FROM a fleet of 22 yachts that competed in the event’s first running in 1953, the 2019 Rolex Giraglia — as it has been called since 1998 — drew 297 yachts and nearly 3,000 sailors. The weeklong competition, which started on June 7 and culminated with the awards’ program on June 15, counted in three days of inshore racing from Saint-Tropez to Sanremo, and 241 nautical miles of offshore action from Saint-Tropez to Giraglia to Monaco.
Only a few yachting competitions draw fleets which are as large This was epic.
Mounting the Rolex Giraglia were the Yacht Club Italiano and the Societe Nautique de Saint-Tropez. The Yacht Club de Monaco hosted the 2019 event’s finish. Rolex was title sponsor.
The Juan K 27M Rambler of George David, on her first appearance at Giraglia, claimed line honors, missing out on the race record for just a little over an hour. But the overall victory on corrected time was clinched by the Maxi 72 Caol Ila R by Alex Schaerer, a first-time winner of the race. Caol Ila R’s elapsed time was third-best after Rambler and the Wallycento Magic Carpet 3 of Owen Jones Lindsay.
Well, Rolex Giraglia’s race record is notoriously hard to break, no thanks to the fickle conditions in the Mediterranean during June. As such, the benchmark set in 2012 by Esimit Europa 2 of 14 hours and 56 minutes remained unchallenged, with the closest ever to anyone beating it was Rambler’s finishing time this year.
Caol Ila R has always been a contender in the Rolex Giraglia, having placed third overall in the offshore races in the last two editions. This year she finished just 59 minutes behind Rambler, and so became the yacht to beat on corrected time. Caol Ila R’s win marked the second year in which a Maxi 72, following Momo’s victory last year, bested the race.
On corrected time, and thus overall honors, Caol Ila R was followed by the Maxi 77 Jethou in second place and the IRC 52 Arobas 2 in third spot.
For the crews competing at the 2019 Rolex Giraglia, this was one of the hardest and fastest editions in recent memory. The dedication and ambition shown by all competitors ensure the event will continue to inspire future generations of sailors. At the final prizegiving held at the Yacht Club de Monaco, the feats of both the winners and all those who simply completed the race were recognized.
Rolex’s association with yachting dates back to the late 1950s. Today, it is the title sponsor to 15 major international events, which include the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Rolex Middle Sea Race, the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex TP52 World Championship, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Swan Cup. The watchmaker also maintains close ties with groups such as the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Yacht Club Italiano, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (Italy), New York Yacht Club and the Royal Yacht Squadron of UK.