Well, there’s been something in the air for long enough about the future of the Rolex Fastnet Race writes W M Nixon.
Back in September 2018, we were testing a few ideas about where it might go here
And on revisiting the column, we find that it has been getting hits ever since. Then the Plymouth Herald did a bit of speculation as reported by Afloat.ie’s MacDara Conroy, and there was indeed something in the wind, for as revealed today with the “sudden" announcement that Cherbourg is to be the finishing port in 2021 and 2023, we have – as the new "co-owners" of the race would put it – a fait accompli, a coup d’etat of very complete type (whatever that is in French, and whatever you’re having yourself.)
French boats have won something like three out of the last four Fastnet Races, and even though the most recent this year was won by the American Wizard, there were French boats dominant as usual in all other classes. They probably have increasingly proprietorial feelings towards the race. And with today’s bombshell definite news, the way is clear for making more of a song and dance about the new French finish port at this year’s Paris Boat Show, which starts in ten days' time. But that said, it’s still Ireland’s rock and always will be. So now that it’s apparent there’s serious new money floating around the Fastnet Race, maybe Cork County Council should be preparing an invoice for Cherbourg council, and no April Fool either.