Rolex Giraglia 2019

RAMBLER, Sail No, USA25555, Boat type, Cantig Keel Maxi, Entrant Name, George David, Skipper, George David, Country, United States of America

Underpinning Rolex’s involvement in sports that demonstrate commitment, excellence, precision and team spirit are its enduring partnerships with individuals and organizations who set the highest standards of performance. The long-term organizers of the Rolex Giraglia – the Yacht Club Italiano (YCI) and the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez – perfectly meet these criteria. The excellent relationship between these highly respected clubs and the depth of their partnership with Rolex have been key to the continued development of the event, which Rolex first supported in 1998. 

“The Rolex Giraglia is a communal experience,” says YCI President Nicolò Reggio. “It’s about being together, a desire to participate and to share a unique atmosphere. To have done the event is to be part of the history of sailing.”

Race Start

Rolex
has been a steadfast supporter of the elite world of yachting for more than 60
years and according to Reggio: “The association is key to the success of our
sport and one our club is really proud to maintain. We work closely with all
our partner clubs and with Rolex to develop the Giraglia year after year. The
core values are common to all those involved – camaraderie, close competition,
dedication, commitment, a Corinthian spirit and a professional approach.”

MONACO REVISITED
This year, for only the second time in its history, the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM) will host the finish of the event’s most famous element, the 241 nautical mile offshore race.

Dockside ambiance in Monte-Carlo.
Yacht Club Monaco

Over the years, the Rolex
Giraglia has incorporated a number of Italian and French ports, but it was not
until 2014 that it first visited the Monégasque principality. In the spirit of
friendship that exists between kindred organizations, the YCI offered to hold
the offshore race finish in Monte-Carlo to coincide with the opening of the
YCM’s spectacular new clubhouse in Port Hercule. Such was the success of the
inaugural visit that the decision was made to return this year.

The
YCM is another club with whom Rolex enjoys a natural partnership, in this case
since 2013. Led by its President, H.S.H. Prince Albert II, and General
Secretary, Bernard d’Alessandri, it is a driving force within the Mediterranean
and beyond. Club members adhere passionately to a motto of “One Spirit, One
Team, One Club” and work tirelessly to foster nautical heritage and tradition,
and to preserve the marine environment. Rolex’s close association with the
principality extends beyond sailing to other international sporting events,
such as the Monaco Formula 1® Grand Prix and the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in
tennis.

A
POPULAR FORMAT

The week-long Rolex Giraglia commences on Friday, 7 June with a short race from
Sanremo. Three days of inshore racing then take place in Saint-Tropez from
Sunday 9 to Tuesday, 11 June, with the offshore race to Monaco starting on
Wednesday, 12 June. The final prize-giving is on Saturday, 15 June.

Franco-Italian in its creation and ethos, the event enjoys an impressive international repute and is an ever-important fixture on the Mediterranean sailing calendar. Another sizeable fleet – forecast to be in excess of 250 – is expected to take part, with the entry list already featuring a diverse range of yachts, including the 54.9 metre (180 foot) Marie, the largest yacht ever to have entered.

2017 Rolex Giraglia overall race winner Freccia Rossa leads the fleet following the rounding of the first race mark, La Moutte

The symbol of the Rolex
Giraglia offshore race is the rugged, eponymous rock, lying a mere nautical
mile off the northern coast of Corsica. A mythical, uninhabited outpost, it
offers a stunning turning mark for the fleet. While shorter than other leading
offshore races in the Rolex portfolio, such as the 628 nm Rolex Sydney Hobart
Yacht Race and the 605 nm Rolex Fastnet Race, the Rolex Giraglia remains
demanding. The compact distance raises intensity, heaping pressure on crews to
perform at their best in often capricious conditions. Contests within the fleet
are regularly determined in the final miles of the race.

Robert Scheidt, the five-time Olympic medallist, twice Rolex World Sailor of the Year and Rolex Testimonee, is better known as a single-handed sailor. He has competed in a number of offshore races in his time and witnessed several close finishes. In 2009, he and his crewmates on Luna Rossa lost out to the eventual line honours winner just as they approached the finish. Scheidt still looks back on the experience with enthusiasm: “It is a fantastic race with marvellous scenery. The Giraglia rock, particularly, is very special. Our race was thrilling with three or four of the leading boats so close together at the finish.”

151, Sail No SUI5004, MATHILDE, Owner: MORTEN KIELLAND, Swan One Design, CLUB SWAN 5

Putting aside any
disappointment in the outcome, Scheidt recognizes the achievement in simply
completing an offshore race: “A long race like this is a challenge. Your
accomplishment is as part of a team. There is so much work behind these races.
Getting the boat to the start, preparing the sails, the mast and the crew.
Managing the shift between day and night, keeping people rested and in good
form to do their job well. It is a big project, and if you achieve your
potential it is a great feeling.” 

Among this year’s offshore race frontrunners will be George David’s Rambler, the monohull line honours winner at the Rolex Fastnet 2017 and four-time line honours winner at the Rolex Middle Sea Race. New to this event, David will have one eye on the race record, the blistering time of 14 hours 56 minutes 16 seconds set by the Slovenian Maxi Esimit Europa 2 in 2012. Given the conditions, Rambler is more than capable of eclipsing this benchmark.

RAMBLER, Sail No, USA25555, Boat type, Cantig Keel Maxi, Entrant Name, George David, Skipper, George David, Country, United States of America

Expertly
organized, showcasing passion, fair play and close competition, rewarding
teamwork, precision and skill, the Rolex Giraglia’s enduring character aligns
naturally with Rolex’s pursuit of continuous excellence, the guiding philosophy
laid down by company founder Hans Wilsdorf and maintained to this day.

A
NATURAL AND SUPPORTIVE PARTNER

Rolex has always sought to associate with activities that are motivated by
passion, excellence, precision and team spirit. Rolex naturally gravitated
towards the elite world of yachting, forming an alliance that dates back to the
late 1950s. Today, Rolex is Title Sponsor of 15 major international events;
from leading offshore races, such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Rolex
Middle Sea Race and the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, through to the
highest-level grand prix competition at the Rolex TP52 World Championship and
spectacular gatherings at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Swan Cup. The
Swiss watchmaker’s close relationships with the most prestigious yacht clubs
around the world, including the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Yacht Club Italiano,
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (Italy), New York Yacht Club (United States), and the
Royal Yacht Squadron (Cowes, United Kingdom) are the foundation of Rolex’s
enduring relationship with the pinnacle of this spectacular sport.

ABOUT
ROLEX

AN UNRIVALLED
REPUTATION FOR QUALITY AND EXPERTISE

Rolex, a Swiss watch manufacture headquartered in Geneva, is recognized the
world over for its expertise and the quality of its products. Its Oyster
Perpetual and Cellini watches, all certified as Superlative Chronometers for
their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence,
elegance and prestige. The word “Perpetual” is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster.
But more than just a word on a dial, it is a philosophy that embodies the
company’s vision and values. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of the company,
instilled a notion of perpetual excellence that would drive the company
forward. This led Rolex to pioneer the development of the wristwatch and
numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first
waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding
mechanism, invented in 1931. Rolex has registered over 500 patents in the
course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company,
Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house the essential components of its
watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting,
assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Furthermore,
Rolex is actively involved in supporting the arts and culture, sport and
exploration, as well as those who are devising solutions to preserve the
planet.