After two years, the Rolex Giraglia returns
Two years. So many have passed since the last time the Rolex Giraglia was held. It was from 2019. That was the last time the regatta, due to the pandemic, followed the original programme which also included coastal races in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. (Here all our posts on Rolex)
An ingredient, the latter, that was fundamental in decreeing the success of an event that, for 69 years, has held sway in the panorama of sailing competitions in the Mediterranean.
More than 160 boats lined up at the start of the Rolex Giraglia
A void, however, that was largely filled by the presence of the more than 160 boats lined up at the start of the Rolex Giraglia 2022. Many were the keys that framed the event.
Starting, for example, with the 25 years of presence of the Rolex brand which, as title sponsor, has been marking time at this event since 1998. This year’s edition returned to set the sails unfurling and, with them, to make the hearts of many sailing and sea enthusiasts beat faster by virtue of the presence of some of the most beautiful boats currently in circulation.
It was enough to walk along the quays of the Côte d’Azur town dressed up for the occasion to touch the scope of the event: from Mariette of 1915 to Bullit (ex-Nahita), a 28-metre latest generation carbon fibre bolide designed by Wally, the history of sailing and yacht design was encapsulated in just a few metres.
Mariette at the Rolex Giraglia 2022
Starting with the gaff schooner launched over a century ago and whose lines, conceived by a design genius such as Nathanael G. Herreshoff, also known as “The Wizard of Bristol”, were inspired by those of the very fast schooners used for fishing cod on the shoals of Newfoundland.
And in its centuries-long history of sea and sailing, Mariette of 1915 has written some epic pages, such as those that saw her starring with Eric Pascoli at the helm of tight duels, on a race course lashed by a raging Mistral, with Agneta at the first vintage boat rallies in Sardinia. The participation of the legendary schooner in the Giraglia Rolex 2022 was no coincidence and went beyond purely sporting ambitions.
The flagship of the Rolex Giraglia fleet
As flagship of the fleet, Mariette of 1915 best interpreted the role of guardian of the values that only a sport like sailing can transmit. The same ones that accompanied Elo II’s presence at the start of the race. A hull that, in addition to racing under the colours of the Yacht Club Italiano, the organising club of the Rolex Giraglia 2022 with the collaboration of the Yacht Club Sanremo and the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, is also carrying out a long-running project. Launched in 1989, it is a 43-foot racing yacht donated by owner Giuseppe Beppe Sorda to the Genoese club, which after a refit has restored it to a condition such that it can compete again, this time fielding a crew composed mainly of young sailors.
Raising a new generation of champions
The declared objective is to train and nurture a new generation of sailing promise. How? By pairing them with real champions who, in the case of the Giraglia Rolex 2022, have seen the likes of Tommaso Chieffi, Ambrogio Beccaria and the timeless Mauro Pelaschier take to the cockpit.
The results of the Rolex Giraglia 2022
For the record, Elo II crossed the finish line in 37th position in real time.
In the overall classification, however, the winner was Lisa R, Giovanni De Vincenzo’s Ker 46. “It was a very demanding race but one that gave us great satisfaction and confirmed that Lisa, even out of her ideal conditions, is a very fast boat,” commented De Vincenzo, who added:
“I consider myself a ‘late-bloomer’ sailor as sailing is a late passion: I started going to the race courses about 15 years ago with a First 44 and it was love at first sight. Since then I got involved and with what has since become my trusted tactician, Francesco Bertone, we set up the Lisa team with whom we then started the adventure with the Ker 46 Lisa R.
The race was quite difficult, but this victory is a great satisfaction, also in view of the fact that, with this placing, we break the line of eternal seconds that has characterised our last few offshore races.
The Rolex Giraglia is a fascinating regatta that we managed to conquer with tactics that allowed us to never slow down too much, and this also thanks to the lightness of our boat: 6250 kilograms of which 3000 in the bulb!”
Rolex Giraglia results in the Maxi Class
In the Maxi Class, however, the battle was decided in the Line Honours, i.e. crossing the finish line first in real time. Overtaking the fleet of 141 yachts that set off for the long race from Saint Tropez bound for Genoa was Magic Carpet Cubed the Wallycento owned by Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, fresh winner of the Giorgio Armani Superyacht Regatta, who got the better of ARCA SGR skippered by Furio Benussi.