Rolex Fastnet Race Minisite
Return to the RORC Homepage

Fastnet Race Documents

Guide

A guide for entrants - Complete Version

The Rolex Fastnet Race is the culmination of many months of preparation and planning; starting from the day the entry opens online, through qualifying and on to the day of the race itself. This guide goes over the main points you need to consider before entering - crew qualification, boat suitability and the process of entry itself.

Important Dates and Entry Information

EventDate (2017)Competitor Info
Registration Open Mon 09 Jan
1200 hrs UTC

From this date you can log into your REMUS account and add your boat to the Registration List for the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017.

After Sunday 15th Jan, all registered boats will be sorted and places offered on a first come, first served basis, with RORC members receiving priority over non-members. Boats registering after this date will allocated places on a first come, first served basis regardless of membership.

50% entry fee Within 10 days of entry Once you have been allocated a place in the race, the RORC Race Team will inform you and officially enter the boat. From that date of entry, 50% of the entry fee must be paid within 10 days. This part of the entry fee is non-refundable.
Proposal As soon as possible after entry You must email the Race Team detailing your plan to meet the qualification requirement.
Qualification As per proposal You must email the Race Team once you have completed qualification as per your proposal.
Closing Date Thu 20 July

Make sure you have paid the full Race Entry Fee by the Closing Date so as not to incur the Late Payment Charge.

By this date send in your completed OSR Checklist, completed to Category 2.

Rating Deadline Thu 27 July Your yacht must hold a valid rating/class certificate by this deadline. After this date any changes are in exceptional circumstances only and at the discretion of the RORC.
Race Check-in Sat 29 July - Sat 5 Aug At the RORC Office, The Disrespect, Cowes, Isle of Wight. Sailing Instructions are available only after completing registration.
Skippers Briefing Sat 5 Aug, 1700 This will be held in the RORC Clubhouse, Cowes.
Start Sun 6 Aug, 1100 Start times and starting groups will be detailed in the Sailing Instructions.

Qualification and Suitability

The Rolex Fastnet Race is not a race for novices. You, your crew, and your boat must be prepared for severe weather, large and confused seas, and strong winds. Whilst the RORC welcomes first time competitors to this race, we emphasise that proper preparation, planning and training is essential. This is reflected in our criteria which apply to every entrant:

Crew Qualification

Crew Qualification Overview

  • At least 50% of the crew (but not less than two) including the Person in Charge, must have completed a minimum of 300 miles of offshore racing together, within 12 months of the start of the race on the boat that is entered
  • Training to Section 6 of the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations must have been completed by at least 30% of the crew (but not less than two) including the Person in Charge within the five years before the start of the race
  • At least one of the crew must have completed appropriate First Aid Training or be a Medical Professional

Experience - Mileage (on the boat that is entered)

The RORC stipulates a minimum experience requirement of 300 miles of RORC offshore racing, completed by 50% of the crew (but not less than two) including the Person in Charge within 12 months of the start. An offshore race is considered to be of more than 75 miles and at least one night at sea.

To fulfil this requirement the Competitor shall enter and complete an appropriate number of RORC races before the start of the race.

Qualifying with the RORC series

The 300 miles of offshore racing should be completed within the RORC's series of races, within 12 month of the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race. The RORC series consists of nine offshore weekend races, typically of 100-150 miles in a variety of locations. Six races start in the Solent and race in the English Channel, two are based in the North Sea with starts from Harwich and Burnham on Crouch, and there is opportunity to race in the Irish Sea as well. The RORC Provisional 2017 Programme can be viewed here and further details can be found in the Notice of Race.

There are many advantages from doing your qualifying miles within the RORC race programme, not least because you get a chance to size up the competition. Some of the RORC races cover parts of the Rolex Fastnet Race course and you can practise starts from the Royal Yacht Squadron's line. You also become familiar with the layout of the Sailing Instructions, Start Sequence and other RORC procedures and paperwork.

