It's early evening by the time we inch around the two-story lake boat that is anchored off Le Bouveret, and packed with VIPs enjoying a tantalizing barbeque. We are far from alone. It seems like half the fleet-the slow half, to be sure-is rounding with us. A four-hour return trip would have us at the club before midnight. But that's not going to happen. The wind is behind us, but it's light. We toast the accomplishment with champagne and some hors d'oeuvres and then set the spinnaker. Once again we have a choice. We aim for the Swiss shore and a few boats follow suit. Most, however, seem content to hug the French shore, hoping for an evening downdraft.
The wind moves forward during the night, forcing us to drop the spinnaker and go to a genoa. At times there's enough breeze to go out on the trapeze, something I haven't done before in the dark. I stretch out, put my hands behind my head, look up at the stars, and listen to the water running past the hull. Like the start, it's a moment I will savor. Dawn finds us a few hours from the finish and surrounded by slower, smaller boats. I scan for the boats with whom we parted ways at sundown. There's no sign of them, they must've found the downdrafts they were searching for and have probably finished. I do, however, find the boat that spent the prestart wearing the foam hats and brandishing squirt guns.