Rolex Fastnet Race Archives
Race Updates 2011
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On the eve of the race start, the diverse and ultra competitive 318 boat fleet stands ready:
A number of youth teams will compete in the Rolex Fastnet Race this year including the All-American Offshore Team's Reichel Pugh 65, Vanquish (USA). Skippered by Charles Enright, the crew have an average age of 23 and recently completed the TR2011 Transatlantic Race along with German entry, Norddeutsche Vermögen Hamburg. The latter's highly experienced young team are members of the Hamburgischer Verein Seefahrt e.V, an organisation founded in 1903 in Hamburg with the express goal of training young people to become skilled mariners.
From the UK, Tony Lawson's Class 40, Team Concise (GBR) will be skippered by the talented 23-year old, Ned Collier-Wakefield, who will go on to campaign the boat in the Class 40 World Championships and Transat Jacques Vabre. The team was set up by Lawson four years ago to encourage and develop young British offshore sailors.
The British Keelboat Academy will be sailing the J/109, Yeoman of Wight in the Rolex Fastnet Race. The British Keelboat Academy (BKA) is a partnership between the UKSA and RYA. The BKA has been designed to support young people aged between 18 and 24 in developing the skills needed to take their keelboat racing to a professional level. One such sailor is 18-year old Robin Elsey (picture), currently in the 6th form at Truro School in Cornwall. As a member of the BKA squad, he will compete in his first Fastnet and is the youngest member on board the J/109, Yeoman of Wight, generously on loan from David Aisher.
In 2007, Mike Slade's Farr-designed 100ft Maxi, ICAP Leopard (GBR) crossed the Rolex Fastnet Race finish line in an incredible elapsed time of 1 day 20 hours 18 minutes. Having trailed the 90-foot Rambler (USA) by just three seconds at the Fastnet Rock, Leopard turned on the afterburners, smashing the monohull record by nearly nine hours. ICAP Leopard was also victorious in the last Rolex Fastnet Race, winning line honours in 2009. But this year, ICAP Leopard is under serious threat from George David's Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed Rambler 100, which has proved to be even faster than ICAP Leopard:
"Having won the Fastnet Race twice, the big play is to win three in a row, which would be quite exceptional," commented Mike Slade. "During the RORC Caribbean 600, Rambler proved to be the faster boat in her ideal conditions, but the recent light airs in the Annapolis to Newport Race gave us hope. We were thrilled to lead the fleet out of the Chesapeake River, even though Rambler is a much lighter boat. Rambler 100 may also need to protect herself in bad weather, more than ICAP Leopard. We feel we have a good chance in light and heavy airs, it is the bit in between that we might have a problem! I am really looking forward to the Fastnet, it should be a very exciting race but above all else, I don't want to lose our record to Rambler, that would be heartbreaking and we will vigorously defend it."