You may be interested to know that the RORC runs a variety of lectures in the social programme; they may help you to prepare for offshore racing. Please see the event calendar on the RORC website for dates and information.

When it is not reasonably possible to access RORC races, or in exceptional circumstances, an alternative method for qualification may be agreed by the RORC. A Service Yacht may qualify similarly or submit written authority from her service establishment. Proposals should be lodged with the RORC as soon as possible after entry.

Sample Proposal

Please complete and send the proposal via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Please put your Sail Number and Boat Name in the subject field).

RE: "Sail Number", "Boat Name", Skipper "Captain Cornish" Experience Qualification Proposal Rolex Fastnet Race 2015

I and at least 50% of the crew intending to participate on my First 40.7 GBR1234L Boatname in the Rolex Fastnet Race propose to do the following races:

Cervantes Trophy Race Sat 2 May about 120 nm
Wolf Rock Race,
OSR Category 3
Fri 12 Jun about 90 nm
Channel Race Sat 27 July about 120 nm

Total : about 330 nautical miles

I am aware that races have to be completed to count towards the qualification mileage. In the event of any changes to races or crew composition in the above proposal I will promptly inform the RORC in writing.

Regards,
Captain Cornish

Frequently Asked Questions:

Training

30% of the crew (but not less than two), including the Person the Charge, must have completed a training course in accordance with Section 6 of the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations. The training course must have taken place within the five years before the start of the race.

This means that the minimum requirement for a boat with nine crew and one skipper is that at least two crew and the skipper must have completed training. The training must be completed to Section 6 of the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations which can be read in full here. The emphasis is on "minimum" - our recommendation is that as many crew members as possible should complete this training. For boats competing Two-Handed, both crew have to be qualified.

Frequently Asked Questions:

First Aid Training

At least one member of the crew must hold a valid First Aid Certificate or equivalent, which has been completed within five years of the start of the race. In the UK the RYA First Aid Certificate meets the requirement (but please note that the RYA certificate is only valid for three years).

It is adviseable to have at least one other crew trained and familiar with First Aid Procedures, hypothermia and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

Medical professionals (i.e. doctors, paramedics, surgeons, Service medics, etc.) need not complete further training to meet the Senior First Aid requirement. However, they should refresh their knowledge on specific sicknesses and treatments, especially hypothermia and cold water shock, and make sure they are comfortable with special offshore medical conditions and actions, including topics like Tele medical communications on board. See Appendix N of the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations for details.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Experience to sail Two-Handed

If you are considering competing in the Rolex Fastnet Race Two-Handed you will have to satisfy the Committee that you have suitable and adequate experience and that the boat is properly organised for two-handed sailing. Naturally, all other Experience/Qualification requirements set out in the Notice of Race apply in addition to this. Two-handed competitors who regularly race with us meet this requirement and need not apply again.

You can apply to race in the Two-Handed Class by Email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Please put your sail Number and Boat name in the subject field).

See an example for such a proposal

RE: "Sail Number", "Boat Name", Skipper "Captain Pugwash" - Request for permission to compete in the RORC Two-Handed Class.

Dear RORC,

Please find below a resume and short offshore sailing CV for both of the crew which shows what we have done together Two-Handed.
(This need only include relevant experience, offshore passages and races. i.e. Sydney Hobart Race, JOG Dieppe Race etc.)
... Sailing CV
The boat is set up for Two-Handed sailing as follows...
Please let us know whether our experience is acceptable to start in the RORC's Two-Handed Class.
Regards
Captain Pugwash

Boat Suitablity

Boat Suitability - Overview

Like the crew, the boat needs to be capable of taking on the conditions likely to be seen during the Rolex Fastnet Race. We invoke the Category 2 requirements of the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations (including RORC Prescriptions) to decide on the suitability of a boat's stability, equipment and construction standards. The RORC has certain stipulations regarding the speed and minimum/maximum length of eligible boats.

