North Sails NEWS


North Sails Clients Dominate at the 69th Edition of this Classic Event

📸 ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

Founded in 1953, to help unite the French and Italian sailing communities post World War 2, the Giraglia has retained a distinct Franco-Italian spirit, while attracting an international fleet with typically over 200 yachts from more than 25 countries.

The headline act at the Rolex Giraglia is the 241-nautical mile (446km) offshore race from Saint-Tropez to Genoa, Italy, via the Giraglia rock located approximately 1 nm (2km) off the northern tip of Corsica. In keeping with a number of great races, the Giraglia rock is used as a symbolic turning mark.

Sanremo to Saint-Tropez Race:

The first North Sails victory was in the first racing scheduled, where the 56 yachts competed in the Sanremo – Saint-Tropez distance race, with a midnight start. After 15 hours of slow sailing, the Felci 71 Itacentodue, owned by Adriano Calvini, crossed the finish line in Saint-Tropez to claim line honors. All the boats in the top spots of the first act of the Giraglia carried a full North Sails sail inventory.

Saint-Tropez Inshore Races:

Following the first event, the Gulf of Saint-Tropez once again lived up to its reputation as a fantastic regatta venue, with excellent weather conditions allowing the event’s 3-day inshore racing to take place without a hitch. While the maxi yachts competed on windward-leeward courses off the beaches of Pampelonne, the rest of the boats battled on coastal routes. Wind conditions were consistent throughout the regatta, with an initial easterly breeze of 6 knots increasing over the course of the event, and fairly flat seas. 


Final results from the Maxi race course in Pampelonne after 4 races are:

IRC0: Jethou, owned by Peter Ogden, dominated in the IRC0 class. (1,1,1,1);
IRC2: Capricorno, owned by Alessandro Del Bono (1,1,1,1);
ORC0: Leaps & Bounds 2, owned by Jean Philippe Blanpain (1,1,1,1).

For the ORC and IRC groups, the results after 3 inshore races are as follows:

IRC 1: Daguet 3 – Ker 46 owned by Frederic Puzin (12,2,2);
ORC 1: From Now On – Swan 45 owned by  Fernando Chain (4,1,1)

📸 ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

Saint-Tropez to Genoa Offshore Race:

June 15th was the start of the iconic offshore race, the headline act at the Rolex Giraglia. The forecast, which called for light winds, prompted the race committee to shorten the regular 241-nautical mile (446km) course by 35-nm. A decision which afforded the majority of the fleet a greater opportunity to finish the race ahead of the Saturday morning cut-off time. 105 of the competing boats were able to complete the race in the allotted time. In the spirit that has always defined the Rolex Giraglia, these predominantly Corinthian crews demonstrated their ability to confront the challenge with patience and skill.

Setting blistering speeds is often the prerogative of the maxi yachts competing at this event. The frontrunners included three former line honors winners, ARCA SGR (triumphant in 2021 and with North Sail designer Michele Malandra among the crew), Magic Carpet Cubed (2013 and 2016) and Tango (2018). Their hopes of overturning the race record set in 2012 (just under 15 hours) were immediately thwarted by the forecast. Ultimately, the 69th edition produced the slowest line honors time since 2009. Although a thrilling tactical battle did ensue between some of the world’s most experienced and skilled navigators.

The tempo of the race provided the opportunity for more considered tactical discussions across teams and an emphasis on maximizing every wind gust. The light breeze was not the only hurdle faced in this year’s edition, the last stretch to the finish line in Genoa is notoriously difficult to negotiate. Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones and his Magic Carpet Cubed team (with North Sails expert Gigio Russo and recent hire Ian Walker onboard) have experienced its highs and lows. Just a few nautical miles from the finish line and having trailed ARCA SGR from the race’s emblematic turning point, the Giraglia rock, the Magic Carpet Cubed crew mustered their considerable race pedigree, positioning themselves at the better wind angle to propel themselves into first place. The Wallycento completed the course in an elapsed time of 34 hours, seven minutes and 17 seconds.

ARCA SGR navigator Malandra commented, “After rounding the Giraglia islet 9 seconds behind MC3 and having led most of the regatta, the Giraglia proved that it is never predictable. We have always sailed very well, even with a boat designed for other wind conditions, but after the refit by Shaun Carkeek, she proved to be reborn. Thanks to our new North sail inventory and the 5-meter taller mast, we have considerably increased the sail area of the boat. However, we missed the two landings (in Giraglia and Genoa) of which the second is fundamental! But we are satisfied to have sailed fast and to honor the winners.”

📸 ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi
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