Published: Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Dieter Schön’s Momo won the overall title at this year’s Rolex Giraglia, while fastest finisher was Tango, victor after an epic contest with two rival Wallycentos.

Momo Triumphs At Rolex Giraglia 2 

(Photo: Rolex)

The 66th edition featured 241 yachts, 212 competing in the offshore race following arrivals from Sanremo and the three-day inshore series in Saint-Tropez.

The German-crewed Maxi 72 was the fourth finisher on the water and seven minutes ahead of nearest rival Cannonball, who would not only take Maxi 72 plaudits but win the race on handicap.

“Based on the forecast we knew it was going to be light, shifty and tricky. To stay lighter we reduced our crew from 21 to 15,” explained tactician Markus Wieser.

“After a good start, we got stuck in really light area before the Giraglia rock and went from first in our group to fourth. Afterwards, on the approach to Genoa, we were able to make some really good tactical decisions, playing the sea breeze and the shifts very well, taking control and defending ourselves. Winning this race after claiming line honours last year is a great honour. The team and owner are very happy.”

The relatively short offshore race often reserves close line honours contests. Tango won the line honours, with Galateia arrived some nine minutes later and Magic Carpet Cubed – 2016 line honours winner – in third.

“It was very intense and interesting with a lot of leadership changes,” Thierry Peponnet, afterguard onboard Tango, explained. “You couldn’t say who was going to win until we crossed the line. We rounded the Giraglia in third place to come back into the lead during the last quarter of the race. The last two hours were ultimately the most important.”

Momo Triumphs At Rolex Giraglia 1

Despite disappointment at not having maintained their leads, both rival owners David Leuschen on Galateia and Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones on Magic Carpet Cubed were gracious on arrival.

“It was one of my first offshore races and I really enjoyed it. I would do it again,” said Leuschen.

“Congratulations to Tango, they did a really good navigation, landing everywhere at the right place,” added Owen-Jones, who in over ten race appearances has experienced the many facets of the Rolex Giraglia.

Although the Rolex Giraglia is attracting an increasing number of larger yachts, most of the fleet comprises Corinthian-sailed smaller yachts. Of the 241 attending yachts, over 100 measured under 40ft.

Giancarlo Ghislanzoni, owner of the J/122 Chestress 3, has been returning to the race for the past 15 years.

“We are Corinthians, a group of friends of a similar age, who train by racing. When we were younger we were very good dinghy sailors then work and family commitments got in the way before we started sailing together again.

“For us this event is a combination of the magic of the atmosphere, the crews, the places including Saint-Tropez and the Giraglia rock, very good boats and intense competition.

“It is always a new experience. The weather either in light air or strong air is challenging and the rock always offers something magical. This year the great visibility allowed us to see land everywhere – Monte Carlo on one side, Tuscany, Elba island, all huge distances away.”