This unique bond dates back more than half a century to a seminal partnership with the New York Yacht Club that shaped Rolex’s involvement in the sport. Today, Rolex has deep-rooted ties with the most prestigious yacht clubs, institutions and regattas in the world, sharing the highest standards of excellence with the custodians of yachting’s finest spirit.
Adventure, courage, determination, discovery and sportsmanship define the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, and reflect a sporting ethos with which Rolex is privileged to be associated. Staged every year since 1945, this classic offshore race demands the best from every crew member to overcome the challenging weather conditions on the 628-nautical-mile course between Sydney and Hobart, Tasmania. On 26 December thousands of spectators gather around Sydney’s beautiful harbour to see off the international fleet, ranging from 30-foot Corinthian-crewed boats to professionally sailed 100-foot Maxi yachts, as they embark on this formidable challenge.
Precision and excellence are essentials at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, for which the best skippers and crews are matched with the most advanced yachts. Attracting an impressive line-up of sailing power, the week-long event, held each September in Sardinia’s Porto Cervo on the Costa Smeralda, is a unique gathering for innovators of cutting-edge yachting technology. Created in 1980 by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and its president, the Aga Khan, the regatta is enduringly popular with professionals and Corinthians alike.
SailGP is a global championship featuring bold, cutting-edge technology and extraordinary skill and athleticism. The fan-centric inshore competition takes place in some of the world’s most famous harbours and culminates with a winner-takes-all match race. National teams compete in identical, supercharged F50 foiling catamarans, engineered for intense racing at speeds exceeding 50 knots (nearly 60 mph/100 kmh).
Revered by sailors worldwide as a supreme test of seamanship and navigation, the Rolex Fastnet Race has been pivotal to the brand’s association with offshore sailing for more than 20 years. This biennial challenge attracts many more applications than the 340-yacht limit imposed by the organizers, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, bringing together more than 2,500 sailors, professional and Corinthian alike. The race start, off the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes in the confines of the Solent, is a spectacular occasion, with the fleet then heading west through the Needles Channel along the south coast of England to cross the Celtic Sea and round the Fastnet Rock off the southern tip of Ireland. Historically the race finish has been in Plymouth but for the 2021 and 2023 editions, the race will culminate in Cherbourg, France, extending the course distance to 695 nautical miles.
Founded in 2008 and held in a different location each year, the Rolex TP52 World Championship is the highlight of the annual 52 Super Series, for which Rolex is also Official Timepiece. To be eligible, a boat must fit into a box whose dimensions cover, among other elements, length, draft and sail area. TP52s race in real time with victory going to the first vessel to cross the finish line. Inevitably, the winning team is the best prepared and most skilful. With such a closely matched fleet, timing is crucial. At this level, every second counts.