Last night, at the Citadelle de Saint Tropez, 2,000 guests enjoyed a gastronomic dinner and entertainment that included opera singers and a dazzling fireworks display at the Giraglia Rolex Cup prize giving. That was for the inshore part of this event, but the real deal was yet to come, for this event gets its name for the race from St Tropez to Genova, via the Giraglia rock off Corsica and several boats just come for this part of the event.
Nicola Paoleschi is one of those with his Sparkman & Stephens 81 foot maxi Sagamore, which was built in 1995, in New Zealand, and campaigned semi-successfully around the world by its American owner, who raced in the 2001 edition of the Giraglia. Paoleschi, a dentist from Tuscany, is a passionate racing and cruising sailor and a big Sparkman & Stephens fan – his first boat was an S&S 34 footer – who bought Sagamore because he reckoned it would be a fantastic boat to both race and cruise. This is Paoleschi’s first time competing in the Giraglia Rolex Cup. He explained “I was waiting to have a good boat for the first time. We have a good chance to finish in Genoa in the first group. To win? I don’t think so, but why not! We will try, the crew is made up of friends, some with more experience, some others with less experience, but they can learn from the best group, so we are going to improve our crew.” That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it, whether your in a maxi or a 4 knot shit box. This great pic of almost 200 boats starting is from Carlo Borlenghi and there are more here.