Pantaenius Up to the Mark Once More
51° 17.020'N 09° 41.040'W
The only laid mark on the 608 nautical mile course in the legendary Rolex Fastnet Race, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) is being sponsored for the 9th race by Plymouth-based Pantaenius Yacht Insurance.
For the 3,500+ competitors entered in the record-breaking 340+ boat international fleet in the world's largest offshore yacht race this August, the experience of rounding the Teardrop of Ireland, as The Fastnet Rock off the southern tip of Ireland is affectionately known, is an experience to behold.
The sight of The Rock and the other famous landmarks along the 608 nmile route from the start off the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, is etched on the mind of all those competing, whether veteran Fastnet racers or corinthian crews experiencing the race as a personal challenge for the first time.
The Rock marks an evocative turning point for a challenging and compelling race and once past the symbol of the race, the massive fleet with yachts ranging from 33-114ft, round the only mark on the course, The Pantaenius Buoy. Laid as a Special Mark Buoy, it is placed on behalf of the RORC to mark the western turning point of the course in the Rolex Fastnet Race by The Commissioners of Irish Lights.
Pantaenius have been providing yacht insurance to yacht owners all over the world and with over 65,000 clients, is the number one insurance provider in Europe. They have sponsored the Pantaenius Buoy in the historic Fastnet Race since 1997:
"The RORC concluded that it was too dangerous to allow competitors departing from the Fastnet Rock to sail through those approaching the Rock. Yachts were getting bigger and faster. Allowing tired crews to sail towards each other at relative speeds at night in bad weather was no longer an option. It was decided to place a buoy as an additional race mark about 8 miles SW of the Rock. In order to promote safety at sea, Pantaenius agreed to sponsor the Pantaenius Buoy and are proud to have been involved for the last 16 years," says Pantaenius UK's Managing Director, John McCurdy, OBE MBA.
RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott explains its purpose as a spreader mark and safety measure on the Rolex Fastnet Race:
"The Pantaenius Buoy stops boats rounding the Fastnet Rock and heading back on the reciprocal track directly towards boats approaching the Rock. With the speed of modern yachts reaching fast in both directions there could be a collision speed of 40 knots or more so the laying of the Pantaenius Buoy avoids this."
The race starts from Cowes on Sunday 11th August and more information on the 45th edition of the biennial race can be found on therace website