The Mediterranean’s oldest offshore race, the popular and historic Giraglia Rolex Cup is set to kick off this month. The weeklong sailing contest will be hosted by the gorgeous French Riviera yacht holiday destination – St Tropez.
St Tropez will welcome the fleet, following a short, overnight race from Sanremo, set to start on Friday, June 12. Subsequently, three days of inshore competition will take place from June 15 to 16, before the eagerly awaited start of the main event, the popular 243-nm offshore race to Genoa via the Giraglia rock, set to kick off on Wednesday, June 17.
When the offshore race kicks off, almost certain to lead the fleet is Igor Simcic’s superyacht Esimit Europa 2. The 100-foot Maxi has dominated the recent history of the offshore race, claiming line honours at the four editions she has entered. In 2012, Esimit Europa 2 set a new race record, finishing in just under 15 hours to break the previous record by over three hours.
However, Lindsay Owen-Jones’s superyacht Magic Carpet 3 could present a tough adversary for Esimit Europa 2. In 2013 and in her debut offshore race, Owen-Jones’s Wally Cento took line honours in Genoa. The race will represent a unique opportunity to see these the two yachts in direct competition for the first time.
These two 100-foot yachts will be pursued closely by the ever-competitive Maxi 72 racers, including Roberto Tomasini Grinover’s sailing yacht Robertissima III (previously the two-time Rolex Fastnet winner Rán 2), as well as sailing yacht Shockwave – the overall winner of the Giraglia Rolex Cup 2010, when owned by one of the race’s most successful competitors, New Zealander Neville Crichton.
The 63rd edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup, expected to host an international fleet of over 200 yachts, will kick off on Friday, June 12. The final prizegiving will take place at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa on Saturday, June 20, following the conclusion of the offshore race.