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2024 Loro Piana Giraglia sets sail

by Yacht Club Italiano 12 Jun 04:58 PDT 7-15 June 2024
2024 Loro Piana Giraglia day 5 © Loro Piana / Studio Borlenghi

The moment we've all been waiting for has arrived! At 12:12 PM on June 12th, the first start for the maxis was followed a few minutes later by the rest of the fleet of 129 boats, setting sail from the picturesque Saint-Tropez for the thrilling 241 miles of the Loro Piana Giraglia 2024.

Light winds were present at the starting line this morning in Saint-Tropez despite the forecasted weather conditions for the upcoming hours, which predict much stronger winds over the next 24 hours. It will only take a few miles to exit the shelter of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, and then everyone will be able to catch the mistral that will swiftly guide them towards Corsica. The first 120-mile leg is expected to be particularly fast and lively. Indeed, all weather models predict wind speeds never below 25 knots, intensifying in the late afternoon with gusts well over 30 knots and very rough seas. Many maxis have opted for a conservative choice to stay in port, while many others have prepared accordingly and decided to take on the challenging race that always proves to be demanding.

The prospects for the sailors are fascinating, with some looking optimistically at breaking records, such as the 100' Black Jack. With a new owner and under the guidance of veteran Australian Mark Bradford, Black Jack could come very close to the record time of 14h56m set by the same boat in 2012 when it was named Alfa Romeo.

Following the withdrawal declared last night of the 3 Wally 100s (Galateia, V, and Magic Carpet Cubed) and Roberto Lacorte's FlyingNikka, the natural rival of Black Jack, the 100-footer Arca SGR of Furio Benussi, also had to forfeit due to a technical problem just a few miles after the start.

With the entire fleet again colouring the bay of Saint-Tropez, the French phase of the Loro Piana Giraglia concludes, and the 241-mile adventure begins, ending in Genoa at the headquarters of the Yacht Club Italiano. Starting tomorrow morning, the new crew village will open its doors 24/7 to welcome and accommodate all the competitors upon their arrival.

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