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Matthew Podger: The Biggest Sailing Events of 2023

Matthew Podger is an experienced business leader and an active competitive sailor in his spare time. From the Rolex Giraglia to the Little Britain Challenge Cup, this article will provide an overview of some of the biggest sailing events of 2023.

The Rolex Giraglia

A truly classic event. According to legend, the Rolex Giraglia was created by Franco Gavagnin, Yacht Club Italiano President Beppe Croce and Yacht Club de France President René Levainville one evening in December 1952 while the three men were enjoying a long dinner in a Parisian bistro. They came up with the concept of a yacht race running from Saint-Tropez to Genoa with the aim of promoting French-Italian relations in the wake of the Second World War.

The first edition of the Giraglia Cup was staged in 1953, with 22 boats at the start. Over the years the number of participants has steadily grown, and in 1997 the event was relaunched as the Rolex Giraglia Cup, before becoming the Rolex Giraglia in 2018.

The Silicon Cup Regatta

Staged in Port Solent, Portsmouth, UK, the Silicon Cup Regatta is a thrilling event that invites teams to enjoy two days of yacht racing in a region synonymous with sailing. Besides presenting an opportunity for sailing enthusiasts to compete and have fun, the event was created with the goal of raising money for worthy causes, having raised more than £1 million for charity since its inception.

Les Voiles de Saint Tropez Regatta

Ending the Mediterranean sailing season, this famous classic regatta brings together 300 yachts, both ancient and contemporary, to compete against each other.

Featuring yachts up to a century old driven by the first winds of autumn, this action-packed race sees yachts bear down on each other with just metres to spare, sails billowing and snapping with crewmembers poised for action. During the evenings, the yachts return to arguably the world’s most opulent fishing port, where sailors and yacht owners can enjoy the very finest in French cuisine.

The Little Britain Challenge Cup

The UK property and construction industry’s number one regatta, the Little Britain Challenge Cup brings together thousands of individuals from across the industry to sail, fundraise and socialise together.

The event is the brainchild of Phil Davis, Steve Green and Peter Thompson, who came up with the idea while working as consultants on the Little Britain Office Development at London Wall. Launched in 1988, by 1998 the event attracted some 110 entrants, increasing to 268 boats by 2008. Over the years, thousands of professionals engaged in the UK property and construction sector have sailed in the Little Britain Challenge Cup, a sailing event that is known and loved for its excellent sailing and great atmosphere. The regatta retains the same principles as it did at its launch: to unite industry friends through sailing while raising money for worthy causes.

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