Displaying items by tag: Rolex Fastnet Race
After a record breaking Rolex Fastnet Race, the final race of the RORC Season's Points Championship takes place this weekend writes Louay Habib. After a scintillating season of racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club, current weather models pAfter a record breaking Rolex Fastnet Race, the final race of the RORC Season's Points Championship takes place this weekend. After a scintillating season of racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club, current weather models predict a light airs race, in sharp contrast to a very windy season.
In IRC Zero Derek Saunders' CM 60, Venomous, has already clinched the class title but no doubt the team will be celebrating in style in Cherbourg, as this is their first series win with the yacht after three years of trying.
Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, has already wrapped up the class win in IRC One and after competing in nine races this season, the sky blue flyer is sitting out the race to Cherbourg. However, in IRC Two Neil Kipling's J/122, Joopster, needs to get a result against Ross Appleby's Oyster 48, Scarlet Oyster, to be sure of the season win. Neither of these yachts has won their class for the RORC Season's Points Championship before but the conditions and the points favour Joopster to take their first RORC Season's Points Championship win.
Noel Racine's JPK 10.10, Foggy Dew, has an unassailable lead in IRC Three after picking up maximum points in the Rolex Fastnet Race but the team from Le Havre are still competing in the final race of the season.
IRC Four has been incredibly competitive and after a long and exciting season, the class title looks like going to French JPK 9.60, Ultreia!, skippered by Matthias Kracht. However Harry Heijst's S&S 41, Winsome, and Nigel Goodhew's Sigma 38, Persephone of London, are also racing to Cherbourg and will have a close battle for the runner up spot in IRC Four.
Matthias Kracht, skipper of Ultreia!, is a surgeon but he is obviously proficient in mathematics as he explained:
"By my calculations Ultreia! has a good enough points score in the Two-Handed Class to win the title for the season but we can still be beaten in IRC Four by two yachts, Jean Yves Chateau's Iromiguy, and also Ian Braham's Enigma, so we have decided to race to Cherbourg with a full crew to try to get a good result in IRC Four. Only two yachts have won both the Two-Handed Class and their IRC Class in the same season and they were both British yachts, Slingshot and Psipsina. So it would be a great achievement if we can add a French yacht to that."
Late entries for the RORC Cherbourg Race are possible until Thursday, 1st September, for more information visit: www.rorc.org <http://www.rorc.org>
Search and rescue mapping software developed in Rhode Island was "instrumental" in efforts to retrieve crewmembers from the stricken Rambler 100 off Fastnet last week.
The SARMAP software, developed by ASA (Applied Science Associates, Inc) provides rapid predictions of the movement of drifting objects and missing persons at sea.
For search and rescue units it can provide search patterns and calculate the probability of containment, probability of detection, and probability of success.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Rambler 100 capsized off the Cork coast while competing in last weekend's Rolex Fastnet Race.
The Rambler 100’s personal locator beacon activated when the yacht overturned, which alerted rescuers to the location of the 16 stranded crewmembers still with the vessel, but recovering the five lost at sea required a more advanced approach.
The Irish Coast Guard used SARMAP’s sophisticated tracking capabilities to predict the movement of the drifting survivors and calculate a precise search area.
ASA president Eoin Howlett commented: “We have successfully worked with the Irish Coast Guard for many years; they are an innovative agency and have a history of implementing the latest in ocean technologies.
"We are very pleased that our software, combined with their rapid decision-making, resulted in such a positive outcome.”
According to ferry operator Kevin O'Brien, there were no passengers on board at the time and the vessel got under way again when it was lifted from the rocks with the tide. Mr O'Brien added "this was a very minor incident and there was no damage to the ferry. Doolin is tidal so these things do happen. Even a few inches of water can make a difference".
The Irish Coast Guard was notified of the incident at midday, and its marine rescue co-ordination centre in Dublin requested that members of the local Coast Guard unit board the vessel to assess if there was a pollution risk.
Doolin Coast Guard personnel carried out an inspection and confirmed the ferry had not been damaged and there was no risk of pollution. At about 2.15pm the ferry got under way again with the tide. The company was able to operate services to and from the Aran Islands with its second vessel.
An Australian crewmember on the stricken Rambler 100, which capsized in high winds during yesterday's Rolex Fastnet Race, has told reported that he feels "lucky to be alive".
Mike Motti was one of five crew who were separated from the yacht when it overturned near Fastnet Rock off the Cork coast.
He and his fellow crewmembers spent two hours adrift on a liferaft before they were rescued in foggy conditions which made the search all the more difficult.
“I’m feeling lucky to be alive, happy to be here and it’s great to see the local people here to greet us,” Motti told The Irish Times.
Fellow crewman Michael van Beuren said the yacht capsized within 30 seconds when its keel fin snapped in heavy seas.
A US entrant in this year's Rolex Fastnet Race capsizsed near Fastnet Rock off the Cork coast earlier this evening, The Irish Times reports.
Further to our previous report, The Irish Times notes that 22 people were on board the Rambler 100, which overturned in force-five winds at around 6.30pm this evening.
