Uniting racing under the beguiling light of early summer Saint-Tropez, cutting-edge contemporary yacht design in the stunning waters of the Costa Smeralda, world-class one-design racing in the shadow of the Golden Gate bridge and endurance sailing through the tempestuous, brooding Bass Strait, the Rolex yachting season is truly global, positively diverse, always enthralling.

Destination Asia

Commencing in Hong Kong shortly before Easter weekend, the Asian blue water classic the Rolex China Sea Race (16-21 April), runs some 565-nm to Subic Bay, The Philippines and acts as the first event of the season. Inaugurated in 1962, this offshore race is steeped in history, representing a symbol of the permanence and popularity of sailing in the Far East.

Camaraderie and competition

Focus then switches to the summer season in the Mediterranean, commencing on the mystic island of Capri for May’s traditional Rolex Capri Sailing Week (19-24 May). Conditions on the racecourse weave the idyllic and testing, the witnessing rock formations provide a dramatic backdrop and the alluring island once graced by glitterati retains the scent of its dolce vita era. Among those competing this year is sailing legend and Rolex Testimonee Paul Cayard.

Timeless mediterranean classic

June’s Giraglia Rolex Cup (13-21 June), the Mediterranean’s oldest and most famous offshore race, held each year since 1953, is a multi-faceted competition, drawing together the glitz and splendour of artists’ haven Saint-Tropez, three days of inshore sailing and an intense but relatively short offshore race around the Giraglia rock off the northern tip of Corsica. Noted for its prevailing Corinthian spirit, the event regularly welcomes a fleet in excess of 200 yachts.

Sailing paradise

Porto Cervo, Sardinia is the next port of call with back-to-back classics held in early September. The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup (31 August - 6 September), like spring’s Baselworld for the watch industry, is an unmissable rendezvous for those captivated by, and at the forefront of, the most thought-provoking thinking in sophisticated design and technology in their field. The world’s largest, fastest, most cutting-edge monohull yachts, otherwise known as Maxis, do battle.

Marking its 25th edition this year, the competition hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda is not only defined by outstanding yachts and the cream of professional sailing talent onboard. The waters and conditions of the Costa Smeralda are often described as the most perfect for sailing on the planet: a web of rocky outcrops, challenging and varied wind conditions, enchanting turquoise waters.

Swan convention

The intensity and interest does not relent a week later when Porto Cervo hosts the Rolex Swan Cup (8-14 September). Nautor’s Swan first came to prominence in the late 1960s, with the launch of the first series-produced fibre-class yacht. Every two years, since 1980, the Swan fleet has gathered in Sardinia where owners, crews and guests meet for a week of frenetic activity on and off the water. 2014 marks the 18th edition of the event, considered the very embodiment of ‘gentlemen’ sailing, and most significantly the 30th anniversary of the relationship between Nautor’s Swan and Rolex.

Malta’s moment

The Mediterranean season closes with an offshore classic, the Rolex Middle Sea Race (18-25 October), a 606-nm anticlockwise race around Sicily, starting and finishing in Malta. Tactical, scenic and taking in seas marked by defining moments in history; the event offers a challenging and festive finale.

Close combat

The annual Rolex Farr 40 Worlds (15-18 October), held in a different venue each year, comprises one of the world’s most prominent one-design competitions. The Farr 40’s timeless, modern design has risen above the norm, outlived expectation, and significantly outlasted the competition. San Francisco, fresh from witnessing a dramatic America’s Cup, will host the 2014 competition. Over four days, exhilarating racing is guaranteed.

This is high-pressure sailing of the highest pedigree, where timing is a key factor. Split seconds count. The race start is particularly tense, as crews must time their arrival on the start line to perfection. A moment too early and they must restart. Too late and they face an uphill battle to stay in contention. Come the race finish, mere seconds and fractions of boat lengths separate the leading yachts.

International and Iconic

Closing the 2014 calendar and regarded as one of the world’s greatest sporting occasions, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (26 December – 1 January) is not just icon of the sport in Australia it boasts a global reputation.

Following its annual start – watched by over a million people worldwide – from Sydney on 26 December, the famous racecourse leads the fleet down the New South Wales coast of the Tasman Sea and across the Bass Strait to Hobart, capital of Australia’s island state, Tasmania. The 2014 edition is the 70th running of this endurance classic, and celebrations will be suitably momentous.

ABOUT REGATTANEWS is an online media resource for Rolex yachting events worldwide. To receive daily news reports during events and further feature stories or to download high-resolution images, copyright free for editorial purposes, register at


Key Partners (KPMS) E: T: +41 32 724 2829