Giraglia Rolex Cup - Timeless classic returns this June

by KPMS 
ESIMIT EUROPA 2 passes the Giraglia rock at sunset
The Giraglia Rolex Cup, a competition that has run annually since 1953, returns from 14-22 June 2013. The weeklong event organized by the Yacht Club Italiano in conjunction with the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, has long captured the imagination of the Mediterranean sailing community, and has experienced a marked revival since Rolex’s emergence as title sponsor in 1998.

This year’s proceedings commence with a prologue race from Sanremo to Saint-Tropez on Friday 14 June. The three days of inshore racing in and around the Gulf of Saint-Tropez that follow are an opportunity for the fleet to sharpen teamwork and tactics – with the town’s famous and eye-catching Vieux Port as a backdrop – ahead of the offshore race beginning on Wednesday 19 June.

Although a distinctly Franco-Italian event – the 243-nautical mile distance race runs from Saint Tropez to Genoa, via the Giraglia rock off the northern tip of Corsica – the 200 plus fleet regularly features scores of international yachts and comprises both fully professional and Corinthian crews.

Peter Ogden, owner of JETHOU (GBR) helms the yacht in the strong conditions of the third inshore race - Giraglia Rolex Cup

With race record holder Esimit Europa 2 not competing, an open field is expected for the battle to be first home in 2013. Among the likely pacesetters are three Mini Maxis who have shown impressive results recently: Sir Peter Ogden’s 62-ft Jethou (GBR), overall winner at the 2012 Rolex Volcano Race; Hap Fauth’s 72-ft Bella Mente (USA), current Mini Maxi Rolex World Champion; and the 72-ft Shockwave (USA), owned by George Sakellaris, Giraglia Rolex Cup winner in 2010 under former owner Neville Crichton.

Group A fleet after the start of the offshore race - Giraglia Rolex Cup 2012

Last year’s overall race winner – determined by the rating system applied to the fleet – hailed from Switzerland, in the shape of Franck Noel’s TP52 Near Miss. In a democratic race with every yacht capable of victory, the crews' ability to cope with the prevailing conditions during a contest that is often characterized by two distinct stages – the legs to and from the Giraglia rock – is decisive.

Event Schedule Friday 14 June Race Sanremo, Italy to Saint-Tropez, France Registration and Inspection Saturday 15 June Registration and Inspection (Saint-Tropez) Sunday 16 June Inshore racing (Saint-Tropez) Monday 17 June Inshore racing (Saint-Tropez) Rolex Crew Party at La Citadelle (Saint-Tropez) Tuesday 18 June Inshore racing (Saint-Tropez) Wednesday 19 June Offshore race start – 243-nm Saint-Tropez - La Fourmigue - La Giraglia - Genoa Thursday 20 June Arrival of first boats (Genoa) Race record: 14 hours, 56 minutes and 16 seconds Friday 21 June Final prizegiving, Yacht Club Italiano (Genoa) Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

Giraglia Rolex Cup