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Displaying items by tag: Kilmore Quay

RNLI lifesavers from Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour to feature in new series of TV documentary Saving Lives at Sea

The volunteer lifeboat crews of Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour RNLI will be taking to the small screen on Tuesday 12 October as they feature in the eighth episode of the BBC TV series Saving Lives at Sea.

Real-life rescue footage gives a frontline view of how the charity’s lifesavers risk their own lives as they go to the aid of those in danger at sea and strive to save everyone.

Now in its sixth series, the 10-part documentary showcases the lifesaving work of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews from around Ireland and the UK. The series is on BBC Two on Tuesdays at 8 pm as well as being available on BBC iPlayer following broadcast.

Real rescue footage is accompanied by emotive interviews from the volunteer lifeboat crews alongside the people they rescue and their families.

This forthcoming episode, on Tuesday 12 October, sees Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour RNLI, along with Rescue 117, conduct a joint rescue operation off the Wexford coast. As Afloat reported at the time, The Lily B, a 100m general cargo vessel with nine crew onboard and carrying 4,000 tonnes of coal, lost all power two nautical miles from Hook Head last October. Conditions on scene were Force 8 with severe Force 9 gusts and wave heights between eight and 10 metres. The Lily B was drifting and in danger of striking rocks on Hook Head or capsizing in the heavy seas.

The 12-hour service in challenging conditions saw multiple attempts by the lifeboat crews involved to establish a tow between the casualty vessel and the lifeboats. With the crew of the Lily B unable to stay on deck for long in the poor conditions and with language difficulties, two of the lifeboats were eventually successful in passing a rope on deck by using a rocket line and pulling the cargo vessel clear of the rocks. The lifeboat tow was maintained for three hours with waves continually crashing over the decks until the tug vessel Tramontine from Waterford Port arrived on scene and took up the tow. The three lifeboats stayed with the Lily B until they reached the safety of the Waterford Estuary. The rescue operation was finally stood down after 12 hours at sea for the lifeboat crews.

The three lifeboat crews involved are now to receive gallantry awards from the RNLI for their role in the rescue.

Neville Murphy, one of the Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat crew members featured in the forthcoming episode, said: ‘It's great that we can showcase the lifesaving work of RNLI volunteers in a TV programme like this. Without the generous support and donations from the public, we wouldn’t be able to save lives at sea and it’s great to be able to share what we do with our supporters from the comfort of their own home’

During 2020, RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launched 945 times with their volunteer crews coming to the aid of 1,147 people, 13 of whom were lives saved.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Kilmore Quay RNLI rescued three people on Saturday afternoon (28 August) after their 6.3m cruiser got into difficulty 50 miles off the Wexford coast while they were on an angling day trip.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather Tamar class relief lifeboat Victor Freeman, by the Irish Coast Guard at 1.30pm to assess the situation where the vessel was reported to be taking on water 50 miles south of Kilmore Quay. Tenby RNLI in Wales was also requested and the station’s all-weather lifeboat, also a Tamar, launched too.

Kilmore Quay RNLI’s lifeboat under Coxswain Philip Walsh and with four crew members onboard launched within minutes and made its way to the scene where a fishing trawler was also standing by to assist.

The cruiser had launched earlier that day from Kilmore Quay for a day’s deep-sea fishing. Weather and sea conditions were good at the time. However, when the crew noticed their boat was taking on water, they turned to return to shore and called for assistance.

Both lifeboats arrived on scene within minutes of each other with the crews first checking that all onboard were safe and well. Having assessed the situation, a decision was made to allow the cruiser to continue to make its way back to port under its own power escorted by the Kilmore Quay RNLI while Tenby RNLI returned to their station.

All arrived safely back to Kilmore Quay at 7.05 pm.

