Esimit Europa 2 takes the lead

As Giraglia Rolex Cup offshore race sets sail from St Tropez

Wednesday June 16th 2010, Author: Giles Pearman, Location: France

The 220 Giraglia Rolex Cup race participants left for San Remo today at 12.00 CEST, with a southeasterly wind of 8 to 10 knots. Jethou, the Mini Maxi of Sir Peter Ogden was the first boat to round the offset-mark off Port Grimaud as the fleet set out on the 241-mile Giraglia Race in direction of the Island La Fourmique, before heading to the Giraglia Rock off Corsica.

The wind increased during the afternoon and a top group accelarated with 20 knots toward the rock with Igor Simcic’s Esimit Europa 2, the former Alfa Romeo in the lead, followed by Shockwave, Container and Alegre.

Stuart Bannatyne, calling tactics on Shockwave, was quite excited about the forecast: “It’s actually very encouraging, calling for 20 knots for a lot of the race so it’s almost too good to be true, so let’s see how it turns out but at the moment it looks like we are going to have to beat up to the first mark and then a very fast sort of spinnaker ride across the Giraglia rock and then a downwind to the finish in San Remo. It sounds very easy and very simple but it turns out that way, that we just have to see.“

But by 21.00 CEST the dream had turned into the reality of a parking lot. Esimit Europa 2, still doing 8 knots, was able to escape her adversary’s and round the rock at 22.25 CEST.

The weather forecast predicts a southeasterly breeze of around 10 knots of intensity for the forthcoming 100 nm to San Remo. To beat the record the first boat has to cross the finish line by 6.03 CEST on Thursday morning (17 June).



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