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Fastnet Yacht Race. News from the RORC Offshore Race Event
First boat in the Rolex Fastnet Race arrives in Plymouth: Tony Lawson's MOD70 trimaran, Concise 10 skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield
Unchallenged, Concise 10 blazed into Plymouth this morning, first boat home in the 47th Rolex Fastnet Race. Tony Lawson's MOD70 trimaran crossed the finish line off Plymouth breakwater at 05:55:00 BST with a race time of 42 hours and 55…
With the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017 fleet finally in open water between Land’s End and southwest Ireland, Paul Kavanagh’s classic Swan 44 Pomeroy Swan is doing best of the Irish at fourth overall.
The northwest to north breeze which filled in over the Celtic Sea overnight has refreshed the record Rolex Fastnet race 2017 fleet in every way, and the long beat from Land’s End out to the rock now has many nostalgic…
In most classic offshore races, at some stage a Cookson 50 will seem to come out of nowhere and give bigger boats a fright. This is the American Cookson 50 Privateer, which was going like an express train as she closed towards Land’s End and a group of 60-footers at noon today. As evening draws on, she is still giving them a hard time.
The Rolex Fastnet Race 2017 fleet leader, the MOD 70 trimaran Concise 10 owned by Tony Lawson and skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, rounded the Fastnet Rock at 15.18hrs this afternoon in a nor’west breeze writes W M Nixon. But…
David Kenefick managed to get the mast back on board the Class 40 boat before heading into Weymouth
Royal Cork David Kenefick's Fastnet Race ambitions lie in ruins this evening after a dismasting on his class 40 entry.  It's a disappointing outcome because Kenefick was in the mix in the top five of the ultra competitive Class 40…
Offshore Academy 21 sailed by Joan Mulloy and Cathal Clarke from Ireland
Overnight the fleet in the Rolex Fastnet Race has been made solid progress upwind, tacking on shifts and dipping in and out of the land according to whether or not the tide is favourable. At 0900 Tony Lawson's MOD 70…
Rambler 88 – after a slow rounding of Land’s End, she has found better speeds close-reaching along the eastern edge of the Traffic Separation Zone off west Cornwall, and is leading the monohulls on the water and resumed climbing the ranks in IRC handicap.
After beating every inch of the way down the English Channel from yesterday’s spectacular start in the Solent, Rolex Fastnet Race mono-hull leader on the water Rambler 88 (George David) has this morning been facing lighter airs and much slowed…
A record-sized fleet of 368 boats started the race, 12 more than two years ago, confirming the Rolex Fastnet Race's position as the world's largest offshore yacht race.
Following months of meticulous preparation for crews and organisers alike, a record-breaking edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race is underway and in some style. The largest fleet in the race’s 92-year history, comprising 368 yachts from 29 countries, were treated…
Harry Heijst’s classic S&S 41 Winsome racing in Cowes Week 2017. With Laura Dillon as lead helm, Winsome is among the front runners in the current Rolex Fastnet Race
It’s classic Fastnet Race Day One evening conditions, with the fleet plugging to windward along the coast of Dorset, and the tide about to turn foul at Portland Bill writes W M Nixon. With the relatively rapid progress westward through…
The massive Fastnet fleet is heading for Ireland. See Tracker below
The MOD 70 Trimaran Concise 10, skippered by Ned Collier-Wakefield and a veteran of last year’s Volvo Round Ireland race, was first of the record Rolex Fastnet Race 2017 fleet to exit the west end of the Solent today as…
Alex Thomson (left) and Nicholas O'Leary will race together in the Fastnet Race
It was the coolest thing so far in all of 2017's sailing. In the midst of the Royal Cork DinghyFest which he was organising, Nin O’Leary took off for just one day to skipper Adam Gosling’s new JPK 10.80 Yes!…
First to round Fastnet Rock is the goal for the world’s biggest offshore fleet
#FastnetRace - What does it take to win the Rolex Fastnet Race? That’s the question Yachting World posed to four former podium finishers in what’s arguably the world’s greatest offshore challenge. For 2015 winner Gery Trentesaux, the key is keeping the…
Kenny Rumball's INSS entry Jedi is one of ten Irish entries in this year's Rolex Fastnet Race from Cowes
A potent line–up of Irish offshore performers will be lining up for the record breaking Fastnet Race entry – the world's largest offshore race that starts in less than three weeks time. The 605nm race was full in under five…
Inner city school kids from the Greig City Academy in Hornsey, east London take on their greatest challenge in the 605nm Rolex Fastnet Race in August
While everyone who enters the Rolex Fastnet Race dreams of winning or doing well, the event's stature as the world's largest offshore yacht race, means this is often not the only reason for taking part writes James Boyd. Around 400…
Join Jedi’s Crew Ahead Of 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race
#FastnetRace - Fancy joining a crew for this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race? Then you’d better act fast — as a place has opened up on the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School (INSS) team ahead of the offshore challenge later…
Nearly 400 boats will compete in the world's largest offshore race this August - and safety is of the utmost importance
#FastnetRace - With the days ticking down till the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race, Ocean Safety has published its free Fastnet Safety Checklist to ensure your yacht is ready for the rigours of the challenging seas around Fastnet Rock. One of…
Yachts from around the world will converge on Cowes for the start of the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race in August
August's Rolex Fastnet Race remains on track for a record-sized fleet. Currently 390 boats are entered: 338 competing for the main IRC handicap prize; the remainder racing for their own trophies in the Class40, IMOCA 60, Volvo Ocean 65 and…

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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