and Josephine Schneider (GYC) closed the podium.

A unique two-day event came to an end with the participants already longing for the 25th Edition of the GYC Ski Yachting which promises to be a true celebration of this classic event continuously drawing Swiss and International sailors from around the world.