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The 2016 #giragliarolexcup will be archived as one of the most challenging. Starting light with a tactically demanding middle, it ended with a flourish; at times an alarming one. For many yachts the final leg from the Giraglia to Genoa will last long in the memory, as a bruising south-westerly wind built rapidly to 30 plus knots and whipped up the seas. Lasting from late on Thursday night to Friday morning, this wind added serious gasoline to the efforts of the slower yachts to overhaul the fastest in the race for the corrected time, and overall, win. When Gilles Pages and the French crew of Tip crossed the finish line in the early hours of Friday morning they moved to the top of the podium. On Saturday morning Tip was confirmed as the worthy winner of the 64th #giragliarolexcup. “We knew the weather forecast was favourable to a small boat before the start,” said a delighted Pages, who raced his Sunfast 36 with a crew of six other Corinthian sailors. “We managed the first part of the race very well, and rounded the Giraglia in good shape. We knew the second part would be difficult with the building wind, but the crew were not tired and the boat was comfortable in the conditions. My crew is experienced. We have been successful this season, and last year won our class here, so we were well-prepared.” In recognition of his success, Pages was awarded the #rolex Challenge Trophy and a #rolex Submariner timepiece. RECORD FLEET The 2016 race will be noted too for a record total fleet of 268 entrants and its eclectic composition. Yachts represented 18 nations, ranged in size from 6.5 metres to 30.5 metres, comprised solo crews and those of 20 or more, and included designs from the early 1900s and those launched this year. And, as always, it will be revered for its generous dose of camaraderie, for its unfailing ability to live up to the philosophy of its founding fathers.
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