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Fastnet Yacht Race. News from the RORC Offshore Race Event
Fastnet Latest: Maxi Multihulls Round the Fastnet Rock
The two largest trimarans in the record-sized Rolex Fastnet Race rounded the Fastnet Rock off southwest Ireland at around 0930 this morning. As expected Loick Peyron's Maxi Banque Populaire (FRA) was leading, but surprisingly just eight miles ahead of the…
Ian Moore Reports in from Phaedo (Great Vid Here)
On board Team Phaedo after a fantastic start to the race, navigator, Ireland's Ian Moore, is happy with their current position. He made contact last night at 9pm. "....The sunset is beginning and we are very happy with our position..…
Largest Ever Fleet Start the Fastnet Race (Photos here)
The record-sized Rolex Fastnet Race fleet set sail from Cowes in classic conditions - a beat westward up the Solent in a building west-southwesterly and sunshine, but with an ominous looking cloud line over the mainland. SCROLL DOWN FOR RICK…
Record-Breaking Conditions Ahead for Fastnet Race
The largest, most diverse fleet of racing boats ever in offshore yachting set sail this morning in the Rolex Fastnet Race. http://www.afloat.ie/sail/events/fastnet-race/ The biennial flagship event of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, a tradition since 1925, will take the fleet…
Fastnet Race - Not Just a Record Fleet, it's a Fantastic Fleet
With just over two days left until the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race, a press conference was held yesterday in the Sir Max Aitken Museum in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. It was a case of standing room…
Safran is One of Six IMOCA 60s to Tackle the Fastnet Race
To the south of Ireland, on an isolated rock some five miles from land, the Fastnet Lighthouse is a mythical mark for the world's sailors. Created in 1925, the Rolex Fastnet Race brings together this summer 323 boats measuring between…
Moore to Navigate Team Phaedo in Sunday's Fastnet Race
Magic catamaran Phaedo will set sail in Sunday's Fastnet race with top Irish navigator Ian Moore calling the shots. There's more Irish crew on Phaedo too with Limerick's Jeff Condell also slated for the race. Team Phaedo stayed attached to…
Virbac-Paprec 3 rising to the challenge of the Fastnet
On Sunday Virbac-Paprec 3 will be lining up for the start of the 44th Rolex Fastnet Race. Jean-Pierre Dick will be assisted by Guillaume Le Brec as he takes on the 608-mile challenge that runs from Cowes to Plymouth via…
Fastnet Calling for a Dozen Boats of Irish Interest
There are a dozen boats among a fleet of 350 for Sunday's Fastnet race that are either Irish or of Irish interest. Afloat's July 26th story on the Irish in the Fastnet story gave details on some of these boats…
Irish Yachts Line Out for the Fastnet Race
In just over two weeks' time, on Sunday 14th August, the biggest fleet ever (350 boats) will set sail from Cowes to take on one of the ultimate challenges in offshore racing – the Rolex Fastnet Race – a milestone…
Dowling and Smyth to Co-Skipper Royal Irish Yacht Arabella in Fastnet Race
With less than a month to go the Fastnet race Niall Dowling and Nick Smyth will be co skippering the J111 'Arabella' under the burgee of the Royal Irish Yacht Club. 'Arabella' the first J111 in Europe has had an…
Fastnet Yacht Race is 'Fast' Approaching
The waiting is nearly over: the 44th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race, one of the great ocean challenges, is exactly a month away. With a staggering 350 entrants at the ready, 1979's record-breaking tally of 303 participating yachts will…
The Fastnet Yacht Race
Since it was first run in 1925, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial Rolex Fastnet Race has earned a reputation for being one of the toughest events in the international yacht racing calendar. This has come about from the brutal…
Follow The Yellowbrick...
Yellowbrick Trackers will be fitted to every boat in the Rolex Fastnet Race allowing friends and family to follow the race Yellowbrick are delighted to be providing the tracking devices for this year's Rolex Fastnet Race, which will relay real-time…
250 entries within a week brings Fastnet Race Close to Limit
RORC has confirmed huge interest in its Rolex Fastnet Race this afternoon in a further example of the resurgence of offshore sailing. Entry for one of the world's most popular yacht races opened at midnight on Sunday 9 January and by…
70 Minis line up for 25th Fastnet
There are just ten days to the start of the 25th edition of the annual Mini Fastnet, and 70 entries have registered for the event that begins and ends in the French port of Douarnenez, and, like the Figaro, this…

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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