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RORC's North Sea Race and Vuurschepen Race have both been cancelled due to travel restrictions in the UK and the North Sea Regatta has decided to organise an 'exciting replacement race'.

During this year’s upcoming Ascension Day Weekend, on Friday, May 14th and Saturday, May 15th the North Sea Regatta will host a brand-new Race: the NSR C-19 Windmill Race.

The NSR C-19 Race will cover a figure-eight course providing exciting and challenging racing around existing marks such as buoys, wind farms and platforms on the North Sea, starting and finishing in Scheveningen. The ORC/IRC 1 and 2 divisions and the Double Handed division will sail a 160 NM long course and the ORC 3 and SW-division will follow a short course of 130 NM.

“The NSR C-19 Windmill Race is a great alternative offshore race to replace both the Vuurschepen Race and the RORC North Sea Race. Due to the strict travel restrictions to enter the UK and the current Covid-19 regulations both races won’t be able to take place this year,” comments Peter Tjalma chair of the North Sea Regatta Foundation.

The North Sea Race C-19 Windmill Race Map courseThe North Sea Race C-19 Windmill Race Map course

Frans Driessen, Event Director of the North Sea Regatta adds: “On the day before the start, Ascension Day May 13th, the race teams have the opportunity to prepare their yachts for the race. On both the preparation day as well as the awards ceremony day, the organizing committee anticipates planning a fun-filled programme suitable to fit the Covid-19 regulations in place at that time.”

The NSR-19 Windmill Race counts as a qualifier event for the Fastnet Race 2021. In order to qualify to participate in the Fastnet Race at least 50% of the crew (with a minimum of 2) including the Person in Charge is required to have sailed 300 NM of offshore races, where an offshore race is considered to be more than 75 miles including at least one night at sea.

NSR Re-Save The DateNSR Re-Save The Date

“With the cancellation of the originally scheduled races, there is even an opportunity to organize an extra Fasnet qualifying race on Tuesday, May 11th and Wednesday, May 13th.

Interested skippers can send a mail to [email protected]” concludes Frans.

Published in Offshore
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Following on from the UK Government's Roadmap out of lockdown’ on Monday 22nd February, the RORC Committee, working with the RYA and Government, is confident that overnight racing will return for the 2021 RORC Season’s Points Championship. Some changes will be necessary for the early part of the season, but unless the recovery from the pandemic changes, the world’s largest offshore championship will go ahead, including the 49th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

“Whilst the RORC would like to run our full programme of races, the reality as a consequence of the pandemic is that the RORC Easter Challenge, Cervantes Trophy and North Sea Race are cancelled. However, with COVID-19 protocols in place, the club intends to organise a RORC Spring Series during April and May. We are also considering an additional longer race for Two-Handed Teams,” commented RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone.

Fastnet Race Likely to have COVID Protocols

“The Rolex Fastnet Race is expected to be a fully crewed race, but more than likely to have some COVID-19 protocols for crews to follow. Our meetings with immigration authorities in both the UK and France have been positive and productive, and we continue our discussions with the RYA and health professionals on minimising risk to our competitors. Throughout this pandemic, our partners in France have never wavered in their commitment to give all competitors a fantastic welcome when they arrive in Cherbourg,” continued Stone.

RORC racing is expecting to returns to the Solent with the 2021 RORC Spring Series Photo: Paul WyethRORC racing returns. 2021 RORC Spring Series in the Solent © Paul Wyeth

RORC Spring Series

The 2021 RORC Spring Series will consist of three long day races, starting from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line. Designed to last between 6-8 hours, the permitted crew is expected to be up to 80% of the IRC certificate allowance, which is to be confirmed in March following further consultation with the relevant authorities:-

  • RORC Spring Series 1: Saturday 03 April
  • RORC Spring Series 2: Saturday 10 April
  • RORC Spring Series 3: Saturday 01 May

The 2021 RORC Season’s Point’s Championship is scheduled to continue with regular offshore races from late May through to September, including the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race, starting from Cowes on Sunday 8th August.

Published in RORC
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The Royal Ocean Racing Club in London has published new dates for its 2022 ORC/IRC World Championship

The second edition of this biennial event will be held from 23 June to 1 July 2022 in Porto Cervo.

After consultation between the Federazione Italiana Vela (FIV), the Unione Vela Altura Italiana (UVAI) and the Union Nationale pour la Course au Large (UNCL), the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC), the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), the dates for the 2022 ORC/IRC World Championship have been changed.

The new dates for the event will be from 23 June to 1 July 2022.

