With a southeasterly wind of approximately 15-20 knots blowing throughout the night, the rest of the fleet were expected to arrive before Saturday's time limit of 13:00. The competitors had started off St Tropez on Wednesday at 13:00 CET, giving them a full 72 hours to complete the 243-nautical mile course. However, by the time the prizegiving ceremony began on Saturday, only 128 of the total 162 participants had officially finished the long offshore race.
At the prizegiving ceremony at the Yacht Club Italiano, Maurizio BISCARDI's (ITA) Comet 45, Libertine, took home the Rolex Challenge Trophy and the Bellon Challenge Trophy for being the first yacht overall on corrected time in the division with the most number of entries.
'I knew that winning the Giraglia Rolex Cup was a great honour,' commented BISCARDI after receiving the trophies, 'But I could have never imagined that this would be reserved for me. To be a part of it has given me great satisfaction and I would like to dedicate this victory to my entire team, from our skipper Lorenzo BODINI to Andrea DE MARINIS who was the one who put the team together. We had three fabulous days of inshore racing in St Tropez and then in the Giraglia race where everything went so well on board. I had a positive feeling about the boat and the crew's performance since our second race in St Tropez, which was then reconfirmed by an excellent start for the offshore race, but I didn't expect that it could go so far. Again, winning the Giraglia gave me great satisfaction. I am very happy and this has been a wonderful experience.'
Neville CRICHTON's (NZL) 100-foot canting-keel super-maxi Alfa Romeo could not smash her own course record for this year's Giraglia Rolex Cup race, previously set by the 90-foot Alfa Romeo in 2003, but she definitely reconfirmed herself as the fastest boat of the fleet. Alfa Romeo won the Giraglia Rolex Cup race on elapsed time and was thus awarded the Rolex Trophy and the René Levainville Trophy, as well as the Beppe Croce Trophy for being the first to round the Giraglia Rock.
Ernesto GISMONDI's (ITA) Edimetra VI was the first Mini Maxi to finish the Giraglia Rolex Cup race and she won the combined trophy in the big boat division for the inshore and offshore races, while Atalanta II was second.
'We won many prizes today but not a single first place,' commented Elio PETRACCHI (ITA), team manager of Atalanta II, after receiving the second place honour. 'The boat is good and performed well. We rounded the Giraglia in second but we were unfortunately stopped by a total lack of wind in the last 20 nautical miles before Genoa. There were no tactical decisions to be taken on board at the time - we could only wait for some wind. We saw the small boats come in and reach us very quickly and we knew already that we were going to have to pay on handicap. Despite the result we had a very good time and the Giraglia is still the greatest offshore regatta in the Mediterranean.'
The prizegiving ceremony for the 55th Giraglia Rolex Cup took place on Saturday at the Yacht Club Italiano, where the winners of each class were awarded trophies for their achievements. For Alfa Romeo's line honours victory, owner CRICHTON received a Rolex Submariner timepiece in gold and steel while BISCARDI of Libertine, received a Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece in steel and platinum for his overall win on corrected time - a beautiful reward for a hard-earned victory in this renowned offshore regatta.
The Giraglia Rolex Cup is organized by the Yacht Club Italiano with the collaboration of the Yacht Club de France and the Société Nautique de St. Tropez. The regatta is established as one of the classics in the Mediterranean and with this edition celebrated ten years of partnership with Rolex as the official timer keeper.