Giraglia Rolex Cup
Celebrating sixty in style
Tuesday 19 June 2012
Few editions of the Giraglia Rolex Cup will live as long in the memory as the 60th running of this Mediterranean classic. The 2012 race had it all: thrilling conditions over a week’s competitive sailing, a course record that was not only beaten but pulverized, and an incredibly consistent and determined performance from the event’s overall winner.
This historic edition – running circa 242-nautical miles from Saint-Tropez, France to Sanremo, Italy – was eagerly anticipated and provided a poignant opportunity to reflect on the race’s evolution through the ages. “The event is the oldest in the Mediterranean and its spirit comes from having a mixed fleet: from small, family-run boats to professional crews who have taken part in events like the America’s Cup,” reflected Carlo Croce, President of event organizers the Yacht Club Italiano and son of Beppe Croce, one of the race’s co-founders. “This is the essence of the Giraglia Rolex Cup and it is important that it has not been lost.” The event has grown enormously. That first edition in 1953 welcomed 22 boats while in 2012, 170 yachts from eighteen different countries crossed the start line.
The choice of race course for the 2012 event was particularly significant: Sanremo was the arrival point for the first ever race when it commenced from Cannes, and the sailing paradise of Saint-Tropez provided the departure point for several of the early editions.
Saint-Tropez has been the permanent home for the start of the race since 1998 when Rolex commenced its involvement with the competition. At the time, ‘La Giraglia’ was a struggling giant and these two factors have aided its re-emergence as the most respected offshore race in the Mediterranean.
Race Record Smashed
Esimit Europa 2 (SLO) arrived in Saint-Tropez with one mission in mind: to break the four-year old race record. Having claimed line honours in both 2010 and 2011, Igor Simčič and his pan-European crew were not satisfied with simply winning.
Esimit began as undisputed favourites for the line honours title and while most of the fleet contended three days of pulsating inshore racing, the team skippered by three-time Olympic gold medallist Jochen Schümann put its energy into preparing the 100-foot Maxi for the offshore race.