LIVE Giraglia, set off! 30 knots of wind is expected. Who stays in the game, who leaves

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Grand Soleil 44 Windwhisper winner of the coasts in ORC1. How will he fare in the “long” run?

Giraglia 2024, it’s on! It promises to be a tough, if not memorable, regatta this year.

Loro Piana Giraglia 2024 – Gone!

Compared to what we told you yesterday, a few things have changed for the 243-mile offshore race that starts today from Saint Tropez (after the start a short coastal stretch to the Ile du Levant, then the descent to the Giraglia and the return to the finish line in Genoa).

We said, it will be very tough. Almost all forecast models talking about winds of no less than 25 knots, especially around the Giraglia lighthouse in northern Corsica, the “natural buoy” of the great Mediterranean offshore classic, for the first time with Loro Piana as the main partner. But there are also tougher forecasts, with gusts up to 40 knots and 3-meter waves.

A weather picture that, if confirmed, hints at a race in favor of the large maxis, which will have about 24 to 30 hours of sustained wind, before a drop expected late Thursday afternoon that could then slow the slower hulls. But the situation is rapidly evolving, and, for sure at the moment, there remains the strong wind that will accompany everyone on the first 120-mile edge to the Giraglia islet.

Those who leave and those who play it all

Weather conditions that are expected to be very challenging have caused some “noisy” defections: all of the WallyCento, the Wally 93 Bullitt, winner of the last Rolex Middle Sea Race, among others, and the Maxi Flying Nikka. The 100-footer ARCA SGR, one of the favorites for line honors, also forfeited before the start due to a technical problem.

But there are those who instead line up on the starting line and will give it their all to make history: because here it is a matter of breaking the race course record, which has stood since 2012, the conditions are there. In fact, it was back in 2012 when the 30-meter maxi Esimit Europa 2 (formerly Alfa Romeo) captained by Igor Simcic (skippered by Olympic legend Jochen Schuemann) completed the 243 miles in 14 hours, 56 minutes and 16 seconds. The maxi’s average speed was about 18 knots, with peaks of 30 around the Giraglia lighthouse.

Eyes then turned to the
first to cross the finish line in the last edition, the 100-foot Black Jack 100 by Remon Vos
.

Leaving after disalbering

This Loro Piana Giraglia also returns us with stories of resilience: this is the case, for example, of Argentine Lucas Massa’s Wally 60 Boabunda, which despite having dismasted shows up on the starting line with a patched mast and mainsail. In order to leave.

Who will win?

For the overall victory (awarded to the winner of the largest category, the IRC) the special observers are the various Tp52s in racing, as Red Bandit winner of the 2023 edition or but also watch out for Ker 46s such as Gianni Di Vincenzo‘s Italian Lisa R, winner in 2022 and the various JPKs (from 10.10 to 11.80), which on long IRCs are very high performing boats. Never forgetting the “little ones,” who under uncertain conditions of arrival in Genoa for the maxis might even take advantage of it. The past has taught us how surprises are never lacking at the Giraglia (remember, for example, when an old Hallberg-Rassy 41 won?).

The winners of the coastal regattas

Yesterday, however, the Loro Piana Giraglia Coastal, a 4-day regatta in the Gulf of Saint Tropez, ended. These winners:

Maxi A: Jethou – Sir Peter Ogden – Maxi 77 (1,6,3,1,1,4 his partials)
Maxi B: Walliño – Benoît de Froidmont – Wally 60 (1,1,1,2,3,1)
IRC 1: Daguet 3 – Frederic Puzin – KER 46 (7,1,3,7)
IRC 2: Expresso – Guy Clayes – JPK 10.10 (3,1,1,5)
ORC 1: Windwhisper44 – Marcin Sutkowski – GS 44 (1,1,4,4)
ORC 2: Melagodo – Luca De Luca – First 34.7 (1,1,1,1)

 

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