The rafts set off reasonably OK, but some crews seemed to be better at rowing than others and a gap appeared between the rafts. Initially this was OK, but as the rafts moved into the stronger currents away from the bank one raft swung badly and almost swamped another. The crews struggled to control their craft in the turbulent waters boosted by the melting snows of the alps and moments later the raft that had hit another was hit in turn, almost sinking it.
By now all the rafts had passed the halfway mark, but most had been driven further downstream than planned. Then the church bells were ringing, the rafts must have been spotted it was now a matter of time before the Frundsbergers reacted
All except the most southerly boat were struggling to break out of the fast current and were continuing to drift downstream right in front of the guns whose crews were beginning to appear. In addition Militia were beginning to line the quays. The most northerly raft moved to almost point blank range of a gun, but it was fired hastily and didn’t have the fully devastating effect expected. The crew badly reversed direction, but only ended up creating a tangle with the other two rafts now drifting past the quays. All came under fire from the artillery and militia.
Meanwhile the southern raft had beached almost exactly in the planned location.
The French artillery had not been idle and once there was enough light they started supporting fire, this first drove one of the militia companies off the quay and back into the houses. Slightly later the got the range right and both guns sent rounds through the packed ranks of the remaining militia company on the quay. Almost immediately the Frundsberg Artillery responded by hitting and sinking one of the rafts
General Bercollin looked on in dismay, his forces were dispersed, one company had been lost on the raft, another had landed to the south and its raft was heading back for reinforcements. Remaining in front of the quays were just two rafts facing at least two companies of militia and two guns. There was nothing he could do except hope that the militia would rout at the sight of French steel as they landed.
On the other bank Major Von Barner steadied the men of the remaining militia company on the quay. They were badly shaken but they were defending their homes and they were greatly cheered by the sinking of one of the rafts. Hopefully his ambush to the south of town near the expected landing site would hold any Frenchies landing there giving him time to deal with these to his front first.