Friday, June 14, 2013

Glamour Fleet Lining Up For 2013 Giraglia Rolex Cup

Over 200 yachts representing  20 countries are preparing to compete in the annual  2013 Giraglia Rolex Cup, an event which has been running for 60 uninterrupted years.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Racing gets underway this evening with around half the fleet scheduled to participate in the 58-nm prologue race running from Sanremo, Italy to Saint-Tropez, France. Over the weekend, the international fleet will swell in size and engage in three days of inshore racing off Saint-Tropez. This is typically a chance to sharpen teamwork and tactics ahead of the main event. The 243-nm offshore race from Saint-Tropez to Genoa via the Giraglia rock, gets underway on Wednesday 19 June.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
The offshore race is beautifully set-up. In the absence of Esimit Europa 2, the first boat to finish in the last three editions and race record breaker in 2012, the battle for supremacy is wide open particularly amongst the striking collection of Mini Maxis - yachts measuring from 60-79 ft.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Andres Soriano last tasted line honours glory helming his 68-ft Mini Maxi Alegre to success in 2009. Soriano returns in 2013 with his brand-new 72-ft Alegre in what will be her first offshore outing. Poignantly, Soriano will face stiff competition from his former boat now under the ownership of Swiss Alexander Schaerer and racing as Caol Ila R. Schaerer demonstrated the yacht’s continuing potential with a recent victory at the Rolex Volcano Race.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Ran 2, Niklas Zennstrom’s dual Rolex Fastnet winner, is eager for success at the Giraglia Rolex Cup to add to her impressive array of honours. Hap Fauth’s American Bella Mente is currently the Mini Maxi Rolex World Champion and is now seeking to prove its ability in the demanding rigours of an offshore environment. Italian Alessandro Rombelli’s Stig and Sir Peter Ogden’s Jethou of the United Kingdom - second fastest finisher at the 2012 Giraglia Rolex Cup - are also likely to be among the frontrunners.
Jethou Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Another significant candidate for line honours, and certain to catch the eye at the front of the fleet, is Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’ Magic Carpet 3, the recently launched Wally Cento.
Near Miss Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
In the competition for overall victory on handicap, American George Sakellaris’ 72-ft Shockwave is one of four yachts on the 2013 entry list to have previously won the main prize, albeit under former owner Neville Crichton in 2010. The remaining boats with Giraglia Rolex Cup winning pedigree are defending champion Near Miss, a TP52 from Switzerland, 2011 French winner Foxy Lady and Italian entrant Edimetra, a Wally 65 owned by Ernesto Gismondi and triumphant in 1999.
Edimetra Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
The contest to be crowned overall winner of the competition is always an open affair and difficult to predict. A combination of teamwork and tactics will play a key part, but so too will the wind and its vagaries.

The Giraglia Rolex Cup is organized by the Yacht Club Italiano, in conjunction with the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez and the Yacht Club de France, prestigious organisations with well-established ties to Rolex, title sponsors of the historic event since 1998.

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