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Fastnet Race Joins VOR Qualifying Schedule

18th October 2016
Groupama Sailing Team and CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand round Fastnet Rock on Leg 9 of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race Groupama Sailing Team and CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand round Fastnet Rock on Leg 9 of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race

#VOR - The Rolex Fastnet Race has been named among the mandatory qualifiers ahead of the start of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race.

The famed run from the Isle of Wight to Fastnet Rock in West Cork joins the new Lisbon-Alicante prologue — and a provisional transatlantic challenge over the summer — in the pre-race series that will serve as the first fight for dominance among the now eight-strong fleet.

‘Leg Zero’, as organisers have dubbed the new qualifier, comprises the traditional Fastnet Race route with an additional course from Plymouth to Lisbon.

Many VOR teams have used the Fastnet Race in their preparations – Team SCA and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing being the most recent, in the 2013 race — but never before has it been a mandatory qualifier.

“I’ve done a few Fastnet Races, some were windy and some were light,” said Charles Caudrelier, skipper of Dongfeng Race Team in the 2014-15 VOR.

“It’s a nice course, very fun and interesting to sail around the coast, with the effect of the currents. It’s a good test and a very dynamic race, with interesting weather.”

According to race operations director — and VOR veteran — Richard Mason, the Fastnet Race “is on the bucket list of every ocean racer in the world.

“It’s famous for being very tricky and coastal. You can have no wind, you can have enormous amounts of breeze, and vicious seas, out near Fastnet Rock, it’s navigationally and tactically challenging, you don’t get much sleep.

“It’s the perfect race – an amazing thing to be a part of.”

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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