The brilliant colours of a fleet of 209 yachts harking from a total of 25 different nations filled the Bay of Saint-Tropez as a crowd gathered by the waterside to watch the start of the offshore race that culminates a week of sailing at the Giraglia Rolex Cup.
Hi-Fidelity, owned by Eddie de Villiers has an all-South African crew aboard, with Mark Sadler as skipper, and many well know Cape Town sailors in the crew. At the time of writing the were sitting in 11th spot in the IRC A class, and hoping for a really good overall handicap position. These South Africans have previously won the Rolex Middle Sea Race, so they are a competitive bunch who look to do well.
At 241nm, the Giraglia is the perfect offshore race as it’s long enough to be challenging, but not exhausting. Rounding the Giraglia Rock is an exceptional moment no matter what time of day you do it. After that it’s all eyes on Genoa and arrival at the Yacht Club Italiano.
The race started in light south westerly breezes, and forecasts indicated light winds for most of the race.