Giraglia Rolex Cup kicks off next week

Inshore racing followed by trip from St Tropez to Genoa via a rock off Corsica

Monday June 16th 2003, Author: Marcus Hutchinson, Location: Mediterranean
Thursday 26 June will see more than 120 yachts ranging in size from 30 footers to the latest 90 foot maxis line-up for the 243-mile race from St Tropez in France around the Giraglia Rock and north to Genoa, Italy for the finish. At stake is the Giraglia Rolex Cup along with the current race record. But perhaps most importantly is the honour and pleasure that more than 1500 sailors will extract from racing on the finest yachts across the ever tricky Mediterranean Sea.

Situated just 1.5 miles to the north of Corsica, measuring 800 metres long by 50 metres wide and whose highest point is just 60 metres above sea level is the rocky islet known as ‘la Giraglia’. Exposed to all wind directions and isolated from humanity for most of the year this once strategically important rock with its lighthouse, medieval tower and accompanying chapel, has for the past 51 years lent its name and served as the turn mark to the largest offshore race in the Mediterranean.

The success of the Giraglia Rolex Cup over the years has led the event to expand into a week-long regatta split into two parts. The first section consists of three days of inshore races starting and finishing from the Gulf of St Tropez. Then on the fourth day the fleet starts the long race, the course taking the boats initially south west along the French coast, rounding the island of Levant before crossing the Ligurian Sea to the Giraglia. From here the fleet will turn North to cross the Gulf of Genoa to the finish line in front of this famous Italian port that lends its name to the Gulf.

The race record set in 1998 by Riviera de Rimini stands at 24 hours 21 minutes and 47 seconds, which equates to an average speed of 10 knots. This year there are 12 boats over 20 Metres in overall length each capable of beating the record, should the wind conditions comply.

Among those boats, and certainly favourite to collect line honours whilst making her second regatta appearance to date in the Med, is Neville Crichton’s 90ft Alfa Romeo, the line honours winner of the Rolex Sydney-Hobart race last year.

The highlight of this event from a spectator’s point of view is the mixture of ultra modern and classic yachts parading up and down in front of the old town of St Tropez before being released on the long offshore race. From the point of view of the competitor it is the thrill of the start, the excitement of the inshore section, the anticipation of landfall at the Giraglia Rock and the satisfaction at the finish.

In association with the Société Nautique de St Tropez, the local organiser, the Rolex Giraglia Cup is organised by the Yacht Club Italiano. It was the YCI’s present day’s Commodore Carlo Croce whose father devised the race 51 years ago. In 1953 Beppe Croce, along with two colleagues René Levainville and Franco Gavagnin, let their ideas flow as they sat around a café table one night in Paris. Their brain child was to launch a sailing challenge between the Italian and French Mediterranean fleets using a common piece of water.

The event has been sailed almost ever since and last year’s Golden Jubilee event attracted a record 160 starters for the race that has been named by some as the ‘Fastnet of the Mediterranean’.

The first boat at the Giraglia Rock will be awarded the Beppe Croce Trophy, the first yacht to cross the finish line the René Levainville Trophy and the boat with the best corrected time overall for the long race, the Giraglia Rolex Cup.