Fishing boat

Meanwhile a week earlier, Kilmore Quay RNLI came to the aid of the crew onboard a 24m fishing trawler that had run aground on their return from fishing grounds to their home port. On this occasion on Saturday 21 August, the crew were requested to launch at 6.22am and assess the situation two miles east of Kilmore Quay.

The lifeboat under Coxswain Eugene Kehoe and with five crew members onboard arrived on scene within 10 minutes of launching and again checked that all onboard were safe. A decision was made to establish a towline to free the vessel, but the falling tide made it impossible to move the vessel at that time. It was agreed to return later when the rising tide would allow the vessel to be more easily released. The crew of the fishing vessel remained onboard to monitor their boat.

At 4pm, Kilmore Quay RNLI returned and re-assessed the situation before successfully establishing a towline and freeing the vessel. The boat returned to Kilmore Quay under escort by the lifeboat and another fishing vessel as a precaution.

Speaking following both call outs, Kilmore Quay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager John Grace, said: ‘During the first call out, the falling tide did not allow for the boat to be freed so it became a waiting game until the tide came back to a level to allow us to safely try again and on the second attempt the crew were successful. The fishing crew did a great job monitoring the situation onboard until it became possible to free it again with assistance from our lifeboat crew.

‘In what was the second call out in a week, we were happy to see that the boat’s crew was able to return safely to Kilmore Quay under the boat’ own power. The crew made the right decision to call for assistance when they did as they were in a precarious position taking on water in a busy shipping lane.

‘We would remind anyone planning a trip to sea to always wear a lifejacket and to always carry a means of calling for help. If you do get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Kilmore Quay RNLI rescued four people early this morning (Thursday 12 August) after their yacht got into difficulty and subsequently sank 50 miles off the Wexford coast.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather Tamar class lifeboat Killarney at 2.44am to attend to the 14m yacht which had sustained a damaged rudder 50 miles south of Kilmore Quay while on passage from Dublin to Vigo in Spain.

Under coxswain Eugene Kehoe and with four crew onboard, the lifeboat immediately launched and made its way to the scene. They were updated on the way that the yacht’s crew had made the decision to turn back and slowly make their way to Kilmore Quay.

Arriving at the location at 5.30am, the lifeboat crew checked that all onboard the yacht were safe and well before assessing its situation. It was decided to set up a towline and return the vessel to the nearest port which was Kilmore Quay.

As the yacht began to take on water, the lifeboat crew placed a salvage pump on the vessel. But such was the speed at which the vessel was taking on water, it was not enough to deal with the situation.

A second salvage pump was requested by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter from Waterford, Rescue 117, which was also tasked to the scene.

However, it was decided at this stage to remove the four people from the yacht and transfer them safely onto Kilmore Quay RNLI’s lifeboat. The yacht subsequently sank.

The lifeboat brought the four casualties safely back to Kilmore Quay where they arrived at around 11am.

Speaking following the call out, Kilmore Quay RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager John Grace said: “It is always sad when a vessel is lost at sea but thankfully the crew onboard the yacht was safely rescued and are now back on shore.

“The casualties did the right thing in raising the alarm when they encountered problems in the early hours of this morning which helped to prevent the situation from becoming much worse.

“Despite the best efforts of everyone on scene, the vessel took on a lot of water. Our priority then was to ensure that the casualties were taken off the yacht and transferred safely on to the lifeboat.

“We would like to wish the casualties well following their ordeal this morning and we would like to commend our volunteers who despite the early call and darkness of night, did not hesitate to respond.”

The lifeboat crew involved in this callout were coxswain Eugene Kehoe, mechanic Philip Walsh and crew members Aidan Bates, Sean Furlong and Nigel Kehoe.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The RNLI is to present three Irish lifeboat crews with gallantry awards for their role in a rescue last October that saved nine lives and prevented a 100m cargo vessel from hitting rocks at Hook Head.

