Giraglia Rolex Cup

This classic St Tropez-based event celebrates its 50th anniversary with a bumper fleet

Saturday June 15th 2002, Author: Migia Bianchi, Location: Mediterranean
Monday sees the start of the Giraglia Rolex Cup off the Cote d'Azur hotspot of St. Tropez.

Organised by the Yacht Club Italiano in partnership with the Yacht Club de France and the Société Nautique de St. Tropez and sponsored by Rolex, the regatta is one of the most popular on the Mediterranean circuit and this year's edition is particularly special: in fact, the 2002 marks the 50th anniversary of the Giraglia after being founded in 1952 by Beppe Croce and Renèe Levainville.

Continuing the success of last year, the Giraglia Rolex Cup 2002 has attracted a record number of entries: 180 boats to date from 11 countries (Italy, France, Holland, Germany, Great Britain, United States, Monaco, Spain, Ireland, Belgium and Portugal) have already registered, but more are expected to enter before the deadline on Sunday 16 June.

The Giraglia Rolex Cup 2002 is to repeat the winning formula developed in the past editions. The event kicks off with three coastal races on 17, 18 and 19 June in the bay of St, Tropez on triangular or marker buoy courses of no more than 25 miles. These trials have proved very successful in past editions when you consider that more than 80% of the boats will take part in them this year.

At the end of these three days, owners and crews will be present at La Citadelle on 19 June for the prize giving ceremony and party hosted by Rolex. On Thursday 20 June the long Giraglia race will set off from St, Tropez. Participants will follow a course of 243 miles from St. Tropez - Scoglio della Giraglia - Genoa, where the arrival at the Yacht Club Italiano is expected between Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June.

But that's not all. One of the most eagerly awaited attractions is the return of the Classic boats. Boats such as Samurai, built in 1962 belonging of the Pavese family; Amadeus from 1960, Papiro, the Camper & Nicholson yacht bought some years ago by Paul Getty and now owned by Giampaolo Gironda; Windrift owned by Richard Wolman; Gitana VI owned by Baron Benjamin de Rotschild and Benbow owned by the Turinese Recchi family which held the Giraglia record for 14 years (1984 al 1998) only to be beaten by Riviera di Rimini owned by Giorgio Benvenuti (also present this year) in a time of 24 hours, 21 minutes and 47 seconds.

Alongside the Classic boats are the high-tech sailing machines such as Virtuelle (Carlo Perrone), Edimetra (Ernesto Gismondi), Idea (Raffaele Raiola, real-time winner of the Tre Golfi Race on 31 May), the Wally Magic Carpet owned by l'Oreal President Lindsay Owen Jones), Grampus (Carlo Puri Negri), and numerous Swans, including the splendid Bugia Bianca (Massimo Dentice, winner of the Trofeo Zegna 2002).

Not forgetting Calzedonia with the Italian match racing champ Nicola Celon at the helm and as tactician his brother Ciccio Celon, fresh from the Volvo Ocean Race, My Song owned by the king of cashmere Pigi Loro Piana, the furturistic Junoplano owned by Sandro Buzzi, Marietta owned by the vice-president of the Yacht Club Italiano, Adriano Calvini, and many others.

Also taking part in the Giraglia Rolex Cup are two Open 60' monohulls from the Regata Rubicon ocean race: the race winner Sill Plein Fruit (Roland Jourdain) and Virbac (Jean Pierre Dick).

The Giraglia Rolex Cup award ceremony will take place on Sunday 23 June in Genoa at the historic headquarters of the Yacht Club Italiano during a gala dinner evening to which over a thousand guests are invited.

The mineral water giant S. Pellegrino, co-sponsor of the event and long-time partner of the Yacht Club Italiano, will host a VIP area in St. Tropez and at the finish line in Genoa, where coffee, croissants and pasta dishes will be served.

See page 2 for a full list of entries.,,

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