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Rolex Giraglia 2023 - two days to go

by Yacht Club Italiano 7 Jun 10:22 PDT 9-17 June 2023
2022 Rolex Giraglia © Rolex / Stefano Gattini

The Rolex Giraglia turns 70! 184 yachts on the start line with the first act beginning Friday, June 9 with the Sanremo - Saint-Tropez.

Here's everything that is new in the 2023 edition.

On January 14 1953 in the headquarters of the Yacht Club de France in Paris there was a meeting of the Comité International des Courses-Croisiere de Haute Mer en Méditerranée.

Present were: René Levainville, president of the Union Nationale des Croiseurs, Fernand Rouff, president of the Société des Régates de Cannes, Miguel Sans Mora, president of the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona and Beppe Croce, secretary general of the Yacht Club Italiano. They had to decide on the organisation of an annual offshore regatta in the Mediterranean. The decision, in Paris, was reached quickly. Start on July 11 from Cannes, rounding off the Giraglia islet off Capo Corso, and finish in Sanremo for a total of 196 miles. Basically, the committee had approved the regatta that René Levainville and Beppe Croce had long been studying in numerous meetings. And so one of the most important offshore regattas was born. It was destined to become, as the promoters wished, a classic. A regatta like the Fastnet and in fact, it was soon baptised the "the sunny Fastnet".

70 years later on Saturday, June 10 in the waters of Saint-Tropez 184 yachts from all over the world are expected to start the registration procedure for the three days of inshore races before the start of the long race on Wednesday, June 14 at midday.

At the start a fleet more mixed than ever with a large number of maxi yachts: 31 in category 0, including the winner of line honours in 2022, the Wally 100 Magic Carpet Cubed owned by Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones. A serious contender in the 2023 edition will certainly be the Australian 100-footer Black Jack owned by Peter Harbourg. The yacht is well known in the Rolex Giraglia first as Alfa Romeo II, then holder of the current race record set in 2012 (14h56m16s) as Esimit Europa 2.

Others in the running for a win the Line Honours: the Wally 100 Galateia, the two big Swans, the 98' Drifter Cube and the 90' Berenice Cube. The spotlight will also be on Pier Luigi Loro Piana's My Song, a ClubSwan 80 which with its radical design and lightweight could be a serious contender for first place in this long race. As well as the bigger yachts, we will have boats of all sizes and characteristics, and practically all of them are possible contenders for victory in corrected time, depending on the weather conditions, always an unpredictable factor in a race of 241 nautical miles. Among them are the various JPKs, the Kers (last year Lisa R, a Ker 46, was the overall winner), the Cookson 50s and the fast TP52s (so far three have entered: Red Bandit, Jolt 3 and Arobas, which was third in the IRC rankings last year).

What's new in 2023

Several initiatives, great and small, are planned to celebrate the 70th addition both on land and on the water. For the Maxis, there will be upwind-downwind races while new courses have been designed in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez for Groups 1 and 2.

The suggestive passage between Port-Cros and l'Île du Levant has been reinstated for the offshore race and new coefficients have been introduced for the general rankings to encourage participation in the various stages of the event (the Sanremo/Saint-Tropez race, the coastal races and the offshore race).

Finally, but not less important, a new Crew Village has been created on the quayside of the port at Tour de Portalet, where every evening there will be the daily prize-givings, music and fun for all.

The Virtual Rolex Giraglia

To increase the number of "guests" at the birthday of the Rolex Giraglia, the 2023 edition will for the first time also be virtual, thanks to collaboration with Virtual Regatta, the largest world platform for regatta simulation. The Virtual Rolex Giraglia will start on June 14 with the warning signal at 1155, in parallel with the big fleet of yachts that have the same time will leave Saint-Tropez heading for the Giraglia.

The Rolex Giraglia for sustainability

The 70th edition of the Rolex Giraglia is promoting a concrete environmental sustainability initiative showing its commitment in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility. The initiative is the result of collaboration between the Yacht Club Italiano, the European Commission and Confindustria Nautica, in support of the project for the "reforestation of the fields of ocean posidonia".

The launching of this initiative is aimed at implementing and sustaining territorial environmental policies cooperating with the protection of the marine area where the regatta is sailed, perfectly in line with the 'Decade of Ecosystem Restoration' (2021-2030) launched by the United Nations, DiSTAV, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, dell'Ambiente e della Vita of Genoa University, and has thus launched a project for reforestation the damaged fields of ocean Posidonia in the Ligurian Sea which will be promoted and sustained by the YCI.


June 9 - Sanremo - midnight start of the Sanremo - Saint-Tropez race;
June 10 - Saint-Tropez - arrival and registration;
June 11 - Saint-Tropez - inshore races/7 PM daily prize-givings;
June 12 - Saint-Tropez - inshore race/7 PM daily prize-givings;
June 13 - Saint-Tropez-inshore race/ /7PM daily prize-givings; /8 PM Rolex Party;
June 14 - Saint-Tropez - midday start of offshore race;
June 17 - Genoa - midday ceremony, prize-giving.

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