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Fastnet Yacht Race. News from the RORC Offshore Race Event
Fastnet Yacht Race Tracker Here!
#Fastnet – Yachts in the Rolex Fastnet Race are off! They're heading for Ireland and the Fastnet rock off the Cork coast! Track all 335 boats here on the race tracker detailing all the times and handicap positions of the…
Irish Boats Well Placed at Start of Fastnet Race
#fastnet – Up to a dozen boats of Irish interest are among those bunched up this evening in Poole Bay as the Rolex Fastnet Race 2013 set sail from Cowes this afternoon. Top performer this evening is Irish champion yacht,…
Fastnet Forecast Favours Irish Boat Sizes
#fastnet – The current weather may suit up to a dozen Irish boats readying for the Fastnet race tomorrow that includes Irish IRC Zero champion Antix, in one of its first debuts offshore.  Fastnet Race meteorologist Chris Tibbs says with…
Fastnet Bound Kenefick & Sorensen Make Final 'Ilidan' Preparations
#fullrirish – David Kenefick and Olaf Sorensen are completing their final preparations in Cowes to participate in the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race. The pair are sailing David's Figaro 11 "Ilidan" IRL 45, normally recognised as "The Full Irish" when David…
Fastnet Challenge Cup, 300 IRC Boats Get Ready to Race
#fastnet – While the headline grabbing big boats may romp away come Sunday's start of the Rolex Fastnet Race, the world's largest offshore yacht race, a longer more intricate battle will play out between the 300 boats competing for the…
Damian Foxall Prepares for Fastnet Challenge
#fastnetrace – Ireland's Damian Foxall says he is expecting any kind of weather for this week's Fastnet race. The Irish man is a key crew man on the Oman Air Musandam MOD 70, the the first Omani yacht to take part…
Spectator Zone in Place for Start of Rolex Fastnet Race
#fastnet – Spectator craft wishing to watch the record-breaking 350+ boat fleet set off on the 608nm race will be able to do so from the safety of the Zoned area. The two hour start sequence which runs between 1200…
Kenefick & Sorensen Sign Up For Double–Handed Fastnet Race
#fullirish – David Kenefick sailing in his rookie year in the single handed Figaro fleet in his boat "The Full Irish" has teamed up with leading international Dragon sailor Olaf Sorensen from Kinsale to sail double handed in the forthcoming…
Female Crews Flex Their Muscles In Record Breaking Rolex Fastnet Race
#fastnet – A key feature of this year's Rolex Fastnet Race will be the number of high profile women taking part, when the world's largest offshore race sets sail from Cowes on Sunday 11th August. Yet again the Royal Ocean…
Plymouth Gets Set to Welcome Fastnet Race Competitors
#fastnet – Plymouth is gearing up to welcome thousands of sailors from all corners of the globe in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's celebrated Rolex Fastnet Race. Now in its 45th edition the biennial race, which started in 1925, features on every…
RORC Increases Fastnet Fleet Size
#fastnet – With the entry limit of 300 filled within 24 hours, over 100 boats on the waiting list and entries from multihulls, IMOCA 60s and Class 40s still coming in, demand for places in this year's Rolex Fastnet Race…
'Unique Opportunity' To Join 2013 Fastnet Race
#FastnetRace - UK-based Global Sailing is offering what it calls a "unique opportunity" to race in the 2013 edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race. "Forget the concept of 'just taking part' and join a team dedicated to racing hard," says…
Yacht Race Round Famous Irish Rock Reaches Entry Limit in 24 Hours
#fastnet – Although the 300–boat entry limit for this summer's RORC Fastnet race was reached in 24 hours today it is highly likely that some places will be available in the weeks ahead because past experience shows that approximately 10…
Roll Over Rambler... How to Right a SuperMaxi
Here's video of the salvage and righting operation after the capsize of the super maxi ocean racing yacht Rambler 100 during the Fastnet race 2011. The 100-foot yacht capsized shorthly after rounding the Fastnet rock, the result it appears of…
Software Instrumental to Rescue of Rambler 100 Crew
Search and rescue mapping software developed in Rhode Island was "instrumental" in efforts to retrieve crewmembers from the stricken Rambler 100 off Fastnet last week. The SARMAP software, developed by ASA (Applied Science Associates, Inc) provides rapid predictions of the…
Tough Year for Irish Yachts in the Fastnet Race
It might have been the year that records tumbled  but 2011 wasn't a good year for the Irish contingent in the Fastnet yacht race. There were a dozen Irish boats or boats of Irish interest at least but all of…

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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