A large fleet is expected to take part in Porto Cervo, with organisation provided by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

The new dates will avoid any overlap with the Rolex Giraglia regatta scheduled for mid-June.

The Notice of Race for the 2022 ORC/IRC World Championship will be published in June 2021, one year ahead of the regatta.

Published in RORC
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Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon crossed the finish line of the 7th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race at 04:53 UTC in an elapsed time of 9 days, 18 hours, 53 mins and 40 secs. Green Dragon wins the IMA Trophy and takes Monohull Line Honours for the RORC Transatlantic Race.

Olivier Magre’s Class40 Palanad 3 was less than five hours behind, completing the 2735-mile race in a phenomenal elapsed time of 10 days, 1 hour, 43 mins and 18 secs. For the moment, Palanad 3 have scored the best corrected time under IRC for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy.

Green Dragon becomes the seventh boat to win the International Maxi Association’s IMA Trophy. Whilst this year’s race is a different route, Green Dragon is the first monohull to complete the RORC Transatlantic Race in under 10 days. The Secretary-General of the IMA, Andrew McIrvine commented: “Congratulations and best wishes from the IMA to Johannes and the Green Dragon team. We are sorry not to able to greet you, as we would have in more usual times, but we hope you enjoyed the race.”

“It is an honour to win the IMA Trophy, as so many famous boats have done, but to finish the race in such a fast time is incredible. Although we finished in Antigua and not Grenada, the route we took was to the south, so there is not much difference in the miles we have raced,” commented Green Dragon’s Johannes Schwarz.

Celebrations on board Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon after winning the IMA Trophy and Monohull Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic RaceCelebrations on board Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon after winning the IMA Trophy and Monohull Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic. Race. Green Dragon crew: Kees Bos, Alexis Duvernoy, Jonathan Florent, Florian Guezennec, Jens Lindner, Angel Lingorski, Jorge Lorenzo Roman, Elena Malakhatka, Peter Marchal, August Ruckman, Johannes Schwarz (Skipper), Anton Tajiev, Ada Westerinen.

“In the early part of the race we didn’t push too hard because we are a mixed pro-am crew and there were strong winds on the reach from Lanzarote to Tenerife,” explained Schwarz. “Later in the race we deployed the big kite and the conditions were just so fantastic. It was really special and very emotional for all the crew - we went faster and faster. I have to say that we are deeply impressed by the performance of the Class40s, they were so incredible! When we arrived in Antigua, it was not possible for the RORC team to meet us due to the curfew, but as if by magic, there was a cooler of cold beer on the dock!”

Green Dragon crew: Kees Bos, Alexis Duvernoy, Jonathan Florent, Florian Guezennec, Jens Lindner, Angel Lingorski, Jorge Lorenzo Roman, Elena Malakhatka, Peter Marchal, August Ruckman, Johannes Schwarz (Skipper), Anton Tajiev, Ada Westerinen.

Published in RORC
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 (1200 UTC Sunday 17 January) Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon is leading the RORC Transatlantic Race for Monohull Line Honours and is approximately 500 miles from Antigua

The race reaches an exciting stage on the ninth day with the leading boats closing in on the finish line in Antigua. Oren Nataf’s Multi50 Trimaran Rayon Vert, skippered by Alex Pella was under 400 miles from the finish and expected to take Multihull Line Honours on Monday 18th January.

Olivier Magre’s Class40 Palanad 3 was just 60 miles behind Green Dragon and is expected to finish the 2,735 nautical mile race in just over 10 days - lightning-quick for a 40-footer. “The boat is going fast!” commented Palanad 3’s Luke Berry. “The only problem we have is the seaweed. We clean the rudder after a gybe, but have also resorted to taking the kite down and trying to sail backwards! All is good, so we mustn’t complain.”

Half of the time, racing in the 2,735-mile RORC Transatlantic Race is conducted at night. Whilst moonlight can guide the way, it becomes much more difficult to see, let alone adapt to a sudden change in conditions. For this race, in messages sent back to the RORC Race Team, competitors have reported significant squall activity, especially at night.

Antoine Carpentier’s Class40 Redman looks unlikely to catch their sistership Palanad 3 in the race to the finish. In his recent blog, Carpentier describes the frustration at night on Day 8. “Last night was not good for us (Saturday 16 Jan.). A local cloud formed sucking the wind from 20 knots down to just six knots and shifting 90 degrees. In torrential rain we put in a series of gybes to get out of the position; there was no sleep for the Redman crew. When we looked at the race sched. updates and saw our friends on Palanad 3 had not lost any speed, we were green with envy. How to stay motivated? All our efforts to get the boat to move as quickly as possible will have been in vain if we give up.”

