Laurent Camprubi’s XP44 Alizée (FRA) has been confirmed as the overall winner of the 2013 Giraglia Rolex Cup while Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’s Wally Cento Magic Carpet Three (GBR) secured line honours as the fleet’s fastest boat.
Magic Carpet Three (GBR) rounds Giraglia rock at seven am on the first morning of the offshore race
The 61st Giraglia Rolex Cup will live long in the memory. 184 yachts from 14 countries took part in a gripping contest that provided constant tactical challenges for the international fleet.
Completing the 243-nm course from Saint-Tropez, France to Genoa, Italy in 31 hours, 35 minutes and 48 seconds, Owen-Jones’s recent launch saw off spirited competition from the seven-strong fleet of Mini Maxis to claim line honours. In the process, Owen-Jones avenged the disappointment of another dramatic finish. At the 2005 Giraglia Rolex Cup, his former Magic Carpet narrowly lost to North Sails Sportswear having led with 300 metres to spare and the finish line in sight.
'We didn’t do anything radical,' explained Owen-Jones on arrival at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa, 'we knew which side of the course we wanted to be on. As the first boat we had to cover all our bets. We stayed pretty central and that played out well.' Magic Carpet Three’s stubborn tactical approach forced the chasing Mini Maxis to gamble in the search for stronger breeze on the last leg from the Giragia rock. While one group – including Bella Mente (USA) and Stig (ITA) – sailed right of the rhumb line, Rán Two (GBR) and Alegre (GBR) shifted left, a calculation which almost paid off. Niklas Zennström’s Rán Two finished just four minutes shy of Magic Carpet Three with Andres Soriano’s new Alegre arriving a mere two minutes later. Five boats arrived within 30 minutes of the leader, a demonstration of the tight competition at the front of the fleet.
Ultimately the finishing times of the leading boats – a long way shy of the race record set by Esimit Europa Two (SLO) in 2012 of 14 hours, 56 minutes and 16 seconds – were insufficient to mount a serious challenge for the overall prize on handicap. That honour went to the 11-strong French crew onboard Alizée. 'It’s a great surprise. At the Giraglia rock we knew we were well placed in Class as we rounded with Natalia,' explained a delighted Camprubi. 'After that we made the decision to go west and they went east and the conditions proved more favourable for our arrival into Genoa. We never thought about winning overall. We concentrated on the race and our direct competition. It is reward for our great team spirit. We are a really nice mix of ages with the team including my son and his friends.'
Magic Carpet Three and Alizée were rewarded for their efforts with Rolex timepieces and Alizée the Giraglia Rolex Cup Trophy at the final prizegiving at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa held on Friday evening.
A full review of the 2013 Giraglia Rolex Cup will be available on Monday 24 June.
Line Honours Giraglia Rolex Cup
Magic Carpet Three (GBR), Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones
31 hours, 35 minutes, 48 seconds
Overall Results Giraglia Rolex Cup
One. Alizée (FRA), Laurent Camprubi
Two. Tixwave (GBR), Tixwave
Three. Natalia (ROU), KDF Energy SRL