Entry list

Sail no Boat name Skipper LOA GPH
FRA - 28287 Alcidia Guy Nicolas 10.68 637.9
GBR - 7070 Alexia Alberto Roemmers 24.1 444.4
FRA - 2170 Almogaver Antoine Illes 9.496 659.7
FRA - 21584 Argo Maurice Chauvin 11.924 609.9
ITA - 333 Aurora Paolo Bonomo 12.475 588.3
FRA - 21690 Ay! Ay! Ay! Leopldo Gavito 13.83
ITA - 13701 Black Angel Di Liberto/Costigliolo 11.36 620
ITA - 14228 Blue Way Paolo Di Marco 11.8 640.7
ITA - 14025 Boccon di Mare Gianni Piccolis
ITA - 13579 Capitani Coraggiosi 2 Felcini/Gavino/Santoro/Cavaletto 12.1 601.6
ITA - 3703 Clean Energy Alberto Cogni 12.1 600.3
FRA - 9384 Coralion Patrick Vellieux 12.86 592.2
ITA - 1811 Edimetra Ernesto Gismondi 20.01 495.9
GBR - 7602R Enigma of London Charles Dunstone 23.4 430
FRA - 4724 Exocet 1 Maurice Hens 14.5 572.5
ITA - 13740 Exploit Piergiorgio Ravaioni 12.1 600.5
ITA - 13903 Extasy Daniele Abolaffio 11.92 614.9
ITA - 14078 F.D.V. Diadora Velapiù srl 11.4 652.3
21883 Fare Well Pierrejean 12.1 599.3
FRA - 18561 Fauve Paul Nicolai 15.54 561.5
FRA - 6345 Felicie Gilbert Fournier
MON - 760 Garuda Jean Niclaus 23.26 538
FRA - 6387 Gitana VI Baron Benjamin de Rothschild 65'
FRA - 29002 Green Island Guy Chaise 16.05 624
FRA - 9445 Imagine J.C. André/G. Argetties 13.73 566.7
FRA - 28977 Ioleste Chevallier/Decourt 15.95
FIN - 9217 Iris Roberto Monti 12.52 541.8
ITA - 12378 Jaro VI Alberto Musso 11.99 605.1
NED - 6600 Katalyx M.B.T. de Groot 16.97 535.3
ITA - 5000 Kauris III° Marco Tronchetti Provera 32.83
ITA - 14253 Kikaki Marco Rigamonti 12.69 632.8
ITA - 12130 Lady Blues Roberto Iorio 15.92 553.2
FRA - 9273 Lexington Van de Woestyne/Brugiere 10.06 657.5
ITA - 14185 Lulù Marco Bagnoli 11.924 614.9
SLO - 2002 Magic Jena Domenico Cilenti 23.98 347.9
FRA - 28465 Magic Simca Laurent Lavaysse 12.1 599
ITA - 6 Malf…amato G-P. Lauzzi 11.99
ITA - 13898 Mariolina Andrea La Volpe 9.5 682.5
ITA - 1212 Mariposa Rui Cabecadas de Sousa 23.01 479.2
ITA - 11788 Maya I Lucio Crispo 15.82 577.2
MO - 9206 Monomotapa Alberto Querci 14.36
ITA - 14213 Movida Bertex Marine 15.48
LUX - 999 Mr Fips Patrick Mersch 16.74 533.9
GER - 5245 Opus One Wolfgang Stolz 13.83 549.3
ITA - 2727 Quinta Santa Maria Silvano Boroli 27.4 426.9
FRA - 7621 Rhapsodie III Jean-Jacques Godet 11.915 656.6
FRA - 28273 Safioran Philippe Morel 11.5 657.7
ITA - 13407 Sesto Senso Roberto Bucciarelli 11.92 614.7
NZL - 80 Shockwave Team Alfa Ltd (N. Crichton) 27.43
ITA - 2992 Solenia 2 Roberto Ferrero 14.835 570.7
NED - 6868 Sotto Voce Arien Van Vemde 20.1 465.4
MO - 206 Speedy Gecko Gilberto Sandretto 17.25
ITA - 11417 Spirit of Shardana Alberto Piazza 11.928 606.3
BEL - 568 Storms' H. Storms 11.75 674.1
Tazkeena II Nicholas Wrigley
ITA - 12911 Wave Dancer Lorenzo Pedemonte 9.42 709.2
FRA - 5520 White Dolphin Francis Mons 20.4 87 (CIM)
ITA - 5502 Windrift Peter Blomqvist 22.85 555.2
ITA - 13763 Xantorilla Sabba Orefice 11.92 615
8867 Sven Vandendiessche ??
FRA - 9503 Christian Tiggeler (??)

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