Class40 Redman also reports problems with Sargassum seaweed during the RORC Transatlantic Race © Antoine Carpentier Sailing Sebastien Saulnier’s Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi gybed on to starboard on Saturday evening. In the last 48 hours, Moshimoshi has turned a 16-mile deficit into a 40-mile lead on Benedikt Clauberg’s First 47.7 Kali.

Benedikt Clauberg commented via satellite about encountering a squall in darkness, which has dramatically affected their performance: “At night without the moon it is so dark that we don’t see even one boat length in front of us, watching only the compass and wind instruments. If the clouds arrive it becomes more than black and the wind can pick up very quick. After surfing at up to 13kts we got hit hard by a strong gust with rain and ripped our spinnaker. With everyone clipped on we got it down and went into cruising mode for the rest of the night. Today the sun is back but we are now in ‘Schmetterling’ mode as we say in Swiss, or wing-on-wing. Otherwise, all is good on board. The crew had a salty shower and are having fun and we see birds and flying fish. Dinner is a Porcini Risotto with a tomato mozzarella salad caprese. We hope you all are fine and no bad news on the other side.”

News from Tim and Mayumi Knight, racing Pogo 12.50 Kai is that they have been racing conservatively due to a gear problem. However, the latest news from Tim is: “Much of our problem has been sorted out and we are back sailing less cautiously with a target speed of 7-8 knots. Kai was approaching halfway in the race and 1,560 miles from the finish.

Published in RORC
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On the fifth day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, all of the competing yachts are fully offshore in the Atlantic Ocean. Life on board will have found a rhythm to the corkscrew motion of surfing downwind for days on end. Oren Nataf’s Multi50 Trimaran Rayon Vert, skippered by Alex Pella is leading the fleet and they will be celebrating having crossed the halfway mark in the 2,735-mile race from Lanzarote to the Caribbean. Rayon Vert’s skipper Pella is very much at home in the Atlantic. The Spaniard has won both the Route du Rhum and the Transat Jacques Vabre.

Olivier Magre’s Class40 Palanad 3 is the leading monohull, 18 miles ahead of Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon. The leading boats in the RORC Transatlantic Race are hundreds of miles south of the rhumb line. High pressure has pushed the ENE trade winds further south and the front runners have raced the additional miles to hook into the bigger breeze to maximise their velocity made good (VMG).

Third in the monohulls is Antoine Carpentier’s Class40 Redman; currently, 114 miles behind Palanad 3 when they contacted the RORC Race Team: “Everything is going well. We have solved a problem with our starboard rudder and everything is working normally. We spent most of the nights gybing and changing sails. Now the weather is better- it’s a good time to get back in the kitchen.”

Palanad 3’s Olivier Magre commented via satellite link: “All is well onboard and much calmer than the first 48 hours. We did have an issue with the spinnaker when it fell completely into the water, but there is not too much damage and Luke (Berry) has been up the rig to untangle the halyards. The atmosphere on board is very good. We have to be careful of the squalls because the trade winds are quite active.”

The performance cruisers racing in IRC are positioned further north. For these boats the strategy for maximizing VMG has produced a different tactic. Racing further south does not improve their speed enough to warrant the extra miles. Benedikt Clauberg’s First 47.7 Kali and Sebastien Saulnier’s Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi maybe over 100 miles apart on the water, but they are both approximately 2,000 miles from the finish.

Sebastian from Moshimoshi reports that life is good on board and that racing across the Atlantic has magical moments, such as visits from tropical birds who are also making their migration!

As previously reported, the IRC56 Black Pearl retired on January 10th. Black Pearl’s bowsprit had broken just west of the Canary Islands. The crew sailed back to Lanzarote unassisted, arriving on January 12th. The team are disappointed, but safely ashore and received a warm welcome from Marina Puerto Calero.

Published in RORC

The IRC56 Black Pearl, sailed by Stefan Jentzsch, contacted the RORC Race Management Team at 11:30 UTC on 10th January to report that Black Pearl is retiring from the race and heading back to Lanzarote. All are well on board. Black Pearl was approximately 20 miles west of the island of El Hierro, some 250 miles from Lanzarote. The RORC Race Team and Marina Puerto Calero will be standing by should Black Pearl require any assistance.

At 1200 UTC on the second day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, the leading boats had left the Canary Islands behind and were at full pace, blasting into the open seas of the Atlantic Ocean. It will be many days before the sailors see land once more.

