The third coastal race of the 50th edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup, organized by the Yacht Club Italiano, in collaboration with the Yacht Club de France and the Societè Nautique de St. Tropez, in partnership with Rolex departed 11:30am yesterday.
Once again, a light east-north east wind of just over 5 knots prevailed. And for the third consecutive day, Idea owned by Raffaele Raiola and Pigi Loro Piana's My Song fought it out neck and neck for the first positions. Today however, My Song, got the better of his opponent and was first to cross the finishing line.
Bugia Bianca, owned by genoese businessman Massimo Dentice and which already has the Trofeo Zegna victory to her name, followed swiftly behind.
Overall winner of the third coastal race after handicaps is My Song, second Idea, third Bugia Bianca.
Overall winner after three coastal rounds (17, 18, 19 June) is Sottovoce owned by Arien Van Vemde, second Raffaele Raiola's Idea third My Song owned by Pigi Loro Piana, fourth Aldo Fozzati's La Forza del Destino, fifth Bugia Bianca. Sottovoce wins a Rolex Submariner watch.
The prize giving ceremony took place yesterday evening during a huge party organized by Rolex at La Citadelle, and was attended by the crews, owners and VIP's who are gathering in St. Tropez especially for the occasion.
In the meantime, the last boats that will be participating in the long race (243 nm) are arriving in the little port of St. Tropez. The start will be at midday tommorrow and the yachts will cover the St. Tropez - Island of Levante - Giraglia rock - Genoa circuit.
An imposing fleet of 195 boats will be at the starting line today - a record for the Giraglia Rolex Cup. The weather forecasts are predicting a south-west wind of 5 to 15 knots and a calm sea. It will be virtually impossible to beat the record set by Riviera di Rimini in 1998 of 24 hours, 21 minutes and 47 second with an average speed of around 10 knots.
New this year are the satellite instruments that will be mounted aboard the 20 largest and fastest boats. These instruments automatically transmit their position to a center in Genoa which then enters them on to the Yacht Club Italiano web site (www.yci.it), so that visitors will be able to check out the route and follow the race as it progresses.
The Giraglia Rolex Cup will come to a close sometime between Saturday and Sunday at the famous Yacht Club Italiano premises in Genoa. upon their arrival, the competitors will receive a warm welcome hosted by the giant of water S. Pellegrino which will restore the crews' strength with pasta dishes, brioches and coffee.
The grand Giraglia Rolex Cup prize giving ceremony will take place on Sunday evening with a gala dinner at the Yacht Club Italiano.