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Fastnet Yacht Race. News from the RORC Offshore Race Event
Boat Builder Celebrates Fastnet Success
Competing against one of the largest and most diverse fleets assembled in the history of offshore yachting, the Rolex Fastnet race saw the Australian boatbuilder McConaghy's built ICAP Leopard 3, the Reichel Pugh 65 Vanquish (crewed by the young American…
Fastnet Race Winners Collect Just Deserts
The prizegiving for the Rolex Fastnet Race took place this evening at the historic Royal Citadel on Plymouth's famous Hoe. Dating back to 1660s and standing on the site of the fort built in the time of Sir Francis Drake,…
One Third of Fastnet Fleet Cross the Line Within Two Hours
A shut-down of the wind and a foul tide just short of the finish line made for a challenging few hours for the Royal Ocean Racing Club race team as an armada of Rolex Fastnet Race competitors descended on the…
Rán - First Back to Back Victory in 50 Years
Niklas Zennström's RÁN have been confirmed as overall winners of the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race and the prestigious Fastnet Challenge Cup. Rolex/Daniel Forster For the first time in more than 50 years, the Rolex Fastnet Race has a back-to-back handicap…
Key Yachting Issue Their Fastnet Top Twenty
UK and Ireland importers of J boats, Key Yachting Ltd are celebrating a good showing for both their J boats and Grand Soleil ranges in this week's Fastnet race. The UK firm has issued the following press statement capitalising on…
Tight Finishes as 82 Boats Cross the Line, 200 Still Sailing in 2011 Fastnet Race
After an extremely quiet 24 hours, from last night boats have been streaming into Plymouth, with over 50 boats finishing between midnight and noon. There have been some tight finishes in this Rolex Fastnet Race between the Volvo Open 70s…
Tail Back in the Fastnet Race
Pace slowed on day 3 of the Rolex Fastnet Race. After a brisk first 48 hours, pace in the Rolex Fastnet Race has slowed up with high pressure encroaching into the Celtic Sea and towards the south of Cornwall, just…
RAN Looking Good For Second Victory
After the drama of Tuesday's capsize of Rambler 100 finishers of the Fastnet race continue to arrive in Plymouth. Following the arrival of the 100 foot supermaxi ICAP Leopard (GBR) this morning, so the first of the Mini Maxis arrived…
Fastnet Race Monohull Record Falls
While the multihull record fell last night to Maxi Banque Populaire (FRA), so earlier this morning the monohull record for the Rolex Fastnet Race was also demolished. Surprisingly the new record went not to Mike Slade's 100 foot supermaxi ICAP…
Government Minister Commends Emergency Services in Fastnet Rescue
Following the dramatic rescue of 21 sailors from the over turned maxi racing yacht 'Rambler 100' off the South West Coast, Minister Simon Coveney, a racing sailor himself,  has commended the successful efforts of our rescue services in bringing everybody…
Rambler 100 Capsize - 'A Scary Moment We Will Not Forget'
At midnight, Monday 15 August, Eddie Warden Owen, Chief Executive of the Royal Ocean Racing Club received a call from Mick Harvey, Project Manager of George David's Rambler 100 (USA). Harvey spoke about the harrowing incident when the 100' Maxi…
Rambler 100 Crew Member 'Feels Lucky to be Alive'
An Australian crewmember on the stricken Rambler 100, which capsized in high winds during yesterday's Rolex Fastnet Race, has told reported that he feels "lucky to be alive". http://afloat.ie/sail/events/fastnet-race/ Mike Motti was one of five crew who were separated from…
Antoher competing yacht in the Fastnet race captured dramatic photos of the stricken 100-footer. Team Phaedos' media personnel who were at the Fastnet Rock last night waiting for photogrpahs of their big catamaran passing 'the Rock' when they got a…
Baltimore Lifeboat Plays Key Role in Rambler Crew Recovery (Pics Here)
Baltimore RNLI lifeboat crew were involved in the major rescue operation this evening (Monday 15 August 2011) when a 100 ft yacht capsized during the famous Fastnet race with a crew of 21 onboard.  Five of the crew were missing…
Fastnet Yacht Capsizes Off Cork Coast - Latest
A US entrant in this year's Rolex Fastnet Race capsizsed near Fastnet Rock off the Cork coast earliert this evening, The Irish Times reports. http://www.afloat.ie/sail/events/fastnet-race/ http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/0815/breaking49.html Further to our previous report, The Irish Times notes that 22 people were on…
Rambler 100 Capsizes off Cork Coast - Irish Coastguard Rescue all Crew
The yacht Rambler 100, a competitor in this year's Fastnet race, has capsized between the Fastnet Rock and the Pantaenius Buoy this evening. The Irish Coastguard services are coordinating the rescue. The Baltimore RNLI lifeboat is on the scene. Two…

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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