The Department of Transport confirmed that all crew have been accounted for, with 16 sitting in the hull of the boat and the remainer on life rafts.
Rambler 100 rounds the Fastnet Rock. Photo: Daniel Forster/Rolex
RNLI Baltimore's lifeboat and the Irish Coast Guard are currently attending. Coastguard helicopters have also been dispatched, with naval vessel LE Clara giving assistance. The rescue effort has been hampered by misty conditions in the area this evening.
Baltimore lifeboat at the scene of the capsized Rambler 100. Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
Rambler 100 recently set a new world record for the almost 3,000-nautical mile transatlantic crossing from Newport, Rhode Island to Lizard Point in Cornwall with a time of 6 days, 22 hours, 8 minutes and 2 seconds.
In other Fastnet action, there was disaster in IRC Z this afternoon for co-skippers Karl Kwok and Jim Swartz’s Farr 80 Beau Geste (HKG).
The yacht suffered a ‘structural problem’ while mid-away across the Celtic Sea en route to the Rock. She has since turned her bow back towards Land’s End.
Yesterday there was another high profile retirement when Johnny Vincent’s TP52 Pace (GBR) returned to her berth in the Hamble with mast problems.
In the Class 40s John Harris’ GryphonSolo2 (USA) has also pulled out, retiring to Dartmouth with sail damage.
- Rolex Fastnet Race
- Irish Coast Guard
- Search and Rescue
- Fastnet Rock
- Department of Transport
- world record
- Land's End
- Rambler 100
- RNLI Baltimore
- IRC Z
- Kark Kwok
- Jim Swart
- Farr 80
- Beau Geste
- Johnny Vincent
- John Harris
- Class 40
The waiting is nearly over: the 44th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race, one of the great ocean challenges, is exactly a month away. With a staggering 350 entrants at the ready, 1979's record-breaking tally of 303 participating yachts will almost certainly be surpassed. The sheer size of the fleet is impressive. Its quality and diversity quite breathtaking. Inspiring and exhilarating in equal measure, there is every reason to believe that the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race will maintain the event's pioneering and prestigious tradition.
The numbers game
Due to the Rolex Fastnet's unique allure, event organisers the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) never have any difficulty ensuring that there is a large and impressive fleet in attendance. This year is no exception. Entries came in thick and fast and were closed within ten days of opening in January. However, the requests kept arriving. After being inundated with additional enquiries from the Volvo Open 70s, the IMOCA 60s, Class 40s and Multihulls to join the 608-nautical mile marathon, the RORC adjusted the entry limit to allow these 'professional' classes to be counted above the initial cut-off mark.
The Rolex Fastnet Race commences from Cowes on Sunday 14 August (the first signal sounds at 10:50 BST). Whilst crews with the ambition of being the fastest to the finish will hope to spend only one or two nights at sea, spare a thought for those at the back of the pack, for whom a near week in often punishing conditions may be the order of the day. Rambler 100 enjoying
Short of a catastrophic breakdown, the fastest boat on the water at the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race will be the 100-foot trimaran, Banque Populaire (FRA), which just broke the round the Britain Isles record by almost a day and a half. However, the battle for monohull line honours is the most anticipated clash and is expected to be the privilege of two other 100-ft challengers: Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard (GBR), first elapsed-time finisher in the past two editions, and arch-rivals George David's Rambler 100 (USA). The two crews know each other extremely well, given their series of tussles in recent months. A head-to-head battle in the Transatlantic Race, which saw Rambler 100 ease to line honours after ICAP Leopard lost her bowsprit, the freshest encounter. "Having won the Rolex Fastnet Race twice, the big play is to win three in a row, which would be quite exceptional," explains Slade, whose yacht also holds the course record of 1 day, 20 hours and 18 minutes [set in 2007]. "During the RORC Caribbean 600, Rambler 100 proved to be the faster boat in her ideal conditions. However, Rambler 100 may also need to protect herself in bad weather, more than ICAP Leopard. We feel we have a good chance in light and heavy airs, it is the bit in between that we might have a problem! I am really looking forward to the Fastnet, it should be a very exciting race but above all else, I don't want to lose our record to Rambler 100, that would be heartbreaking and we will vigorously defend it."
Rambler 100 is as keen to renew hostilities. "We're anticipating sailing in Cowes Week from 9-11 August and hope ICAP Leopard and others will be competing as well," explains David, "we've had three races together already, the Caribbean 600, the Annapolis to Newport and now the Transatlantic Race. Rambler 100 took line honours and corrected ahead of ICAP Leopard in all three." David is fervent about the upcoming Fastnet Race and describes his own personal highlights of the parcours: "Beating out through The Needles in a huge fleet, the beauty of the south coast of England, the approach to the [Fastnet] Rock, and the wind and weather conditions all over the place." Whilst these two ocean greyhounds are clear monohull line honours favourites, they may not have it all their own way. There is the significant presence of six Volvo 70s, including two of the latest breed: Abu Dhabi (UAE) and Groupama IV (FRA). Then there is the Mini Maxi class including defending Rolex Fastnet handicap winner, the 72-ft Rán (GBR), owned by Niklas Zennström, in addition to Andres Soriano's Mills 68 Alegre (GBR), a fantastic campaigner in the Mediterranean in recent seasons. Throwing in the American challengers, the STP65 Vanquish, and the Reichel-Pugh 66 Zaraffa, who like ICAP Leopard and Rambler 100 competed in the Transatlantic Race, it promises to be a tight contest at the top of the fleet.