The coxswains of Dunmore East RNLI, Kilmore Quay RNLI and Rosslare Harbour RNLI are to receive RNLI Bronze Medals for Gallantry — one of the highest awards presented by the lifesaving charity — while the volunteer lifeboat crews who responded to the callout will each receive Medal Certificates.

Recognition will also be given to the crew of the Irish Coast Guard’s Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117, the staff of the National Maritime Operations Centre in Dublin and the master and crew of the tug Tramontine.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the multi-agency rescue operation was launched on 20 October 2020 after reports that the Lily B — a 4,000-tonne cargo vessel carrying 4,000 tonnes of coal — had lost all power and was in danger of hitting rocks south of Hook Head in Wexford.

Battling strong waves over six metres high amid Force 8 conditions, the Dunmore East and Kilmore Quay lifeboats managed to establish tow lines onto the drifting vessel and, with the help of the Rosslare Harbour crew, worked together to ensure the vessel stayed away from the rocky shore until the tug arrived.

RNLI director of lifesaving John Payne said: “Those crews involved demonstrated that unique blend of courage, selflessness, dependability and trustworthiness, at their best, in the most demanding of conditions. Without question their combined actions saved lives at sea.

“Conditions onboard the lifeboats were unpleasant in the rolling and pitching seas. The volunteer crews displayed fortitude, perseverance and courage to remain focused whilst under the most testing conditions, often up to their knees in water and heaving decks.

“The unity of purpose and sense of ‘One Crew’ displayed by all contributed significantly to the successful outcome in a protracted 12-hour service.”

The three coxswains (from left), Roy Abrahamsson of Dunmore East, Eugene Kehoe of Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour’s Eamon O’Rourke | Credit: RNLIThe three coxswains (from left), Roy Abrahamsson of Dunmore East, Eugene Kehoe of Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour’s Eamon O’Rourke | Credit: RNLI

The three coxswains — Roy Abrahamsson of Dunmore East, Eugene Kehoe of Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour’s Eamon O’Rourke — were informed of the awards by RNLI area lifesaving manager Joe Moore, who said: “In recommending these awards, the RNLI Trustees recognise the difficulty of the service, the challenges that were faced by the lifeboat crews during their 12 hours at sea and the tragedy and environmental disaster that was averted off the Irish coast.”

In reviewing the service, the RNLI also recommended a Medal Service Certificate for the crew of Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 for their top cover and reassurance to all the crews below for the duration of the service.

Signed letters of appreciation will also be presented to the staff of the National Maritime Operations Centre in Dublin and the master and crew of the tug Tramontine.

Details of the arrangements for the presentation of Bronze Medals for Gallantry and the Medal Service Certificates are to be arranged in consultation with the awardees.

List of lifeboat crew to be honoured by station:

  • Dunmore East RNLI crew: Roy Abrahamsson (Coxswain), David Murray (Mechanic), Neville Murphy (Navigator) and crewmembers Peter Curran, Jon Walsh, Luka Sweeney and Kevin Dingley.
  • Kilmore Quay RNLI crew: Eugene Kehoe (Coxswain), Philip Walsh (Mechanic), Aidan Bates (Navigator) and crewmembers Trevor Devereux and Sam Nunn.
  • Rosslare Harbour RNLI crew: Eamon O’Rourke (Coxswain), Mick Nicholas (Mechanic), Keith Miller (Navigator) crewmembers Padraig Quirke, Michael Sinnott, Eoghan Quirke and Paul McCormack.
Published in RNLI Lifeboats

As details emerge on the full negative impact of Brexit on the Irish fishing industry, two Wexford skippers have called for the appointment of a dedicated minister for marine. 

Scallop skippers Will Bates and Seamus Molloy who fish from Kilmore Quay have welcomed Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s appeal for “progressive ideas” from the fishing industry. 

However, they have said the government must have a Cabinet member whose sole task is to provide leadership in relation to the difficulties facing the Irish marine sector.