Oren Nataf’s Multi50 Trimaran Rayon Vert, skippered by Alex Pella is leading the fleet, having raced 350nm in the first 24 hours. Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon is second on the water, sailing close to the rhumb line, placing the Austrian Volvo 70 just five miles behind the multihull.

Sebastien Saulnier’s Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi Photo: James Mitchell/RORCSebastien Saulnier’s Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi Photo: James Mitchell/RORC

Olivier Magre’s Class40 Palanad 3 has fully lit the blue touch paper, revelling in the ideal conditions and wind angle for a Class40. A ballistic 340 nautical miles in 24 hours has put the French team 30 miles ahead of Antoine Carpentier’s Class40 Redman. “We have seen between 20-30 knots of wind with waves up to three metres. It is a wet and bumpy ride with the sea state on the nose!” commented Luke Berry on board Palanad 3.

Antoine Carpentier’s Redman was counting the cost of falling into a wind hole last night. “We were less than a mile behind Palanad when that friendly cloud gave us a big hug,” commented Carpentier. “It was more than an hour before the cloud stopped the embrace. It was horrible to watch our AIS and see Palanad disappear.”

Racing under IRC, two Corinthian teams have been reporting big conditions on the first night. Tim Knight racing Two-handed aboard his Pogo 12.50 Kai with his wife Mayumi, reported "horrible seas of Tenerife." There has been a culinary disaster for Sebastien Saulnier racing Two-Handed on Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi with Christophe Affolter. “The boat has so much mess,” commented Sebastien. “We have been airborne so much, there was minestrone soup everywhere – but otherwise it’s ok!"

Published in RORC
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The 2021 RORC Transatlantic Race started in glorious conditions outside Marina Puerto Calero on Saturday 9th January. With the RORC Racing Management Team operating remotely, the race start was officiated by Manuel Torres, Sporting Director, Real Club Náutico de Arrecife. With a highly experienced team from the Royal Yacht Club, the RORC fleet got away to a spectacular reaching start for the 7th edition of the race.

An hour into the race, all of the competing boats had rounded Punta de Papagayo on the southern tip of Lanzarote. The IRC56 Black Pearl, sailed by Stefan Jentzsch, was leading on the water, followed by Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon. Oren Nataf’s Multi50 Trimaran Rayon Vert, skippered by Alex Pella had a conservative start but was soon scorching along at close to 20 knots of boat speed.

In the Class40 duel, Antoine Carpentier’s Redman got away well at the Committee Boat end and was a mile ahead of Olivier Magre’s Class40 Palanad 3, passing Punta de Papagayo. However, Palanad 3 has taken a more northerly route and is posting a higher boat speed than their immediate competition. What is more, over the next 100 miles or so, Redman will need to point higher than Palanad 3 to pass north of Tenerife.

Two hours into the race, all of the fleet were experiencing exhilarating reaching conditions with double digit boat speed, blasting towards the sun as it sets to the west. Tonight will be the first awe-inspiring sunset of many to come. Two teams racing in IRC Two-Handed are side-by-side north of Fuerteventura. Sebastien Saulnier’s Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi and Tim Knight’s Pogo 12.50 Kai seem equally matched for speed. Benedikt Clauberg’s First 47.7 Kali has taken the most northerly line of the fleet and is going well.

José Juan Calero, Managing Director for Calero Marinas, affectionately known as ‘JJ’, watched the start from a spectator boat and commented: “It has been fantastic, probably the best start of all; sunshine with 16-22 knots and gusts of 25 from the NNW. It was a really competitive start with all the boats pushing hard. It’s amazing when you see teams really going for it right from the gun for a 2,735-mile race. It was great fun to see them race away. We have been involved in many regattas over the years, it is our passion. We started our relationship with the RORC in 2014 and the RORC Transatlantic Race has been increasing in popularity. The decision to move the start to January has been a good one. We have a fantastic relationship with RORC which has gone from strength to strength in the last seven years. We are particularly proud this year, with all of the issues and problems that everyone has had and we have to congratulate RORC for organising this race.”

“We are ever thankful that we can get a race away and a special thanks must go to JJ and all the staff at Calero Marinas. We could not have put on this race without their tremendous support,” commented RORC Race Manager Chris Stone. “As with all RORC races, we will be monitoring the progress of the fleet and we wish every competitor fair winds to Antigua and that they enjoy their time in the Caribbean.”

The course for the RORC Transatlantic Race sets the fleet north of the Canary Islands for the first 150 miles. Conditions are expected to be lively with the wind forecast from the NNW at 20-25 knots with a sea sate in excess of 2 metres.