Tales from the foreign third
Of the record breaking 350 yachts competing at this year's Rolex Fastnet Race, approximately a third are non-British crews. A scan of the 2011 entry list highlights the global pull of the event, with yachts competing from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE and the USA. Karl Kwok, owner of the 80-ft Beau Geste (HKG), will be taking part in the event for the third time. "I am definitely here for the challenge as this is one of the most interesting and competitive offshore races in the world," he explains. "My first time here was in 1995, followed by my second appearance in the last edition [in 2009]. We did well on that occasion, but it could be better still!" Kwok adores offshore racing: "For me the top three blue water offshore classics are the Fastnet, Sydney to Hobart and Newport to Bermuda – in that order. And Rolex has the top two!" Beau Geste will be another yacht snapping at the heels of the 100-footers and also arrive in Cowes fresh from competing in the Transatlantic Race.
One overseas crew in particular has reason to treasure its association with the Rolex Fastnet. Six years ago, Frenchman Jean Yves Chateau's 33-ft Nicholson Iromiguy won the competition on corrected time, the first time in three decades that the overall prize had been won by a yacht under 40 feet. For the Saint Malo-based skipper, the victory was both a surprise and a fulfilment of an ambition: "To win the Rolex Fastnet Race was like a childhood dream, it is like an 'Everest' in my life and in the life of each member of my crew: absolutely fantastic, unbelievable, gorgeous, not to mention the incredible fact of having beaten all the big guys. It was also very important for me to be the third French sailor to win this race and to have my name engraved on this Cup close to Eric Tabarly [the legendary French skipper who won the race in 1967]!" Regarding the 'draw' of the Rolex Fastnet, Chateau continues: "It is a mythical race. This year will be our seventh time and we are always very pleased and enthusiastic to participate with the crazy dream of winning it one more time." Amongst the sizeable French contingent is the intriguing story of the IMOCA 60 DCNS 100 (FRA), sailed by skipper Marc Thiercelin and his famous apprentice, former downhill skier and endurance motorsport driver, Luc Alphand <http://www.regattanews.com/pressrelease.asp?pid=100549&;lang=1> . DCNS 100 is one of seven IMOCA 60s, including Cheminées Poujoulat (SUI) launched in May this year.
John Towers is helming the J/122 Oojah (GBR) with a US-based crew joining British boat owner Peter Tanner, their navigator for the race. The English Channel is some distance from their usual racing haven of the east coast of the United States. "As a group of Americans, we consider the Rolex Fastnet Race to be a once in a lifetime adventure that is a natural compliment to our passion for distance racing," explains Towers, "the Fastnet is a big deal for us and an adventure that we have been planning for the last two years." Tanner continues: "Our goal will be the same as any other race we enter. Priority one is a safe passage. Priority two is that the experience is very positive for all members of the crew. Our third priority is to be competitive."
Triple TP52 challenge
The three TP52s competing at the Rolex Fastnet Race will resume their engagement having been near inseparable at the recent Giraglia Rolex Cup. On that occasion, Franck Noël's Near Miss (SUI) finished the 243-nautical mile race less than two minutes ahead of Johnny Vincent's Pace (GBR). Bryon Ehrhart's Lucky (USA) was only a further hour behind. On corrected time, only seven places separated the three crews, with Pace coming out on top. Over a considerably longer distance, this 'race within a race' will be one to follow come August.
Back of the pack
The crew of the Contessa-32 Drumbeat (GBR) will likely have one opportunity to admire ICAP Leopard and Rambler 100 - during the passage out of the Solent. For co-skippers and brothers-in-law, Mark Himsworth and Pierre Walrafen, the race ahead will be one of endurance and, at times, solitude: "It feels amazing to be one of the smallest and slowest boats competing, tacking or gybing down the Solent against much larger and faster machines after the start. All the while competing on handicap directly against them," explains Himsworth, who will be taking part in the Rolex Fastnet for a third time. The reality soon becomes quite different, as Himsworth reveals: "After 24 hours, most of the competition is long gone. Thereafter it's occasionally difficult to keep your mind away from the thought of the faster boats turning towards (or arriving at) Plymouth while ours plugs steadily westwards round Land's End. It's a pretty solitary undertaking when you're on watch and your co-skipper's sleeping and none of your competitors are visible, but that's all part of the attraction, and there's still plenty going on in Plymouth when we arrive!"
The main trophy for overall victory in the Rolex Fastnet is the Fastnet Challenge Cup. In addition, there are more than 30 additional trophies that will be awarded at the prize giving on Friday, 19 August at the historic Royal Citadel, home of the 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, overlooking Plymouth Sound and Sutton Harbour, where the majority of the fleet will berth.
Further information on the Rolex Fastnet Race may be found at http://fastnet.rorc.org/