And the Winner of the 62nd Giraglia Regatta Is……

“Vananty felt things were going well, until the final moments….” Valencia Sailing

2014 Giraglia Rolex Cup in full swing
2014 Giraglia Rolex Cup in full swing, photo credit ~

The Mediterranean’s top offshore race, the 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup, finished this year with flying colors. From Sanremo, yachts sprinted across the churning waters to Sant-Tropez harbor for inshore racing before the offshore competition that set them circling the Giraglia rock on the island of Corsica, with the finish line at Monte-Carlo this year. 206 yachts, including some 12 double-headers ~ a first time event ~ competed in this highly respected race that brings crews from different parts of the world. This years race began with some difficult winds, but 189 yachts remained undaunted and finished the course.

Bernard Vanaty's Tixwave from Great Britain ~ Overall winner of the 2014 Giraglia
Bernard Vananty’s Tixwave from Great Britain ~ Overall winner of the 2014 Giraglia ~ Photos-by-Rolex-Carlo-Borlengh

Bernard Vananty and Tixwave landed the main prize as overall winner of the offshore race. He came in second last year and was pleased to have come up one better this year.

“We arrived in windy conditions, but 20 to 30 metres from the finish line there was hole and we were in trouble. We started to check the time, thinking that all our efforts had been ruined in these last metres… it took us 14 minutes to cross the finish line!”

Prince Albert II of Monaco and the crew of the Tixwave
Prince Albert II of Monaco with the crew of the Tixwave
Esmit Europa comes to the finish line
Esmit Europa 2 approaches the finish line to win the Line Honors

Slovenian Igor Simcic, a member of the Yacht Club de Monaco and owner of Esmit Europa 2 were first through the finish line for the 4th time.

“The race was perfect. In the beginning we had some light wind, which made it a little tricky in deciding which tactic to follow. Then it became much easier when the fresh breeze came in during the night and we were really fast. For me it was the best finish in my life. It was a unique idea to finish in Monte-Carlo.”

Lucca Locatelli's Thetis nears the finish for second place
Lucca Locatelli’s Thetis nears the finish for second place

Thetis, owned by Italy’s Lucca Locatelli, was Tixwave’s nearest rival coming in at second place. They won the Trofeo Challenge Marco Paleari for the Combined Classification of Sanremo to Saint-Tropez Race + Saint-Tropez Inshore Series + Offshore Race. Not too bad!



Dolphins swim with the sailboats!
Dolphins swim with the sailboats!

Peaceful Sailing!**

Italy’s Annual Sailing Regatta is Underway.

Sanremo is the start of the La Giraglia 2014
Sanremo begins the La Giraglia 2014~ Photos credit of,Giraglia Rolex Cup

The 62nd annual Giraglia Rolex Cup prelude race began at midnight last Friday, June 13th, sending 107 Yachts sprinting across the dark waters from Sanremo to Saint-Tropez. A French yacht piloted by former Whitebread Round the World Race winner, Lionel Pean, was first to cross the finish line Saturday morning. The following three days will consist of inshore racing in Saint-Tropez harbor, leading up to the most challenging race of the event.


Map of the Giraglia Race 2014
Map of the Giraglia Race 2014

Wednesday, June 18th will set some 214 yachts in motion as the renowned 2014 Giraglia Rolex Cup begins. Leaving the harbor of Saint-Tropez, the 241 nautical mile offshore race will circle the traditional landmark Giraglia Rock on the northern tip of Corsica before ending in Monte-Carlo.

The crew members are a mixture of nationalities predominately from Europe. Italy is best represented, followed by France, the UK, and Russia, with more exotic flagged yachts from the British Virgin Islands, the USA, and New Zealand. Holding a longstanding reputation of close comradeship and spirited competition among the opposing crews, the annual regatta is highly respected.

The fleet is mixed, from small 30 ft. family run boats up to 100 ft. professional crews, all of whom dig deep within themselves to deliver their best seafaring skills. Each team must work together as a single mechanism, adhering highly to the core values of camaraderie and adventure. Strong character is built by adverse sea conditions.

The Giraglia Rock
The Giraglia Rock on the tip of Corsica has long been a landmark for Mediterranean boats crossing from the Ligurian to the Tyrrhenian Sea.

How did it begin?

In January of 1953, a small number of Italian and French sailors convened in Paris to create an event that would foster a highly esteemed sailing competition in the Mediterranean and draw European countries closer together after the effects of a war-torn world. It only took five months to bring about the first La Giraglia, which was exclusively off-shore racing. Traditionally, Italy and France alternated in starting the race, but now it generally begins in Genoa or Sanremo.

Italy and Great Britain reach Giraglia Rock in 2013 race
Italy and Great Britain reach Giraglia Rock in 2013 race

What’s most exciting about this years race?

Slovakian Igor Simcic, the 2012 winner and new course record setter, will return this year with his 100 ft Maxi Esimit Europa 2. He finished with a time of 14 hours 56 minutes and 16 seconds, taking over 3 hours off the previous best. He will be accompanied by his pan-European crew led by German Olympic hero Jochen Schümann. Will he beat his time this year?

So far it looks tame doesn’t it? Smooth sailing, glide with the tide. Not so….take a look!

Photographer Carlo Borlenghi was out on the water during the 2013 Girgalia Rolex Cup to capture this gallery of images. Enjoy some Sanremo fast action!

 Sail n: ITA65000, Owner: ALESSANDRO ROMBELLI, Group 0 (IRC >18.29 mt) - 2013 Giraglia Rolex Cup'
STIG, Sail n: ITALY, Owner: ALESSANDRO ROMBELLI, 2013 Giraglia Rolex Cup


BELLA MENTE, Sail n: USA, Owner: HAP FAUTH, 2013 Giraglia Rolex Cup -  Marcel Mochet / Route des Princes  BELLA MENTE, Sail n: USA, Owner: HAP FAUTH, 2013 Giraglia Rolex Cup 

 ALEGRE, Sail n: GBR8728R, Owner: OLLY CAMERON, Group 0 (IRC >18.29 mt)- 2013 Giraglia Rolex Cup -  Marcel Mochet / Route des Princes
ALEGRE, Sail n: Great Britain, Owner: OLLY CAMERON, 2013 Giraglia Rolex Cup 

It all boils down to the finish line. The winner will arrive, followed by the others as they skillfully man their crafts toward the shore. Electrified excitement will dominate the scene and continue into the celebration activities.

Stay tuned for the final results next Monday