Three days of dramatic inshore competition concluded today at the 2012 Giraglia Rolex Cup. Another exciting day’s racing unfolded with wind speeds reaching 35 knots as the fleet attacked a 26.4-nautical mile course, adjusted slightly for the smaller classes. Sir Peter Ogden’s 62-foot Mini Maxi Jethou (GBR) was – once again – the fastest boat on the water.
The inshore class winners for the three days of racing are: Jethou (GBR) in Group 0 IRC, Near Miss (SUI) in Group A IRC, Ondine (ITA) in Group B IRC, Paul & Shark Competition (ITA) in Group A ORC and Symfony (RUS) in Group B ORC.
As winner of the biggest class in the inshore series, Frank Noel’s TP52 Near Miss (SUI) was awarded a Rolex timepiece. It is the second time that Noel has tasted success at the Giraglia Rolex Cup after winning the combined inshore and offshore race prize in the 2010.
Today’s race winners were: Jethou (GBR) in Group 0 IRC, Near Miss (SUI) in Group A IRC, Ondine (ITA) in Group B IRC, Paul & Shark Competition (ITA) in Group A ORC and Freya (ITA) in Group B ORC.
La Giraglia awaits
The near 180 international yachts expected to take part in the 60th edition of the circa 242-nm offshore race from Saint-Tropez to Sanremo now have an evening to study weather patterns and make any final repairs ahead of tomorrow’s scheduled midday start. The forecast points towards the fastest race in a number of years – indeed, wind speeds of 24-26 knots are expected on route to the Giraglia. However, as is custom the impact of the wind shift on the last stretch to Sanremo will be crucial in determining the identity of the overall winner.
The 37-foot Foxy Lady (FRA) was last year’s surprise victor. The crew, led by brothers Dominique and Michel Heyraud, admit a repeat success is unlikely.
“It will be very difficult to replicate last year’s victory as the conditions will be very different. To win, you really need the conditions that suit your boat and this year it doesn’t point to a small boat race,” admits Dominique.
“However, it’s a course that you dream about and it is an amazing feeling to have a boat that has won a race like the Giraglia.”
“I never would have thought of winning the Giraglia with a boat over 20 years old,” reflects Michel. “The beauty of the race is that it is open to all boats, where anyone from professionals to amateurs has a chance of winning. To have won last year against world-class sailors was a very proud moment.”
The Giraglia Rolex Cup is organized by the Yacht Club Italiano in collaboration with the Yacht Club de France, the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez and the Yacht Club Sanremo.
The event is run under the supervision of the Federazione Italiana Vela, the Fédération Française de Voile.
Giraglia Rolex Cup ST.TROPEZ, FRANCE / SAN REMO, ITALY
Photos: Rolex – Carlo Borlenghi, Daniel Forster