Race Tracker here

Published in RORC
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The new Jeanneau Sunfast 3300 launched in Ireland last Spring will be among the marques competing in this weekend's RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote.

As regular readers will know, its Irish debut at the Royal Irish Yacht Club by Irish distributors MGM Boats included a run-through of the boat's performance by its French design team at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The design has been shortlisted for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Regatta as the proposed new mixed two-handed keelboat class.

Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl

The new 33-footer, named Cinnamon Girl, then went on to have a great high-speed first season on the south coast from her homeport of Kinsale under skipper Cian McCarthy, including runner-up in the inaugural Fastnet 450 Race

Cian McCarthy's Kinsale-based 'Cinnamon Girl' at the start of August's Fastnet 450 RaceCian McCarthy's Kinsale-based 'Cinnamon Girl' at the start of August's Fastnet 450 Race

Sunfast 3300 Moshimoshi

Now, a French amateur team, Sebastien Saulnier and Christophe Affolter,  have sailed a Sun Fast 3300 from St Malo, Brittany to the Canary Islands in order to race across the Atlantic. RORC race reporter Louay Habib spoke on Skype to Sebastien Saulnier who was on board his boat Moshimoshi in Calero Marinas Puerto Calero in Lanzarote ahead of Saturday's start.

“The dream started about three years ago,” explained Saulnier. “It was wonderful to sail across the Atlantic with friends and family, but I wanted to do it in a race. Two years ago, I met Christophe who has done a lot of RORC racing. We felt good together from the first moment and this is the first race that we can do and it was not easy to get to Lanzarote.

Due to government restrictions, we could only sail from L’Orient on the 12th December and we saw 48 knots of wind in the Golfe de Gascogne.

We did make it past La Coruna, but the weather was so bad we had to turn back. We waited six days for the storm to pass and then it was a better sail to Lanzarote.” 

Hear more in Louay's interview below

Published in RORC
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Ireland's former Round the World race Green Dragon will start as favourite in this weekend's 2021 RORC Transatlantic Race. Run in association with the International Maxi Association, the race is scheduled to start from Puerto Calero, Lanzarote on January 9th, 2021. Ten teams have sailed from European destinations to take part in the 2,735-mile race across the Atlantic Ocean. Due to travel restrictions from the UK, the Royal Ocean Racing Club is operating remotely, relying on the expert abilities of the Calero Marinas’ team and the race officers of Real Club Náutico de Arrecife in Lanzarote.

As regular Afloat readers will know, Ireland's Volvo 70 finished fifth out of seven entries in the 2009 Volvo Ocean Race. Attempts to sell her Green Dragon for two million euros in 2009 after the race did not materialise. She then spent some time in dry dock in Galway, rendered obsolete because her hull was heavier and keel lighter than her rivals.

In spite of the disappointing performance, the boat was welcomed into Galway after the 2009 Transatlantic leg by a huge crowd and a week-long celebration that subsequently set the bar for all other stopover ports in subsequent races. 

RORC Transatlantic Race

The RORC Transatlantic Race is a World Sailing Category 1 offshore event with RORC Prescriptions. All competing boats will undergo compliance checks and, in addition, all crew will be required to produce a negative test result for COVID-19 prior to departure.

The monohull line honours favourite is Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon, whilst the multihull line honours will be contested by just one entry, Oren Nataf’s Multi50 Rayon Vert, skippered by Alex Pella. The overall victory under IRC for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy is difficult to predict. However, Stefan Jentzsch’s new Botin 56 Black Pearl, skippered by Marc Lagesse, will be difficult to beat. Three teams will contest the IMA Trophy for Maxi Yacht line honours: Green Dragon, Richard Tolkien’s IMOCA 60 Rosalba and Open60 Somewhere London, skippered by Gunther de Ceulaerde. An exciting duel is expected between two of the latest Class 40s from the design board of Sam Manuard; Antoine Carpentier’s Redman and Olivier Magré’s Palanad 3.

Corinthian teams racing under IRC include Benedikt Clauberg’s First 47.7 Kali, which will be talking part in their third RORC Transatlantic Race. Two other teams will be taking on the race Two-handed: Tim & Mayumi Knight’s Pogo 12.50 Kai and Sébastien Saulnier & Christophe Affolter’s Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi.

After lengthy consultation with Camper and Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada Tourism and the competing teams, it was agreed that the safest option was to move the 2021 RORC Transatlantic Race finish to Antigua. It remains the intention of the RORC to finish the 2022 edition in Grenada, as it has done since the first race in 2014.

Published in Offshore
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Page 5 of 43

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 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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