TP52 Double Whammy At ROLEX GIRAGLIA RACE!!!
Franck Nöel’s TP52 Near Miss (SUI) has been confirmed as the overall winner of the 2012 Giraglia Rolex Cup.
A big boat race was predicted ahead of the historic 60th edition of the race from Saint-Tropez to Sanremo. And so it proved. Yesterday morning, the 100-foot Maxi Esimit Europa 2 (SLO) smashed the four-year old race record by over three hours, completing the circa 242-nautical mile course in 14 hours, 56 minutes and 16 seconds. Near Miss was the fourth fastest boat on the water, finishing just 31 minutes outside of the previous race record. As most of the Maxi fleet (yachts measuring over 60-feet) made short work of the course, the drop in conditions throughout yesterday ensured that the smaller boats still at sea could not surpass the corrected time set by Nöel’s predominantly French crew.
Prevailing from a fleet of 170 international yachts, victory capped a successful week for Near Miss following her impressive performance during the three days of inshore racing in Saint-Tropez. Nöel cut an ecstatic figure: “It was an extraordinary race and we nearly beat Alfa Romeo’s record with a 52-foot boat. It was at the very limits of comfort, we got very wet! Near Miss is not a boat made for offshore racing, more for inshore, but we are very happy to have done it.”
Near Miss can count on the experience of America’s Cup yachtsman Karol Jablonski. “It was a very exciting race - the conditions were very extreme,” confirmed the Polish sailor, a recent addition to the team. “We anticipated the changing winds and the crew did an excellent job in changing sails so we didn’t waste time. The boat always went at the maximum speed possible according to the conditions.”
As helmsman, Jablonski had a unique view of the race. “It was very wet as I was the guy sitting furthest forward - it was like a cold water Jacuzzi or whirlpool!”
Whilst Near Miss celebrates, the elements proved demanding for much of the fleet with around fifty crews forced to retire from the race.
Near Miss will be presented with the Rolex Challenge Trophy and a Rolex timepiece during tomorrow’s prizegiving at the Yacht Club Sanremo, the final act of the 2012 Giraglia Rolex Cup.
The Giraglia Rolex Cup is organized by the Yacht Club Italiano, in conjunction with the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez and the Yacht Club de France, prestigious organisations with well-established ties to Rolex.
In breezy record-breaking conditions that favored the fastest boats in the fleet, Giorgio Martin’s TP52 Aniene 1a Classe BMW Drive & Sail has won the ORC division in the Giraglia Rolex Cup, completing the 242-mile course in only 21H 00M 18S. This calculates to an average speed of 11.5 knots, a remarkable feat for a race that many years is often a drifting match against the time limit.
Runner-up in the ORC division was Paul and Shark Competition, Vittorio Urbanati’s GP42, who completed the course only 2.5 hours later than Aniene. Third was Sandro Panniccia’s Felci 50 Altair 3.
With 30 knots of Mistral at the start, the TP52 Aniene preferred to navigate a safe route along the land, more sheltered from the wind winds. After La Formigue the wind intensified and Aniene surfed on the waves for 80 miles, touching twenty knots of speed. At 11.50 pm Aniene left Giraglia behind, and then headed back to Sanremo with Mauro Pelaschier, Simone Ferrarese, and Simone and Stefano Spangaro alternating at the helm. At 9.30 am the team crossed the finish line to triumph.
"It 'been a great race though very challenging, " said Roberto Ferrarese "where the BMW Academy team with members of the Club Aniene and the four winners of BMW Drive & Sail had a beautiful experience with us."