Seamus Molloy - Kilmore Quay fishermanSeamus Molloy - Kilmore Quay Scallop fisherman. Screenshot: Sean Moroney

Ireland must start “taking back”, given that it will represent some 12 per cent of EU waters – but with “30 per cent of fishable waters”, the fishermen have said.

"Ireland should seek a share of the bluefin tuna quotas allocated to other EU member states"

As a first step, Ireland should seek a share of the bluefin tuna quotas allocated to other EU member states, given that the migratory fish spend up to four months off this coast, they say.

Under the Brexit deal finalised on Christmas Eve, the EU is handing back 25 per cent of its share of the catch in British waters. 

There will be a five-and-a-half-year transition period, after which both sides will hold annual negotiations on some 100 shared stocks from 2026.

Seán O'Donoghue, chief executive of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation (KFO), said the deal demonstrated the “duplicitous nature of the protracted negotiations” and that the “repeated guarantees” given to Irish fishermen had effectively been shredded.

The four and a half years of agreements have for all intent and purposes been “dishonoured by the negotiators” the KFO leader has said.

The reaction of the Kilmore Quay skippers can be heard on Wavelengths below

Published in Wavelength Podcast

A Wicklow Port based tug has completed a six day towage operation from Rotterdam, The Netherlands when it arrived off the coast of Kilmore Quay in Co. Wexford yesterday afternoon, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 18.5 tonnes bollard pull AMS Retriever operated by Alpha Marine, the tug and workboat marine services company, deployed the Dutch shipyard built Damen Shoalbuster 2409 series tug to tow the split hopper-dredger barge B302.

It would appear the tug has at least served under two previous names, Marineco Akela with Leith in Scotland as the port of registry and as the C M Kurok when working in the Caspian Sea.

Both the Belfast registered tug and the Dutch barge will be assigned to work with Marine Specialists Ltd on the dredging of the south Wexford coast harbour which is to take place throughout this month. The shallow draft tug which has a crew of 5 will prove ideal option for such near coastal works.

Kilmore Quay is homeport to a fishing fleet and a 60-berth marina. In addition the location over the years has been popular for leisure users, angling-hire craft and ferry boat trips out and to the nearby Saltees Islands.

As Afloat previously reported Alpha Marine's other tug, Husky was deployed last year to the former Stena Line ferryport at Dun Laoghaire Harbour having towed a barge laden with granite from Cornwall. This project was to replenish rock armour following Storm Emma of 2018 that mostly inflicted the East Pier and the project also involved use of a landing craft to convey heavy machinery by sea due to access issues.

Returning to the sunny south-east, where the O'Flaherty family has major fishing operations in the Wexford harbour which is homeport to their fleet of 10 beam white fish trawlers. They also have 3 twin riggers for prawns and a pelagic vessel. In addition to their fish wholesaler business, Saltees Fish has a cold storage plant located at the harbour.

Notably, the O'Flaherty's established Celtic Link Ferries in 2005, having acquired P&O Ferries Rosslare-Cherbourg route which they withdrew operations the previous year. In the deal, this included the route's ro-ro freight ferry European Diplomat (1978/16,776grt) with space for some 80 truck units and around the same capacity for passengers. This enabled the O'Flaherty's maintain their vital fishing exports to markets in mainland Europe.

CLF continued the business of providing freight hauliers on the Ireland-France link where truck drivers (including those for liverstock) were also part of the trade. Truck drivers on board the renamed Diplomat also shared dining facilities with a limited capacity of (motorist-only) passengers. This combination made the ferry operation unique on Ireland-France routes, with exception of Seatruck Ferries on their route network across the Irish Sea.

Celtic Link also had competitive rates for holidaymakers based on a 'no frills' basis compared to the more established ferry rivals, Irish Ferries and Brittany Ferries though they also have their 'économie' services soon to be operating from Rosslare this month.