 MonohullMultihull
Speed
  • must have an IRC Rating of 0.850 or greater
  • for non-IRC rated boats alternative criteria may be used, e.g. IMOCA 60, Class40
  • visit www.ircrating.org for more information on IRC Rating
  • must have a MOCRA Rating of 1.100 or greater
  • for non-MOCRA rated boats alternative criteria may be used
  • visit www.mocra-sailing.org.uk for more information on MOCRA Rating
All yachts must hold a valid rating/class certificate by the end of Thursday 6th August 2015. Only non IRC yachts must submit a copy of their certificate to the RORC. After the deadline any changes are in exceptional circumstances only and at the discretion of the RORC.
Length
  • Minimum length: determined by minimum speed rating - see above
  • Maximum length: 30.5m (100ft) LH (LOA)*
  • Minimum length is 9.15m (30ft) LH (LOA)**
  • Maximum length: 21.5m (70ft) LH (LOA)**

* Suitable cruiser/racing yachts over the maximum length (30.5m (100ft) LH (LOA)) may enter the Rolex Fastnet Race by application to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

** The Committee may make an exception to the minimum or maximum lengths on application.

Hull Construction

Please see the full requirements in "Hull Construction Certificate" below.

Stability
  • STIX minimum 32
  • AVS minimum 130-0.002*m (m is the boat's minimum sailing weight)
  • SSS minimum 28 (if STIX/AVS not present and not required)
  • Boats in accepted One-Design classes and holding valid Rating/Class certificates do not require STIX or SSS
 
Boat Equipment The Rolex Fastnet Race is organised in accordance with Category 2 of the ISAF Special Regulations with RORC Prescriptions. Please view the Offshore Special Requirements and RORC Prescriptions online to see what you need to do to prepare your entry.

Each competitor is required to complete an Offshore Special Regulations checklist which can be obtained from the Documents Page in the REMUS Online Entry System.

Hull Construction

To ensure that your boat was designed and constructed to withstand the rigours of offshore racing, the boat has to meet certain design and constructions standards.

To determine whether a hull construction certificate needs to be lodged with us, please find out the earliest of the age and series date for your boat*. These values are present on most rating certificates (e.g. IRC) or in your boat's manual.

* Age date specifies the date the build of the boat was completed. The series date is the date of completion of the first boat in the series. Typically the series date is earlier than the age date. The requirements for Hull Construction are based on the earlier of these two dates. If your boat was built in 2003 but the series had been completed in 1984 you can enter the decision tree below with the value 1984.

Has your boat or the series been built:

before January 1987 (or 1988 for LOAs < 12 m, respectively)?

You don't need to lodge a hull construction certificate with the RORC.

after the above, but before January 2010?

A Hull Construction certificate needs to be lodged with the RORC, in accordance with ISAF Offshore Special Regulations Appendix M2. Should you happen to have a Standard Series Design Yacht (e.g. J/109) you could check whether it is on our list already - in which case you could simply drop us an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. confirming that you haven't made any significant modifications or repairs to the boat (keel or hull modifications, or anything that may affect the strenght of the build or stability).

on or after January 2010?

You must have

  • a certificate of building plan review from a notified body recognised by ISAF
  • a declaration, signed and dated by the builder, to confirm the yacht is built in accordance with the plans reviewed by the notified body.

Please check the list of "OSR Plan Review Certificates" on the ISAF OSR Structural Plan Review Website. If your boat is listed, simply drop us an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. confirming that no significant modifications or repairs to the boat have been made (keel or hull modifications, or anything that may affect the strenght of the build or stability).

Frequently asked Questions

Race Entry

The boat is entered into the Rolex Fastnet Race through the REMUS Online Entry System which has been designed to make the entry process as easy and transparent as possible. The crew must be entered via RORC Crew Management System (RCMS).

