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Giraglia Rolex Cup : Leader from the start - ESIMIT EUROPA 2, SLO approaching the finish line in Genoa completing the race course in 29 hours 11 minutes and 58 seconds
Esimit Europa 2 (SLO) has confirmed her dominance of line honours at the Giraglia Rolex Cup finishing as the fastest boat for the fifth time in six years.

The 100-ft Maxi led the record 240-strong fleet from the outset of the 243-nm offshore race from Saint-Tropez to Genoa finishing on Thursday at 17:27 CEST in an elapsed time of 29 hours, 11 minutes and 58 seconds.

The light winds which characterised the 63rd edition of the race ensured that Esimit was never able to mount a serious challenge on the impressive race record she set back in 2012 (14 hours, 56 minutes, 16 seconds). Nevertheless, both owner and skipper were delighted with another victory.

“It means we still have a very fast boat and that everything went well,” said owner Igor Simčič. “We have confirmation that in the Mediterranean this boat is unbeatable even with the arrival of newer boats. We won in strong wind in 2012, and in light wind this time. We have a very good boat and a crew which gives everything and this is the result.”

Leading from the start enabled Esimit to control the race tactically, immediately pulling ahead of her nearest rival – the fleet’s other 100-ft contender, Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’s Magic Carpet Cubed (GBR). “We are very happy. It was a tough race,” confirmed skipper Jochen Schümann. “We had a very good strategy and weather model which matched the conditions quite well. The first part to the Giraglia rock was very good for us, we had a very good lead over Magic Carpet. At the rock we got stuck and struggled for a while when there was no wind and they closed in until we stretched more towards the end of the race. Being in control from the beginning was key to us doing what we wanted to do.”

Magic Carpet Cubed was the second yacht to cross the finish line located outside the Yacht Club Italiano’s base in Genoa, completing the race just over an hour after Esimit.

The following arrivals are likely to come from the group of five highly-competitive Maxi 72s, all practically identical on handicap and effectively match racing to Genoa. Just 3-nm separate Robertissima III (GBR), Caol Ila R (USA), MOMO (IVB) and Shockwave (USA).

At 19:00 CEST the bulk of the fleet were approaching the Giraglia rock and facing a second night at sea. The outcome of the next few hours is likely to have a major impact on who will be identified as the overall winner of the race’s 63rd edition.

Photo : Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
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