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20 June 2004, 08:26 am
Giraglia Win Gives Dunstone A Rolex Hat Trick
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Nokia Enigma© Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex

Giraglia Rolex Cup

Nokia Enigma was confirmed as corrected-time winner of the 243-mile offshore race in the Giraglia Rolex Cup 2004.
With owner Charles DUNSTONE away on business, manager of Nokia Enigma Matt COWPE went up to receive the Rolex Submariner watch at the prizegiving in the Yacht Club Italiano. Cowpe also received the perpetual trophies, the Rolex Challenge Trophy and the Bellon Challenge Trophy.

"The team was delighted to win this one," Cowpe commented in Genoa this evening, "particularly after having finished runner-up last year. I believe this means Charles [DUNSTONE] holds a unique treble of having won three major offshore races on corrected time - the Rolex Fastnet Race, the Rolex Middle Sea Race and now the Giraglia Rolex. This was a new programme last year, and we targeted light winds as an area for improvement. The sails that we developed for sub-10-knot breezes really helped in this race."

It was in Genoa this time last year, having just finished runner-up to the Argentinean Maxi Alexia, that Dunstone promised a Rolex watch to every crewmember if they could win the Rolex Fastnet Race. With the crew rising to the challenge and winning in Plymouth last summer, Dunstone famously kept his promise and presented each crew member with a Rolex identical to the one he himself had won.

The Rolex Trophy went to Neville CRICHTON, the owner of 90-foot Maxi Alfa Romeo. Having made a quick return flight to Porto Cervo in Sardinia to discuss the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup later this summer, Crichton came back to the Yacht Club Italiano this evening to receive his watch along with the Rolex and Levainville Trophies, both awarded for line honours victory in the offshore race. He also received the Beppe Croce Trophy for being first to round the Giraglia rock near Corsica.

The most consistent yacht in the big boat division was actually one of the smallest, Franck NOEL'S Grand Soleil 42R Near Miss. With a 2nd place on corrected time in the offshore race, along with an inshore races tally of 10,1,1, she beat Arien VAN VEMDE'S 62-foot Sotto Voce by two points.

Italo BORRINI's Grand Soleil 40R Despeinada dominated the small boat division, scoring 2,1,1 in the St-Tropez races followed by a 1st place in the long race to Genoa.

Claus-Peter OFFEN won the Wally Trophy with his 94-foot Wally yacht called Y3K. And Dario Levi's J-109 Fremito D'Arja won the Offshore Mediterranean Trophy, awarded to the best performing yacht across three offshore races, taken from the Pirelli Regatta, the Tre Golfi Telecom Regatta and finally the Rolex Giraglia Race.

The Giraglia Rolex Cup has been sponsored by Rolex for the past seven years, with BMW and San Pellegrino as co-sponsors. The Giraglia Rolex Cup 2004 is the largest yet, with 186 teams from 15 countries, and more than 20 yachts competing in the spectacular Maxi division. The regatta concluded with the 243-mile offshore race from St-Tropez in France to Genoa in Italy, via the ancient Giraglia Rock a few miles from the northern tip of Corsica.

Offshore Race Results

Line Honours

Alfa Romeo - Neville Crichton (NZL) - 90ft water-ballasted Maxi

Corrected Time

1 Nokia Enigma - Charles Dunstone (GBR) - 76ft Maxi
2 Near Miss - Franck Noel (SUI) - Grand Soleil 42R
3 Sotto Voce - Arien van Vemde (NED) - Judel/Vrolijk 62

Giraglia Rolex Cup - Overall Results

Class 0-1
1 Near Miss - Franck Noel (SUI) - Grand Soleil 42R 14 points
2 Sotto Voce - Arien van Vemde (NED) - Judel/Vrolijk 62 16
3 Edimetra - Ernesto Gismondi (ITA) - Wally 65 27

Class 2-5
1 Despeinada - Italo Borrini (ITA) - Grand Soleil 40R 5
2 Farewell - Roger Pierrejean (FRA) - IMX40 18
3 Clean Energy - Alberto Cogni - IMX40 34
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