The Rolex Middle Sea Race was created as the result of sailing rivalry between Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) members Alan Green and Jimmy White, two Englishmen residing in Malta, and Paul and John Ripard together with other Maltese members of the Royal Malta Yacht Club. Alan (later Secretary of RORC) and Jimmy approached the RMYC Committee and proposed a long course designed to offer an exciting race in windier autumn conditions rather than those prevailing in the Maltese summer. The original suggestion was for a course that started in Malta and finished in Syracuse. In an inspired moment, that stemmed in part from the persuasive argument of Paul that it should be a race centred on the Maltese islands, it was agreed to not simply start the race in Malta but finish it there too. The race was now, essentially, a clockwise circumnavigation of Sicily including Lampedusa, Pantelleria and the Egadian and Eolian islands, and it would be slightly longer than the RORC’s own famous offshore event, the Fastnet Race.
Ted Turner (USA) - media mogul, philanthropist and founder of Turner Communications, (CNN) - has written that the Middle Sea Race "must be the most beautiful race course in the world. What other event has an active volcano as a mark of the course?".
The Rolex Giraglia is truly a classic event. As legend has it, the race was created on an evening in December 1952 when Beppe Croce, President of Yacht Club Italiano, René Levainville, President of Yacht Club de France, and Franco Gavagnin were enjoying a long dinner in a Parisian bistro. They envisioned the race from Saint-Tropez to Genoa as a challenge between yachts that could also be seen as a challenge between Italy and France that would favour relations after the Second World War.
For the first edition of the Giraglia Cup in 1953 there were twenty-two boats at the start. The number of participants grew steadily and in 1997 the event changed its name with the arrival of an important sponsor to become the Rolex Giraglia Cup. In 1998 lo Yacht Club de France began organizing three days of races in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez before passing this part of the event on to the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez in 2002. From 2018 the regatta has changed its name further, becoming what is now known as the “Rolex Giraglia”.
Today, the Rolex Giraglia has exceeded its founder’s expectations to become a must-do event that attracts hundreds of crews, both amateur and professional, and all kinds of yachts from all around the world. Serious competition on the water is followed by serious fun in the evening, thanks to the event’s title sponsor. It’sa sporting event that is truly a blend of passion, competition, fair play, glamour and “joie de vivre”.
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The 41st edition of Volvo Cork Week will take place 13th-18th July 2020.
Volvo Cork Week 2020 has a very exciting line up and will include the following
The secret of Volvo Cork Weeks success cannot be attributed to any one rule or aspect of it’s organisation. It’s success is found in the eclectic mix of classes, competitors, good courses, good company, our team of dedicated volunteers and the good humour of thousands of visitors.
Cork Week 2020 will be structured to accommodate sailors who have time constraints, those that want a mix of courses, those that want some offshore racing and most importantly, those that want to have fun both afloat and ashore.
While a race around the Fastnet is certain to appeal to some, we are currently exploring the possibility of racing to the Skelligs, a world heritage site, made famous in recent times by their starring role in the Star Wars movies.
There are a number classes in IRC in which boats and their crews can compete. 2004 saw the launch of the “Two-handed Class” which has introduced a new level of competition for the more extreme sailor. The 2016 race saw the introduction of multihulls sailing under MOCRA rules. In the past, boats competing have ranged from a 98-footer former “round the world” maxi, to club boats one third the size, with all shades in between. There will be a Class 40 category in the 2018 race.
Wicklow Sailing Club is delighted that the Royal Irish Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire, has agreed to act as the Dublin host club since the 2014 race. This association with the RIYC is especially beneficial as it enables more and larger competing yachts to be hosted prior to the start of the race.
The race is uniquely identified by a series of waypoints around the Irish coast at which the competitors used to report their position and time. With the introduction of GPS tracking in 2008, this necessity to report in has been removed.