When making a trip in 2009 as a guest of CLF, and notably as an exception having travelling as a 'foot' passenger which provided an opportunity to observe.On that related note the aft observation lounge however was not open on that particular crossing (see Ships Monthly, Nov.2009). This feature otherwise afforded excellent views was located at the highest passenger deck of the ship's superstructure and aft over the stern.

In addition on board was a plaque dedicated to then named Baltic Ferry, which served in the Falkland's Task Force in 1982 where the war involved RAF Harrier Jump-jets (VTOL) aircraft use the freight-ferry.

Unlike conventional ferries, Diplomat like many ro-ro freight ferries had the superstructure all located aft, with the uppermost vehicle deck exposed on the weather deck ahead of the bridge. The ship was built originally for Stena as one of their successful 'Searunner' series built in South Korea and for their charter market which saw these ships deployed worldwide on deep-sea routes.

After CLF ended its Irish career of Diplomat they chartered the ro-ro to the Carribbean. Replacement tonnage saw a succession of two Visentini-built passenger ropax's, Norman Voyager (of LD Lines short-lived Rosslare-Le Havre run) and Celtic Horizon (Ships Monthly, Feb.2013) which was renamed as outlined below.

CLF's (farewell) operations proved tempting as Stena Line made a bid to take over the Ireland-France route, which in 2014 became the company's first ever such direct route connecting mainland Europe. This saw the ropax renamed Stena Horizon and compete with the then presence of Irish Ferries running to Cherbourg in addition the summer-only Roscoff service (see, yesterday's story: Rosslare's Manager Says Europort can Take One Fifth of Dublin Port Activity).

It was at the 'Europort' in 2005, the first year of CLF operations, when a fleet of scallop trawlers based from Kilmore Quay held a fisheries related protest at the Wexford ferryport. The blockade prevented all ferries of the port, though when they departed the 'unaffected' Diplomat arrived afterwards.

As for Irish Ferries cruiseferry Isle of Inishmore, this ferry was less fortunate as not only was it subject to the blockade at the Irish ferryport but had the misfortune for a second time in the same year to be embroiled in a strike and siege incident (albeit in Pembroke Dock). On that occasion the ferry was centre-stage in the protracted and bitter Irish Ferries dispute over the replacement of Irish crew with lower-cost personnel from overeas.

Published in Coastal Notes

Brian Kehoe, station mechanic at Kilmore Quay RNLI, has retired from his position as full-time station mechanic and coxswain after serving over 50 years with the RNLI, half as a volunteer and half as an employee.

Brian went afloat for his last exercise on Tuesday (31 December) as station mechanic. He was joined by crew from the flanking lifeboat stations of Rosslare Harbour, Fethard-on-Sea and Dunmore East.

Kilmore Quay Coast Guard was also on hand while the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 joined the exercise and Brian was winched from the lifeboat onboard the search and rescue aircraft.

Back ashore after the exercise, Brian’s family gathered at the harbour for some photos and the people of the village came to wish him a happy retirement.

An official night to mark Brian’s retirement will take place at Coast Hotel Kilmore Quay on Saturday 25 January, and all are welcome to attend. Everyone at Kilmore Quay Lifeboat Station wishes Brian and his wife Theresa a long and healthy retirement.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

A man was taken to hospital with hand injuries by Irish Coast Guard helicopter after a Mayday call on a yacht off Kilmore Quay on Saturday (29 June).

The local RNLI lifeboat crew were en route to another vessel that had requested a tow when the call came in from a 12m yacht some 13 miles south-west of the Co Wexford village.

It was reported that as the yacht’s crew were adjusting a sail, a piece of rigging had parted and seriously injured the skipper’s hand.

The lifeboat arrived just after the Waterford-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 117, whose crew determined the best course of action was to transfer the casualty to the lifeboat for pain relief.

He was subsequently winched to the helicopter and flown to Waterford University Hospital for further treatment.

