206 yachts taking part in Giraglia Rolex Cup

A grand armada of 206 yachts set off on the offshore component of the 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup on Wednesday, with the largest yachts first away at noon.

Some two hours into the race Esimit Europa 2 was just approaching the mark off Cavaliere-sur-mer that marks the turn towards the Giraglia rock, 125nm in the distance. As expected, the four Racing Mini Maxis were in a tight bunch just behind her.

A good, dynamic strategy will be critical to keep moving from one target point to the next, and in managing immediate competition. Sticking to the rhumb (direct) line or gambling on an advantage nearer to the coast or further offshore is the key conundrum facing those yachts with an ambition to win: seamanship of a different sort to that required in more physically challenging conditions.

As with all long-distance yacht races with a wide spread of sizes in the fleet, the eventual weather pattern will play a key part in determining the overall handicap results of the 2014 Giraglia Rolex Cup. Boris Hermann, navigator on Esimit Europa 2, echoed a fear among the larger yachts that a change in the wind after they have finished will favour smaller, slower yachts still rounding the Giraglia rock.

206 yachts started the 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup offshore race, which takes the fleet 241nm from Saint-Tropez to Monte-Carlo via the Giraglia rock. The prize giving is scheduled for noon on Saturday, 21 June 2014 at the Yacht Club de Monaco.

By Gemma Fottles

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