The steps to enter

Login to existing REMUS/RCMS account or register new account

If you have previously registered an account on either REMUS or RCMS, simply log in with your email address and password. If you cannot remember the email you registered with or password please do not re-register since we are keeping a full history and audit trail linked on any account. A 'forgot password' function is available should you be unable to remember the password and the Race Office can assist with recalling the email address used.

If you need to register a new account start by opening http://remus.rorc.org in your web browser. You can either bookmark the address or find it in the Quicklinks or Racing section on the RORC website.

You will now see REMUS's Login Prompt. Click on the "Register for a new account" link. After you have registered your personal details (name, address, password etc.) you will receive a confirmation email. There is a link in the confirmation email that you need to click on to make sure that our system is able to send emails to your address.

Note: If you are a RORC member please make sure to input the correct membership number when registering. Depending on your connection to the boat you might be eligible for the discounted race entry fee for RORC members (see FAQ below to find out if you will be eligible).

After clicking the link in the confirmation email sent, you are ready to login for the first time. You will be prompted to sign an electronic copy of the Race Entry Declaration; you can findthat is set out in the Notice of Race.

Frequently asked Questions

Choose a boat to enter into races or register a new boat

Once you have logged on to REMUS you will see the Control Panel. If you were registering a new account you will start with an empty Control Panel where you will find a link "Register a new boat". You can use your IRC Certificate to help create a boat quickly.

Should you try to register a boat that is in our database already, the system will refuse the registration and ask you to call or Email us. Please do not try to register the boat anyway: every entry or information for duplicate boats will be deleted and your work will be lost.

Once the yacht is registered or your account has been connected to an existing boat by us it will be listed on your Control Panel, along with a few options underneath the boats name. A click on "Enter Races & Check Entry Status" will pull up the Race Selection for that particular boat.

Frequently asked Questions

Enter one or more races

On your REMUS Control Panel, click the "Enter Races & Check Entry Status" link for the boat that you would like to enter. The Race Selection page will be displayed.

Just on top of the table you will find the information we use to calculate the entry fee, including the length of the boat and whether the fees have been discounted to the RORC Membership fees.

The names of each race will appear

  • blue, when the race is available for entry
  • grey, when it is not open for entry
  • red, when the race is entered, but requirements are outstanding
  • or green, when the entry has been confirmed by us

Click on each race name to expand the details section which will display the entry fees, a description and the button to enter the race. Once you have decided to enter click "Enter this race now". You will be forwarded to a confirmation screen . You can then decide to enter further races or go to the payment selection screen.

Entry Fees 2017 - shown in £ Sterling

To follow shortly....

Check the status of your entry - Live!

Once you have entered a race, the link in the race selection screen (when you click "Enter Races & Check Entry Status" on the Control Panel) will change from "Enter this race now" to "Check Entry Status". This page contains a list of all requirements and the status of your boat and crew. When anything is updated - for example your crew adding a First Aid certificate - you will see that reflected in the status screen.

Help and Support

We understand that going through the entry procedures and meeting all requirements can seem a daunting task. However, undertaking a challenge such as the Rolex Fastnet Race requires a great deal of preparation - which takes some time and effort. With this in mind be sure to regularly check the Live Entry Status screen and try to work through all the items in good time. The earlier you invite your crew, the earlier you can see who has and who hasn't got Offshore Survival Training or First Aid. The earlier you send in your ISAF Offshore Special Regulations Checklist, the earlier you will receive feedback and advice should it be required. The earlier you think about your qualification, the more opportunity there is to meet the requirements - should you not manage to compete in one of your qualification races, for example.

We are here to help you

We are always just on the other end of the phone or an email away if you have any questions. You can discuss with us the possibility of scheduling an inspection of your boat, you could talk through any queries on requirements regarding particulars of your boat, qualification plans or if you need help choosing the right training courses or boat equipment. And, of course, regarding any other topics that we have forgotten to explain in detail here.

