Peter Harburg’s Australian 100-footer takes Line Honours in the Rolex Giraglia 70

Peter Harburg’s Australian 100-footer takes Line Honours in the Rolex Giraglia 70

The 100-footer (which set the race record in 2012 as Esimit Europa 2), crossed the finish line in Genoa at 11:33:16 after 26h30m16s of racing.

It was an impeccable regatta for the big maxi which led the fleet all the way back from the Giraglia to Genoa and so won the Rolex Trophy for the first in real-time to cross the finish. On board Black Jack was a crew of stars including Adam Beashel, Scott Beavis, Simon Daubney and many others… More than a crew, a Hall of Fame of Olympic winners, America’s Cup sailors and legends of the Ocean Race.

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We will have to wait until the rest of the fleet arrives to see the winner of the Rolex Giraglia 70, which is awarded to the best in corrected time of the most numerous class (IRC). “It was a marvellous race,” said Peter Harburg at the finish, “together with the Rolex Fastnet and the Rolex Sydney Hobart, I only needed this and I couldn’t be happier to be here. I’ve had Black Jack for five years and we have made some important updates, shortening the stern, moving the mast forward, new sails and a longer keel and rudder. With much of the crew we have sailed together for more than 25 years and I can say we are a well-knit group since the times of the first Black Jack, a R/P of 66 feet that I started with.”

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The key moment of a Rolex Giraglia which proved a long upwind fight was the rounding of the islet: “We came to a halt there just after midnight,” said German helmsman and expert Jochen Schümann on Magic Carpet 3, “There we lost our lead and saw Black Jack pull away in the night thanks to a puff of air it found. It was there that it took the lead it maintained as far as Genoa. We were stuck for about an hour with a dozen boats in the same state, so close that sometimes I worried we would bump into each other.”

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“For us it was the longest regatta we had sailed in,” said Roberto Lacorte of FlyingNikka, “and we came out of it very satisfied although we flew only three hours out of 25 of racing. It was very important to understand the limits of man-boat integration in a long race, we managed to respect shifts and rest when we were tired, even during the acceleration between 25 and 30 kn when we found enough wind to take off. The boat proved reliable, it was a beautiful regatta and we are very satisfied with the result.” The flying Mills rounded the islet at 1.31 last night and crossed the finish at 13.46 this afternoon.

With the first group of 31 maxis in group 0 arriving today, from tonight the smaller yachts currently between Corsica and Genoa will start arriving for the last leg of the 90 miles of the Rolex Giraglia 2023.

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