News Rolex Giraglia 2018- Start of the Offshore race

Rolex Giraglia 2018- Start of the Offshore race

Saint-Tropez, 13 June 2018

At 12:50 today the race committee of the Yacht Club Italiano fired the start gun for the 212 yacht fleet for the long race in the Rolex Giraglia 2018. Regular starts for the big fleet which was divided into four separate starting groups, with the smallest (Groups B IRC/ORC) leading the way, followed a 10 minute intervals by Group A, Group 0 and then the IMOCA 60.
It brought on the usual thrill to see such a heterogeneous fleet leave their moorings in Saint Tropez and head out of port for the long race: 241 miles with uncertain weather, with slim chances of beating the record of 14h56m16s set by Igor Simcic’s maxi Esimit Europa 2 back in 2012. Anyway, the expectation on board the faster boats was for a race lasting 24 to 30 hours with good wind pressure on the way out but less on the way back. But the weather picture was far from certain, and anything can happen.
After the start gun, the big yachts quickly pulled away towards the offset mark at Formigue and then headed south-east for the long sail towards Corsica.
“We haven’t yet decided how many of us will be on board” - said Michele Ivaldi, strategist and helmsman on board Momo, the German Maxi 72 that won the 2017 edition, the day before the start - “last year there were 12 of us – the standard crew is 22 – but very light wind was forecast. This year we’ll probably be somewhere in between”. Nothing is left to chance and the analysis of the race is increasingly fundamental for making strategic decisions, especially for the very fast Maxi 72s where the speed difference over rivals also depends on tiny variations in the weight carried on board.
On the start line, among the many boats of all kinds and sizes, there was also Tuiga, the splendid 15 m S.I. of the Yacht Club de Monaco, in Saint Tropez as ambassador of the Monaco Yacht Club which, in the 2019 edition, will host the finish line of the 67th edition of the regatta. 

For the first time, saluting the Rolex Giraglia fleet was the 60 m brigantine Nave Italia which, flying the burgee of the Yacht Club Italiano and of the Marina Militare, is engaged on its summer cruise and promotes navigation as a training and therapeutic tool for disabled and disadvantaged people. On board Nave Italia on the special occasion was also councillor Ilaria Cavo, who came to underline the importance of these projects and show the commitment and closeness of the Liguria Region to the Club’s sporting and social activities.

The Rolex Giraglia 2018 is live on where you can track the entire fleet online – photo gallery and videos on the YCI Facebook and Instagram pages.

The Giraglia was conceived in 1953 as a 241 mile offshore race. Since then it has grown and today it includes a race from Sanremo and three days of coastal races in the gulf of Saint Tropez. In 2018 this classic race celebrates its 66th anniversary. The Rolex Giraglia is organised by the Yacht Club Italiano with the collaboration of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, the Yacht Club Sanremo and the Yacht Club de France. Rolex has been a partner of the Rolex Giraglia since 1998 and this year celebrates 20 years of collaboration with the Yacht Club Italiano.

Founded in Genoa in 1879, the Yacht Club Italiano is the oldest yacht club in the Mediterranean. Based in the Porticciolo Duca degli Abruzzi, the YCI’s objectives have always been popularising yachting and organising races. The Rolex Capri Sailing Week, the Giraglia Rolex Cup and the MBA’s Conference & Regatta, the Italian Olympic Classes Championships and the World Series, the latest to arrive in chronological order, are just some of the international regattas organised by the YCI. The Coppa Carlo Negri, the Trofeo SIAD Bombola d’oro and the Millevele and many other events distinguish the present and future of the Club, which is always open to new challenges.

In line with tradition, YCI partner BMW will be there to help also in this regatta with its much-appreciated shuttle service for guests, journalists and yacht owners.

(Race Report: YCI press officer)

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