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Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD

Camiranga first maxi home in Rolex Giraglia's Sanremo to Saint-Tropez race

by James Boyd / International Maxi Association 10 Jun 2023 13:35 PDT 10 June 2023
Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, with his Magic Carpets, is one of the most capped Rolex Giraglia competitors © Rolex / Studio Borlenghi

The Yacht Club Italiano's Rolex Giraglia, which celebrates its 70th edition this year, concluded the first of its three phases today with the arrival of the fleet on its overnight coastal race from Sanremo. This had departed the Italian port shortly after midnight last night.

First home at 11:26 this morning of the 59 boat fleet was the canting keel Soto 65 Camiranga of Eduardo Plass, whose Crioula Team mostly comprises family and friends from Porto Alegre in southern Brazil. The team does only few races and last competed on their fast-looking maxi at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez in 2022. "I live here, but all the crew are friends from the club in South America. We like to sail with friends," said Plass, who resides partly in London. Of their race he added: "It was a bit tiring, but we are happy. It was a lot of fun, which was the idea."

Their tactician, three time Brazilian Olympian Samuel Albrecht, commented: "All the team is really happy because we were first to finish in this race. It was very light and it took us a long time. I was expecting more wind. There were big shifts and it was up and down. Then we sailed into a big hole and everyone caught us up."

Third on the water was the Yacht Club Italiano's Felci 61 Itacentodue, owned by Adriano Calvini and campaigned by his 29-year-old grandson Giovanni Chiappano, who said of the race: "It was fun - the best wind was about 15-20 miles from the finish when we were doing about 11 knots upwind. Then in the Gulf here it was lighter. We set sail last night in very light winds. Then this morning, around 0600-0700, there was no wind at all."

As to their racing the longer Camiranga, Chiappano continued: "The Brazilians sailed their own route. We lost them completely. I think they went a long way offshore, but it was fun and we had a good time." Itacentodue has won the maxi class in Rolex Giraglia's famous offshore race for the last two consecutive editions and returns this year with her winning crew, plus some new young recruits from the YCI.

Tomorrow (Sunday 11 June) is the first of three days of inshore racing for the 21 maxi yachts competing in this part of Rolex Giraglia. This second phase is also the third event in the International Maxi Association's 2023 Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge, following on from PalmaVela and the IMA Maxi European Championship, held last month in Sorrento.

Leading the charge around the race track during the Rolex Giraglia inshores will be Peter Harburg's 100 footer Black Jack, fresh from having claimed line honours in the 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar; the first outing for the Australian team in Europe. However their yacht knows this event well: in 2012 as Esimit Europa 2, she set the record for the Rolex Giraglia offshore which stands to this day. Black Jack will be racing the two lower rated, but immaculately sailed and optimised Wallycentos Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones's Magic Carpet 3 and Galateia, being campaigned here by American Chris Flowers. In the first duel between the two sisterships at Palmavela at the beginning of May, Galateia prevailed. However for Rolex Galateia she has a stand-in afterguard, comprising John Cutler, Will Oxley and Ian Budgen. "It is not quite a TP52," admits Cutler of his new steed. "But they are well sorted on board."

Oxley adds of the conditions: "It can be a bit funny here, but in the late afternoon you can get a nice breeze." And of the competition: "It is great to have Black Jack back in Europe, but Vesper is probably the pick of the boats in the fleet."

Below the 100 footers in order of IRC rating are the 82ft former Highland Fling XI, now rechristened Django Unchained, and Pier Luigi Loro Piana's ever improving ClubSwan 80 My Song. But, as Oxley advises, all eyes will be on the former Maxi 72s. Sir Peter Ogden's 77ft Jethou is the defending champion having scored straight bullets here in 2022. Then in last October's Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez Dario Ferrari's 75ft Cannonball was the winner ahead of Peter Dubens' North Star, last month crowned IMA Maxi European Champion. Also to watch in this group is Vesper, who's American owner Jim Swartz commented: "I love St Tropez. It grows on you! This is our sixth time here. We won the whole event here one time with the TP52. It is good racing."

While the above will race together in the Maxi 1 class, highest rated in Maxi 2 is the Marten 72 Kuujjuaq followed by Dario Castiglia's Baltic 65 Remax One 2, which recently finished third maxi in the 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar. However favourite for Maxi 2 is IMA President Benoît de Froidmont's Wallyño. Last year Wallyño, a former IMA Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Champion, finished second in the inshores and the 2022 winner Capricorno not returning to defend her title puts the silver Wally 60 in good shape.

Wallyño's French tactician Cedric Pouligny looked forward to the inshores over the next three days: "It will be quite light: There is not much pressure gradient, so probably some sea breeze and some stormy activity as well. For the offshore it looks like there is a low pressure building over the Balearics islands which might bring us some easterlies."

The racing, organised by the YCI in collaboration with the Yacht Club Sanremo and Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, could begin as early as 1000 tomorrow with the maxis contesting a coastal course starting and finishing off Saint-Tropez.

For more information about the Rolex Giraglia visit www.rolexgiraglia.com

For more information on the International Maxi Association visit www.internationalmaxiassociation.com

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