Dramatic storm photo wins Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image award

CNN  — 

A dramatic picture of a brooding storm engulfing boats in a sailing race on Lake Geneva has earned Swiss photographer Loris von Siebenthal the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image award for 2019.

The stunning photo, voted for by an international jury, beat entries from 132 other photographers to win the 10th edition of the competition.

Von Siebenthal, who captured his picture during the 81st Bol d’Or Mirabaud in June, said it was a “great honor” to receive what he called sailing photography’s “absolute reference.”

American Sharon Green came second with her shot of Volvo 70 Wizard off Miami in the Pineapple Cup, while British photographer Ian Roman’s picture of Team USA’s giant catamaran capsizing off Cowes, UK in the SailGP series came in third.

“When we are on the water, our job is to anticipate visually challenging situations,” Von Siebenthal said as he picked up the award at the Yacht Racing Forum in Bilbao, Spain.

“Sometimes the weather conditions offer us this extra intensity. The few seconds before the passage of this stormy front on June 15 were one of those moments of grace that we are looking for over the years.”

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Sharon Green's shot of Wizard during the 2019 Pineapple Cup race from Miami to Jamaica.

Portuguese photographer Ricardo Pinto, who won last year and was a member of the jury this time, praised Von Siebenthal’s tenacity.

“Mother nature allows us to witness unique moments. This photo captures the huge storm that hit the prestigious Bol d’Or Mirabaud this summer, with a D35 catamaran struggling to survive winds over 60 knots,” he said of Von Siebenthal’s image.

“Those are very special days in a photographers’ life, when you just need to hold on and literally go through the storm to get the shot you want.”

Dutch photographer Tom Coehoorn won the public award for the number of votes on the event website, while Italian Martina Orsini was credited with the best image by the delegates of the Yacht Racing Forum

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Click through the gallery at the top of this page to view the top 20 images, as voted for by the international jury.