The Giraglia Rolex Cup

By MyWatch
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.
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.
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 & Inspection
Saturday 15 June:
Registration & Inspection (Saint-Tropez)
Sunday 16 June:
Inshore racing (Saint-Tropez)
Monday 17 June:
Inshore racing (Saint-Tropez)
Rolex Crew Party (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)
  • Giraglia Rolex Cup