New look Giraglia attracts record maxi entry

Starting tomorrow, the 71st edition of the Loro Piana Giraglia kicks off. The first one with Loro Piana as a Title Partner. One hundred fifty-nine yachts worldwide have arrived in Saint-Tropez for the first act of the regatta, which begins tomorrow with the first race.

As the harbour started to fill with long black masts, the afternoon thermal breeze also set in motion the new flags that mark and colour the new race village created to welcome all participants in the classic Loro Piana style. Meanwhile, in the gulf, many took advantage of the strong breeze for a training session and fine-tuning before the official start tomorrow morning. The Wally 100s Magic Carpet Cubed, Galateia, V, and the 93 Bullitt were among the maxis seen on the water today. Several 72s, such as North Star of London, Jethou, and Jolt, were also present, to name a few of the larger ones. Among them, also seen on the water today was the ClubSwan 80 My Song by Pigi Loro Piana and, making its racing debut, the brand-new Capricorno by Alessandro Del Bono, a JV 80 with very radical lines optimized for IRC racing. On board, Capricorno is the dream team of champions often seen on Del Bono’s boats, including Flavio Favini, Alberto Bolzan, Giovanni Cassinari, Matteo and Claudio Celon, Matteo Plazzi, and Alberto Fantini, among others.
Upon the arrival of the competitors for the first day of registrations, they were greeted by the stunning elegance of the new Loro Piana Race Village. With its luxurious lounge and the breathtaking sea of Saint-Tropez as a natural backdrop, the village is a sight to behold. A new layout, stretching along the breakwater and reaching up to the Tour de Portalet, houses a crew village that will be the hub of social life during the Loro Piana Giraglia, hosting daily awards, DJ sets, and drinks for all the sailors participating in this new edition of the Giraglia!
Tomorrow, the action on the water begins at 10:00 AM when the boats are made available to the Race Committee. The first race of the day is scheduled to start at 11:00 AM. As is the tradition, the Maxis will navigate windward-leeward courses in the bay of Pampelonne, while the rest of the fleet will be engaged in a coastal course in the bay of Saint-Tropez.

Click HERE for the Loro Piana Giraglia website.


About the Giraglia
On July 11, 1953, along the Cannes-La Giraglia-Sanremo triangle, 22 boats started, and 17 crossed the finish line, competing over the 196-mile course of the first edition of the Giraglia. For the record, the first Giraglia was won by a French boat with a real-time of 31 hours. The following year, the start and finish ports were reversed, the number of entrants reached 31, and the Giraglia rock remained unchanged. ‘For lack of alternatives,’ it became one of the landmarks of world yachting.
Over the years, this offshore race increasingly took on mythical dimensions. The navigation combines technique and poetry; over the years, it has become a sailing maturity for many young enthusiasts. ‘I did it too’ becomes an important medal on every sailor’s chest.
Over the years, the number of participants has increased inversely proportional to the course completion time. The current record for boats on the starting line is from 2016, with as many as 302. Meanwhile, the lowest time belongs to Igor Simcic’s yacht Esimit Europa 2, which in 2012 broke the previous record with 14 hours, 56 minutes, and 16 seconds.
The format has remained more or less the same; in the 1970s, the participating boats were always more than 100, even 150. These are extraordinary numbers considering the niche of yachting; until the 1990s, the starting and finishing locations alternated between Italy and France. Participating remained a semi-adventure in an era when the entire crew slept on board and took part in the boat transfers. The Giraglia witnessed the transition from wood to fibreglass, with boats becoming increasingly lighter and more sophisticated and with faster passages. Since 1998, the format has remained unchanged: meeting in Saint Tropez around mid-June, three days of coastal races in the splendid gulf, a beach party for all participants on the eve of the offshore – always memorable – and departure in the morning for the ‘long’ 241 nautical miles that, today as then, ends in Genoa with the obligatory passage of the Giraglia islet, just as imagined back in 1952.

But with the 70th anniversary milestone reached last June, the Giraglia is changing its attire once again. The arrival of a new and prestigious title sponsor like Loro Piana adds another piece to a regatta that increasingly resembles an event. The days of inshore races are extended to 4, and the regatta village is expanded to create even more camaraderie during the days in Saint-Tropez.

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