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Dreams of oceans

Dreams of oceans. When the sailors of Lake Geneva take to the sea

On the Swiss Village site, from 10 to 16 July 2004
Nyon, From July 28th 2004 to August 14th 2005

Freshwater sailors at sea? From Hermann de Pourtalès to Alinghi, via Pierre Fehlmann, Bernard Stamm, Yvan and Laurent Bourgnon, Dominique Wavre, Stève Ravussin, Louis Noverraz, Henri Copponex, Bernard Dunand, Philippe Durr, Michel Roggo, Claude Bigar and many others, the sailors from Lake Geneva have distinguished themselves in all the major maritime sailing competitions since 1900. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Musée du Léman has chosen to broaden its horizons by taking the exploits of these Lake Geneva sailors at sea as the theme of its exhibition. Indeed, was it not on Lake Geneva that the main Swiss regatta sailors took their first classes and was it not in contact with the lake that their passion for sailing was born? So what could be more natural than to follow them to the end of the world! To understand this passion of the Swiss for the sea, the exhibition Dreams of the Oceans retraces the challenges that these sportsmen and women have tackled: Olympic Games, World Championships, Ocean Races and, finally in 2003, the America's Cup! Not forgetting the adventurers, such as Ella Maillart or Hermine and Yvonne de Saussure, Michel Mermod or Richard Bettens, whose writings have contributed to the reputation of Swiss sailing in the world. There is no doubt that Swiss sailing is currently experiencing its golden age. However, some precursors have been making their mark since 1900. The sailing in the Mediterranean by Ella Maillart and Hermine de Saussure, at a time when pleasure boating was not yet fashionable (and especially not by women crews!), remains absolutely remarkable. In terms of competition, the great Swiss successes that were repeated during the 1950s and 1960s in the framework of the world championships and the Olympics are also to be noted with a "white veil". Since 1977, the Swiss have also been successful in ocean racing thanks to Pierre Fehlmann, and finally triumphed in the last America's Cup, the most prestigious of all sailing competitions. In Brest, visitors will also have the opportunity to see, thanks to the support of the Materials Laboratory of the EPFL in Lausanne, the latest technological innovations that have been created especially for the Alinghi boat... For all these "freshwater" sailors, sailing is a way to give a deep meaning to their existence, so come and meet them and discover their "ocean dreams"!