June 1, 2023    |    

Rolex Giraglia and Yacht Club Italiano Celebrate 70 Years of Sailing Heritage

The Rolex Giraglia's enduring legacy and contribution to mediterranean sailing.

Rolex has been an avid sponsor of premier yacht clubs and world-class sailing events for over two decades. Among these is the Rolex Giraglia, which bears witness to Rolex’s historic connection with the Yacht Club Italiano (YCI) dating back to 1998. The Rolex Giraglia, founded in 1953 with the goal of bringing together the French and Italian sailing societies after World War II, has evolved into one of the sport’s most historic events.

Acting as a reference point in Mediterranean sailing, the event celebrates its 70th anniversary and edition this year. The Yacht Club Italiano, founded in 1879 and based in Genoa, holds high esteem in the sailing world for organizing regattas of national and international importance, as well as co-founding the Federazione Italiana Vela (Italian Sailing Federation).

The three parts of the Rolex Giraglia, which are coordinated with the help of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, have grown in stature and complexity over the years. The center focus is the gorgeous port of Saint-Tropez, which also plays host to two other significant sailing events supported by Rolex: the annual Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, which brings together modern and vintage monohull yachts, and SailGP’s France Sail Grand Prix, which features lightning-fast F50 foiling catamarans.

Commencing on June 9, this year’s Rolex Giraglia kicks off with an arrival race from Sanremo, Italy, a favorite among Italian crews. Following this, three days of racing in the Bay of Saint-Tropez provide the perfect opportunity for teams to fine-tune their teamwork and tactics. The main event takes place on June 14: a challenging 241-nautical mile (446 kilometers) offshore race to Genoa, Italy, via La Giraglia, a scenic rocky islet off northern Corsica.

Over 200 ships from over 20 different countries participate in the Rolex Giraglia, bringing sailors from various backgrounds and expertise. Participants love their time spent at the race because of its history, sense of community, and reputation for fast racing. Competitors face navigational problems in confined spaces as the offshore race takes center stage, relying on their knowledge and expertise to establish the best racing line.

Joining the Rolex Giraglia means becoming a part of a sailing tradition that celebrates history, legendary exploits, and the future of the sport, supported by dedicated organizers and partners. Participants can expect to be part of an event that honors the rich heritage of the Rolex Giraglia, while embracing its evolution. This year’s landmark edition will bring together a sizeable and impressive fleet, marking a unique milestone in the event’s history.

As Gerolamo Bianchi, President of the YCI, explains, “The Rolex Giraglia is one of the most important manifestations of sailing spirit in the Mediterranean, where crews come together to not only compete but to share their passion for the sport. The fleet gathering this year will provide this milestone moment a unique lustre.”

At the Rolex Giraglia, an occasion that mixes tradition, competitiveness, and camaraderie, commemorate sailing’s 70-year history. This renowned sailing competition gives a special chance to immerse yourself in the history, storied exploits, and future of the sport, whether you are an experienced sailor or a novice.