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Rumball & Lee Review 'Gruelling' Tour De Bretagne a La Voile & Prepare for Fastnet Race

27th July 2021
Rumball and Lee competed in the gruelling Tour De Bretagne a La Voile
Rumball and Lee competed in the Tour De Bretagne a La Voile

The Irish Offshore Sailing team RL Sailing, sponsored by Hanley Energy, recently completed the gruelling Tour De Bretagne a La Voile. The famous race was spread across several stages over nine days, with a combination of inshore and offshore racing in the one design Beneteau Figaro 3 fleet.

RL Sailing finished with a final 24th place in the overall series and 5th in the mixed teams. The race was an opportunity for the team to learn and progress in their first season of racing doublehanded in the circuit. The intense racing that included coastal races from port to port as well as inshore and offshore battles, provided the perfect environment to test speed, tactics and manoeuvres against a closely packed fleet. The event also brought in aspects of small boat racing as every start line hotly contested with plenty of general recalls and a huge significance placed on the first upwind leg.

“This event was much more intense than we ever previously thought it would be. It really challenges you as a sailor on every level. The format of short intense races really pushed the fleet and no race was ever over. Every place and position were hard fought!” Said skipper Kenneth Rumball.

Close racing in the Tour De Bretagne a La VoileClose racing in the Tour De Bretagne a La Voile

Kenny Rumball and Pamela LeeKenny Rumball and Pamela Lee“The shorter legs in this race meant we had more opportunity for post-race discussion and analysis and the chance to try different things the next day. Our goal for this race was to learn and improve as much as possible and with the support of Hanley Energy we certainly achieved that.” continues Skipper Pamela Lee.

 

For RL Sailing, the Tour De Bretagne was the team’s second Figaro 3 doublehanded race having competed in the Sardinha Cup in April this year. Both races have been a completely different format and challenge, with the Sardinha Cup including a stage over 500 nautical miles and lasting five days. The next and final race on the 2021 calendar for the team is the Rolex Fastnet Cherbourg. The Figaro fleet is racing in its own class within the race, and it will once again be a completely different challenge for the team as the one-design boats will be mixed in with the larger fleet of over 500 boats from all over the world. The complexities for a bigger fleet and a one-design race within it, as well as very different sailing conditions across the Irish Sea, will make for an exciting and challenging race.

“I’m really looking forward to the next challenge of the Fastnet, it’s going to be a great opportunity to get stuck into some complex navigation and continue learning and improving, and of course representing Ireland in doublehanded offshore racing,” comments skipper Pamela Lee.

Published in Fastnet, Figaro, Offshore

Fastnet Race Live Tracker 2021

Track the progress of the 2021 Fastnet Yacht Race fleet on the live tracker above 

The 49th edition of the 700-mile race organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club starts on Sunday, August 8th from Cowes.

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RORC Fastnet Race

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge.

For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between.

The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish for 2021 is in Cherbourg via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Cherbourg.

Fastnet Race - FAQs

The 49th edition of the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, UK on Sunday 8th August 2021.

The next two editions of the race in 2021 and 2023 will finish in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin at the head of the Normandy peninsula, France

Over 300. A record fleet is once again anticipated for the world's largest offshore yacht race.

The international fleet attracts both enthusiastic amateur, the seasoned offshore racer, as well as out-and-out professionals from all corners of the world.

Boats of all shapes, sizes and age take part in this historic race, from 9m-34m (30-110ft) – and everything in between.

The Fastnet Race multihull course record is: 1 day 4 hours 2 minutes and 26 seconds (2019, Ultim Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier)

The Fastnet Race monohull course record is: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing).

David and Peter Askew's American VO70 Wizard won the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race, claiming the Fastnet Challenge Cup for 1st in IRC Overall.

Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001.

The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result.

The winner of the first Fastnet Race was the former pilot cutter Jolie Brise, a boat that is still sailing today.

Cork sailor Henry P F Donegan (1870-1940), who gave his total support for the Fastnet Race from its inception in 1925 and competed in the inaugural race in his 43ft cutter Gull from Cork.

Ireland has won the Fastnet Race twice. In 1987 the Dubois 40 Irish Independent won the Fastnet Race overall for the first time and then in 2007 – all of twenty years after Irish Independent’s win – Ireland secured the overall win again this time thanks to Ger O’Rourke’s Cookson 50 Chieftain from the Royal Western Yacht Club of Ireland in Kilrush.

©Afloat 2020

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Fastnet Race 2023 Date

The 2023 50th Rolex Fastnet Race will start on Saturday, 22nd July 2023

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At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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