'Arabella' currently lies 2nd out of over 300 boats in the RORC Overall Series behind Piet Vroon"s Kerr 46 Tonnerre de Breskens. Crew for the Fastnet will include Class 40 sailor John Cunningham, GBR Olympic Finn coach Matt Howard, Volvo sailor Craig Bowie. Also on board Dowling's long term friend, skipper and double handed campaigner Michael Boyd a veteran of many Fastnet campaigns the first of which was on the Irish Admirals Cup team in 1983 will further bolster the offshore experience. The dynamic duo of Peter Knight and Aaron Cooper both amongst the elite graduates of the Solent Keelboat Academy will cover roles of bowman and navigator respectively.
When asked about the campaign Dowling said "this campaign is all about getting a group of friends that used to sail a lot together back out there. Nick and I used to race dinghies, instructed sailing together in Dun Laoghaire and campaigned offshore. Nick has been doing lot of competitive team racing but until this campaign the last offshore race we did together with Michael was the Round Ireland race in 2006 ... . The RORC Eddystone Race in May definitely showed there were no cobwebs as Nick drove most of the way back from the lighthouse topping out at 22.6 knots and averaging mid teens! John although normally based in the US has been doing a fellowship at Cambridge University and has been on board since the boat arrived". Irish Olympic Finn sailor Tim Goodbody and the National Yacht Club's now Brighton based boat designer Jonny Coate are also regulars on board. For the Fastnet there will be a competitive fleet of 77 boats in IRC2 where 'Arabella' currently lies 2nd in the series behind RORC commodore Andrew Mc Irvine's First 40 'La Reponse'.