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Rolex Sydney Hobart and Volvo Ocean Race winner offered for sale

by Richard Gladwell, NZ on 11 Sep 2017
Giacomo (NZL) blasts to the Junction Bell mark off South Head - SOLAS series Crosbie Lorimer
2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart winner, Giacomo is offered for sale.

One of the world’s top ocean racers, Giacomo also won the 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race as Groupama 4, skippered by Franck Cammas.

She is the only racing yacht to have been a round the world race winner and then extended her racing career into a win in one of the worlds three classic offshore races. In between, Giacomo has won line honours and set records in most of the SW Pacific racing circuits.

Designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian and built by the top yard, Multiplast, in Vannes, France, the Frank Cammas skippered Volvo 70, won two legs of the 40,000nm round the world race, holding out a fast finishing Camper sailed by an Emirates Team New Zealand crew.

Her current owner Jim Delegat purchased the then Groupama 4 in 2013 and turned her into an offshore racer.

Renamed Giacomo, Delegat has raced the Volvo 70 in the major offshore races of the SW Pacific, being first to finish, winning on rating and setting several course records.

Giacomo has been kept in top racing condition including the fitting of a new Southern Spars rig in early 2016. Her sails are from North Sails loft, in Auckland.

As Groupama 4, she finished second on the ninth and final leg of the 2, securing overall victory even though there were still points to come from the Discover Ireland In-Port Race.

The Volvo Open 70 is now an all in all offshore race yacht, and capable of doing speeds excess of 30 knots.

In the 2016 ANZ Sail Fiji Race from Auckland to Denarau, she broke the monohull record by 22 hours, ripping up the 1150nm course in just 73 hours at an average of over 16kts.

Sailing in easterly tradewinds with a two-metre ocean swell on the beam, Giacomo enjoyed sustained periods of reaching at speeds of over 30kts - ideal for the Volvo70.

In Denarau, Giacomo headed the prize list winning the trophies for line honours, PHRF and IRC, which bookended a successful year on the New Zealand offshore circuit with monohull line honours and overall IRC win in the 2015 Coastal Classic, line honours in the five-race Gold Cup Passage Series and other individual races.

In the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, Giacomo broke a ten year run of Australian wins, when she became the first international entry in nine years to win the Tattersalls Cup for IRC Overall winner as well as being second to finish. Giacomo finished only two hours behind the winning supermaxi Perpetual Loyal and chopped almost three hours off the old race record set by Wild Oats XI. Several other supermaxis finished behind the 70fter.

Conditions were made for the Volvo70, with almost no upwind sailing, and the race was sailed hard reaching and running conditions - points of sail on which Giacomo excels.

“It kind of feels like it’s a reward for a long journey – very satisfying – although the enormity of it we haven’t been able to comprehend,” Jim Delegat commented on being told Giacomo was the overall winner of the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart.

“Today we’re not the same boat and crew we were in 2013. Since then, and the 2014 race, we looked at what we had to do. The mindset and crew is new and different this year', he told Di Pearson after the race finish.

“It really comes down to high quality execution, timeliness, keeping the boat moving. We used every sail on the boat - we were regularly in sail change mode, ready with next sail. This is the most physically demanding race. We weren’t really able to put a proper watch system into place, constantly bringing people back on deck for sail changes.

“But it is essentially understanding the importance of the weather – a sailing plan. A couple of days out from the race I started to take notice of the weather. I thought ‘the Volvo 70 is a tough boat’ and I thought ‘this weather is for us’ – we got lots of reaching and running. It was motivating. We went wide of rhumbline and only needed a couple gybes to make Tasmania.

“You will always get a weak spot though.

“The first 18 hours was the making of our race. From that point it was a question of being close enough to make a couple of gybes and make a gybe for Tasman Light. We got in the river and then we shut the gate on the rest.”

“The other thing that stands out on paper is there are technically five or six other boats that are faster than us – boats like Black Jack, Maserati, Beau Geste, etc. We thought we could finish top six, so we exceeded our expectations. It was so exciting when we realised.

“Once we were coming up river we were doing the calculations on the rest in regard to the overall win. The reality started to sink in about our chances, but it’s not over till it’s over.

“To finish second on line – stuff of dreams – beating the bigger boats and creating such a lead on the others of our size. We just had to grab those early strong winds.

“Winning – it’s what dreams are made of. It’s a journey of learning experience. It’s very humbling. The legendary nature of the race and the remoteness of us achieving the win... At the same time it’s rewarding and exciting.

For further details and inquiries on Giacomo click here

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