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20 June 2009, 08:59 pm
Smaller Boats Prevail At Giraglia Rolex Cup
Start of Giraglia Race 2009
Start for the first race of the Giraglia Rolex Cup 2009

Giraglia Rolex Cup 2009
St Tropez, France

Javier Pujol, owner/skipper of the Sparkman & Stephens-designed 43-foot Calima (ESP), was confirmed as winner of the Giraglia Race at the prizegiving ceremony for the 57th edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup, held at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa.
Calima received the Rolex Challenge Trophy and the Bellon Challenge Trophy for being the first yacht overall on corrected time in the IRC division, which had the most number of entries.

An avid racing and cruising sailor, PUJOL from Barcelona, was clearly pleased with Calima's win, though not quick to take credit saying, "To win the overall classification is to be lucky or not to be lucky. But in class we won the regatta on the leg from La Fourmigue to La Giraglia. We positioned the boat in a better place than the rest of the fleet and were very fast." Pujol does take credit for his crew, a great group of friends who sail together in regattas in Barcelona, Palma, and St. Tropez.

Calima was the 60th boat around La Giraglia, and from there faced the same light wind obstacles as the fleet, Pujol continued, "It's always difficult to arrive to Genoa, but we took the option to go inshore off Portofino and did well."

While PUJOL initially bought the boat to cruise, shortly after he entered the 2001 Rolex Fastnet Race, where Calima won class and finished 6th overall - and thus his racing career had begun. This is PUJOL's seventh Girgalia race and he has placed well before; in 2002, Calima finished first in class and second overall. The boat may be 40 years old, but with its' S&S pedigree, it is well-designed and PUJOL has carefully maintained and upgraded the boat over the years. Since he bought it in 2000, the rig has been replaced with a carbon mast. As the owner says, "it's a classic boat with modern technology".

For winning the Giraglia Race on elapsed time Alegre (GBR) was awarded the Rolex Trophy and the René Levainville Trophy. The Beppe Croce Trophy for first to round the Giraglia Rock was awarded to the Open 60, Group Bel (FRA).

Aurora (ITA), with co-owners Paolo BONOMO and Roberto BERRUTO, won the ORC division on corrected time. After finishing the 2008 Girgalia in second overall on corrected time, BONOMO said, "We have been sailing more consistently, and this year in two regattas over the past months we've finished 2nd in both. It is not a professional crew, they are amateurs, but with very good experience, 30-35 years. vecchittini, and they are all passionate."

"It's a very good performing boat, not top of the line, but we finally got a good result. It's a Canard 41, every year we update the boat and we replaced the keel and the rudder last year."

Roberto BERRUTO added, "We love the Girgalia - we have done it every year since 1986; then we came in 2nd in 2006, so we took a year off. When we sailed again in 2008 we came in 2nd again! It's a long race, so you need to stay calm and you need to not lose your nerve. It's very competitive, but you need some luck."

For the best combined score from the three days of inshore racing in St. Tropez and the Giraglia Race from St. Tropez to Genoa, Pace (GBR), a Marten 49, won the Challenge Nucci Novi Trophy.

The prize giving ceremony took place this afternoon at the Yacht Club Italiano, where the winners of each class were awarded trophies for their achievements.

Several of the top winners were awarded Rolex timepieces -- a beautiful reward for a hard-earned victory in this renowned offshore regatta:

- Alegre, Line Honours, for Andy SORIANO a Rolex Yacht-Master in steel and platinum,
- Calima, IRC corrected time overall, for Javier PUJOL a Rolex Yacht-Master in steel and platinum,
- Aurora, ORC corrected time overall, for co-owners Paolo BONOMO and Roberto BRUNO a Rolex Yacht-Master in steel and platinum
- Pace, winner combined overall in the Giraglia Rolex Cup (inshore racing and Giraglia Race), a Rolex Submariner in stainless steel

The Giraglia Rolex Cup is organised by the Yacht Club Italiano with the collaboration of the Yacht Club de France and the Société Nautique de St. Tropez.

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