Thursday, June 17, 2010


Photo credit: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
By sunset, which left the sea off San Remo in a smooth golden light, only 8 boats had crossed the finish line on the second day of the Giraglia Rolex Cup offshore race. The 12 to 15 knots breeze, that has accompanied the bigger yachts under blue sky the last few hours toward to coast, slowly fell asleep with the day’s end. At the same time, the Giraglia Rock checkpoint reported a large quantity of boats rounding the small islet off the northern tip of Corsica, with its Genoese tower, with its magic touch and impressive ancient history of the Mediterranean Sea.

This morning, after rounding the Giraglia rock at 07.00, the Swan 90 Solleone reported to have seen “lots of wonderful dolphins… but no croissants for breakfast”. These beautiful companions of the sea, which delight the toughest seaman’s heart have been following the yachts during the troublesome ride with wind shifts, thunderstorms, and sail changes from the Rock toward the finish line.

Sir Peter Ogden, owner / skipper of Jethou, enjoyed a romantic candle lit dinner on board with his crew, the evening before the start, due to a terrible thunderstorm that led to a complete loss of electricity in Saint-Tropez. And he experienced a romantic Giraglia rock rounding at night, after a great experience during the first part of the race: “this was the fastest we have been on the boat, 20 knots, but also the wettest we have ever experienced on the boat. Two people on board were always down below bailing water. It just filled up all the time. It was brilliant, unbelievable, it was just so fast all the way to the Giraglia Rock, the very best, the most fun we ever had.”

The Giraglia Rolex Cup keeps attracting sailors from all the parts of the planet and leaving them with all kinds of achievements related to their battles with the elements.

Flavio Favini, the skipper of Esimit Europa, which secured line honours this morning, gave an insight to his experience: “this race was very promising in the beginning for the first ride to the Giraglia, but a couple of problems on the beat to La Fourmigue, we broke the tack of the headsail. The headsail came off and it was quite difficult to recover because we had come back, but the boat is very fast and we had a very nice ride to the Giraglia, but when we were at the Giraglia Rock the wind dropped off. During the night the wind was very light and shifty, so it has been quite difficult to get from the Giraglia rock to San Remo, but anyway, for us it is the first long race with this boat, we have learned a lot of things and we still have a lot of things to learn about the boat, about how to sail to get a 100 % out of it. We have a very good team and every body is eager to learn.”

Marton Jozsa from Hungary, Skipper of Wild Joe, gave an overview of his experiences: “This was our first Giraglia Rolex Cup race, a great experience. We have done the last two Rolex Middle Sea Races but with a smaller boat. This new boat has been launched in Australia and we have done some practising, but not more than two weeks in total. Wild Joe has a great crew, mostly former Olympic and high competitive dinghy sailors. We match, it’s fun and we still can learn a lot to improve. We had a great time sailing this Giraglia race, mostly the first part from to the Giraglia rock. After the rock rounding we were still very close to the big boats but then we got unfortunately caught in a wind whole, that was shortly after spiced with a thunderstorm, carrying wind gusts up to 50 knots.

Most of the 220 participating yachts are still on sea, every boat and crew with their own story, with their own goal and passion. But a race like the Giraglia Rolex Cup units them all.

The prize giving for 2010 Giraglia Rolex Cup will be held at 13.00 CEST on Saturday, 19 June at the Yacht Club San Remo.

Further information on the Giraglia Rolex Cup may be found at