Call the Race Team on +44 (0) 1983 295144 | Email the Race Team on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A guide for entrants - With previous Fastnet Experience

For those who are seasoned Rolex Fastnet Race Competitors, we have assembled a list of the main changes to the 2015 edition of the race. We assume that you are checking this with the intention of competing in the same boat and with a similar crew as in 2015 - so we are skipping through all the boat and crew eligibility here. But whether a "Veteran" of the race or not, you are - of course - still subject to all the criteria. Have a look at the "Complete Guide" if in doubt.

Important Dates and Entry Information

EventDate (2017)Competitor Info
Registration Opens Mon 09 Jan
12:00 hrs UTC

From this date you can log into your REMUS account and add your boat to the Registration List for the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017.

After Sunday 15th Jan, all registered boats will be sorted and places offered on a first come, first served basis, with RORC members receiving priority over non-members. Boats registering after this date will allocated places on a first come, first served basis regardless of membership.

50% fee Within 10 days of entry Once you have been allocated a place in the race, the RORC Race Team will inform you and officially enter the boat. From that date of entry, 50% of the entry fee must be paid within 10 days. This part of the entry fee is non-refundable.
Proposal As soon as possible after entry You must email the Race Team detailing your plan to meet the qualification requirement.
Qualification As per proposal You must email the Race Team once you have completed qualification as per your proposal.
Closing Date Thu 20 July

Make sure you have paid the full Race Entry Fee by the Closing Date so as not to incur the Late Payment Charge.

By this date send in your completed OSR Checklist, completed to Category 2.

Rating Deadline Thu 27 July Your yacht must hold a valid rating/class certificate by this deadline. After this date any changes are in exceptional circumstances only and at the discretion of the RORC.
Race Check-in Sat 29 July - Sat 05 Aug At the RORC Office, The Disrespect, Cowes, Isle of Wight. Sailing Instructions are available only after completing registration.
Skippers Briefing Sat 05 Aug, 1700 This will be held in the RORC Clubhouse, Cowes.
Start Sun 6 Aug, 1100 Start times and starting groups will be detailed in the Sailing Instructions.

Summary of significant changes for 2017

Closing Date

In addition to settling the balance of the entry fee, by Thursday 20th July 2017 we also require that you hand in to the Race Office, by email, post or otherwise, your OSR Checklist completed to Category 2. If you have already filled out an OSR Checklist to Category 3 (as you would have had to for most of the preceeding RORC Offshore Races) then please ensure that by this date you have sent us the additional information to meet Category 2.

Rating Deadline

All yachts must hold a valid rating/class certificate by end of day, Thursday 27th July 2017. Only non IRC yachts must submit a copy of their class certificate to the RORC (Certificates are still required to be carried aboard the boat). After the deadline any rating changes are in expectional circumstances only and at the discretion of the RORC.

REMUS and RCMS

All entries for the Rolex Fastnet Race must be entered via REMUS and all crew lists must be received via RCMS. Please see the guide for their use here. In exceptional circumstances and at the RORC's discretion, entries or crew lists may be accepted by alternative means.

Boat equipment - Cat 2 MOB Alarm

One of the main amendments in the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations is that from January 2012 boats racing in Category 2 races should be equipped with an EPFS (Electronic Position-Fixing System) capable of recording a man overboard position within 10 seconds and monitoring that position.

FAQ: How do I meet the requirement in OSR 4.28.3 for a man overboard alarm immediately accessible to a helmsman?

Combined Lifejacket and Harness & Spares (OSR 5.01 & 5.02)

RORC requires all crew to have a combined Lifejacket and Harness. See RORC Prescritions. The regulations also require a boat to carry a spare combination Lifejacket and Harness and a spare gas cylinder and, if appropriate, a spare activation head for each type of lifejacket carried aboard.

Boat equipment - possible amendments

There may be further amendments to ISAF Offshore Special Regulations for 2017 which will be published by the ISAF in due course and made available on the RORC website; this document will then be updated.