Published in Rescue

It was a busy weekend for RNLI lifeboats in Arklow, Larne and Kilmore Quay which each had callouts over the Easter period.

Arklow RNLI launched on Sunday afternoon (21 April) to assist a jetski in difficulty following a launch request from the Irish Coast Guard at 3.15pm.

The volunteer lifeboat crew left their families on Easter Sunday to answer the callout, bringing the all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr just north of Arklow Harbour where the casualty vessel had been reported adrift and without power.

The jetski, with two people aboard, was quickly located off the back of Arklow's North Pier, dangerously close to the rocky shoreline.

The two people aboard were immediately recovered onto the lifeboat and a line was secured to the jetski to tow it back to shore.

In Larne, RNLI volunteers were called out twice on Sunday evening to people in difficulty.

In the first callout, both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats were called to aid two kayakers who had overturned near Browns Bay just off Islandmagee.

Larne RNLI launched into a calm sea at 5,45pm with the inshore lifeboat, Terry, tasked to bring the kayakers safely to shore, while the all-weather lifeboat Dr John McSparran was tasked to recover the kayaks left behind.

After a successful recovery of both casualties and their equipment, Larne RNLI helm Pamela Leitch noted: “The two kayakers were wearing buoyancy aids; they also remembered to stay with their kayaks which made it easier for us to identify them and bring them ashore.”

The second callout involved the all-weather lifeboat towing a 26ft sailing boat which had run aground at the East Maidens lighthouse.

One of the two people onboard had asked to dock close to the Maidens so they could have a look around. However, while they were the docked the tide ebbed and the boat was left on rocks.

The remaining crew member was able to use their VHF radio to call for assistance from Belfast Coastguard, who requested the launch of the all-weather lifeboat.

When Larne’s volunteers reached the boat, they found that it had moved off the rocks and that no damage had occurred to the hull.

However, it was suggested that the casualty boat follow the all-weather lifeboat into Larne to assess any further damage.

As both boats were making their way into the Port of Larne, a tow line was established as the casualty vessel was experiencing some engine troubles. The vessel was then towed to a mooring at East Antrim Boat Club.

Meanwhile, in Kilmore Quay, the local RNLI lifeboat was alerted by Dublin Coast Guard at 5.25pm that an 11m boat with two people on board had lost engine power three-and-a-half miles south of Bag-N-Bun Head to the west of Kilmore Quay.

Conditions were near calm at the time with restricted visibility due to coastal fog. Visibility was down to one tenth of a mile at times.

The volunteer crew made best speed towards the casualty vessel, arriving alongside twenty minutes later. A tow line was passed over and the vessel was towed back to Kilmore Quay, which took just under an hour to complete.

The four Easter Sunday callouts came after Saturday launches for Courtmasherry RNLI, to a Spanish-bound yacht in distress, and Carrybridge RNLI, to two boats in difficulty on Upper Lough Erne.

“Given the fantastic weather we’ve had this weekend, we’ve seen higher numbers of people coming back to the beaches and putting their boats and other craft back in the water, earlier than usual,” said Mark Corcoran, community safety officer at Arklow RNLI.

“We’d like to remind people to always respect the water, wear a lifejacket and carry a means of calling for help when going out on the water.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#MarineWildlife - A young pilot whale was saved by a group of quick-thinking Wexford men after stranding on a beach at Kilmore Quay, as the New Ross Standard reports.

When Neil Bates spotted the 3m whale at Ballyteige Burrow and saw its blowhole move, he enlisted two other local men, John and Michael O'Flahery, to help refloat the animal.

And while it was it some distress for a time, it was soon out of the shallows and swimming in the direction of Hook Head.

In other marine wildlife news, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group is seeking to recruit a new general manager, based out of the Shannon Dolphin Centre in Kilrush, Co Clare.

Details are on the IWDG website HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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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

Fastnet Race 2021 Date

The 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race will start on Sunday 8th August 2021.

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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