Published: Wednesday, 01 March 2017

Organised by the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez and the Yacht Club Italiano partnering with Rolex, Giraglia Rolex Cup is three events in one, comprising overnight races from Marseilles and Sanremo to Saint-Tropez; an inshore series in Saint-Tropez; and the offshore race ‘La Giraglia’. The 65th edition will run 241 nautical miles, starting on Friday June 9.

Giraglia Rolex Cup To Kick Off In June 1

(Photos: Carlo Borlenghi / Rolex)

The 2017 inshore series will take place from June 11-13. The three-race inshore series in Saint-Tropez provides both competition on the water and an opportunity ashore for crews to exchange stories in one of France’s Mediterranean ports.

Commencing on Wednesday, the offshore race on June 14 is the biggest draw of the Giraglia Rolex Cup. 

Giraglia Rolex Cup To Kick Off In June 4

A large ridge-backed rock, the Giraglia is the northern extension of the Cap Corse. It lies barely one nautical mile off the coast of Corsica, measuring 600m in length, 50m wide and rising 60m above sea level. The Giraglia Rolex Cup offshore race record stands at 14 hours, 56 minutes and 16 seconds, set by Igor Simcic’s 100-foot Maxi Esimit Europa 2 in 2012.

A new record has been set on only six occasions since the finish between EA of Italy and Amity of France marked the inaugural race in 1953. While line honour is the principal target of the fastest yachts and is rewarded with the Rolex Trophy and a Rolex timepiece, the more coveted prize and the one contested by the entire fleet is overall victory on IRC handicap.

Giraglia Rolex Cup To Kick Off In June 5

This worthy winner will also be rewarded with the Rolex Challenge Trophy and a Rolex timepiece. Gilles Pages and his Corinthian crew on the 36ft French yacht Tip triumphed in 2016.

The event was established in 1953, in the aftermath of the Second World War, to help repair relations between Italy and France. It has been held every year since and has developed into one of the biggest sailing festivals of the Mediterranean season, with around 3,000 professional and amateur crew members from all over Europe and beyond taking part.

Giraglia Rolex Cup To Kick Off In June 2

Created by the then-presidents of the Yacht Club Italiano and the Yacht Club de France in a Paris bistro, the event is still organised by a combination of French and Italian yacht clubs. Both partner yacht clubs of Rolex maintain the founding principles of friendship and fraternity.

Rolex has been Title Sponsor of the Giraglia Rolex Cup since 1998. In close collaboration with the Yacht Club Italiano and the other organising clubs, the Swiss watch brand has helped raise the stature and appeal of this event.