Entry Fees 2017

Entry Fees 2017 - shown in £ Sterling

To follow shortly....

Summary of other requirements

Below is a list of other requirements that have not changed since 2013 but will have to be considered:

Crew Qualification

The basic requirements of the crew to qualify have not changed from 2013. A brief description follows; further information can be found in the Complete Guide:

  • Minimum experience requirement of 300 miles of offshore racing completed by 50% of the crew (but not less than 2), including the Person in Charge, and within 12 months preceeding the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race
  • At least 30% of the boat's crew (but not less than 2), including the Person in Charge, must have completed training to Section 6 of the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations since 1 January 2010

  • Minimum of 1 member of the boat's crew must hold a in-date First Aid Certificate completed within the last five years. Please note that some first aid certificates only have a validity of three years.

Training

Please note that training certificates must be completed to Section 6 of the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations since 1 January 2010. More information on training can be found in the Complete Guide.

Boat Suitablity

The basic requirements of the boat's suitability have not changed from 2013, although there is a new exemption from Monohull maximum length for yachts entered into the Transatltantic Race 2015. A brief description follows and further information can be found in the Complete Guide:

 MonohullMultihull
Speed
  • must have an IRC Rating of 0.850 or greater
  • For non-IRC rated boats alternative criteria may be used, e.g. IMOCA 60, Class40
  • Visit www.ircrating.org for more information on IRC Rating
  • must have a MOCRA Rating of 1.100 or greater
  • For non-MOCRA rated boats alternative criteria may be used
  • Visit www.mocra-sailing.org.uk for more information on MOCRA Rating
Length
  • Minimum length: determined by minimum speed rating - see above
  • Maximum length: 30.5m (100ft) LH (LOA)*
  • Minimum length is 9.15m (30ft) LH (LOA)**
  • Maximum length: 21.5m (70ft) LH (LOA)**

* Suitable cruiser/racing yachts over the maximum length (30.5m (100ft) LH (LOA)) may enter the Rolex Fastnet Race by application to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

** The Committee may make an exception to the minimum or maximum lengths on application.

Hull Construction See Complete Guide if in doubt
Stability
  • STIX minimum 32
  • AVS minimum 130-0.002*m (m is the boat's minimum sailing weight)
  • SSS minimum 28 (if STIX/AVS not present and not required)
  • Boats in accepted One-Design Classes and holding valid Rating/Class certificates do not require STIX or SSS.
 
Boat Equipment
  • In accordance with Category 2 of the ISAF Special Regulations including RORC Prescriptions

Help and Support

We understand that going through the entry procedures and meeting all requirements can seem a daunting task. However, undertaking a challenge such as the Rolex Fastnet Race requires a great deal of preparation - which takes some time and effort. With this in mind be sure to regularly check the Live Entry Status screen and try to work through all the items in good time. The earlier you invite your crew, the earlier you can see who has and who hasn't got Offshore Survival Training or First Aid. The earlier you send in your ISAF Offshore Special Regulations Checklist, the earlier you will receive feedback and advice should it be required. The earlier you think about your qualification, the more opportunity there is to meet the requirements - should you not manage to compete in one of your qualification races, for example.

We are here to help you

We are always just on the other end of the phone or an email away if you have any questions. You can discuss with us the possibility of scheduling an inspection of your boat, you could talk through any queries on requirements regarding particulars of your boat, qualification plans or if you need help choosing the right training courses or boat equipment. And, of course, regarding any other topics that we have forgotten to explain in detail here.

Call the Race Team on +44 (0) 01983 295144 | Email the Race Team on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Partners & Suppliers

  • MUSTO - Official Clothing Provider

Race Office at the Start

  • 82 High Street, Cowes
  • +44 (0) 1983 295 144
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Race Office at the Finish

  • Shaw Way, Mount Batten, Plymouth
  • +44 (0) 1752 692 772
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rolex Fastnet Race Logo