Rolex Fastnet Race Minisite
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The crew of Concise 10, the MOD70, celebrate at the finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race. Credit: ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi The crew of Concise 10, the MOD70, celebrate at the finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race. Credit: ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi

Concise home as Dongfeng Race Team leads VO65s around the Rock

Tuesday 8 August 2017 - AM

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 minutes. This time didn’t come close to the overall multihull record for the Rolex Fastnet Race but it was still respectable considering they sailed upwind all the way to the Fastnet Rock.

Dockside at Plymouth Yacht Haven, a beaming Tony Lawson commented:

“To take the record for the Round the Island Race just a few weeks ago and then this… they deserve it, they have sailed well. Everyone thinks multihulls can’t go to weather, but we led three state of the art monohulls around the Rock by about 100 miles and we led them into Plymouth by 200 miles. So if you want to go fast you have to get yourself a multihull!”

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Concise 10, the Ned Collier-Wakefield skippered MOD 70, was the first round the Fastnet Rock on Monday 7 August. Credit: ROLEX/Kurt Arrigo Concise 10, the Ned Collier-Wakefield skippered MOD 70, was the first round the Fastnet Rock on Monday 7 August. Credit: ROLEX/Kurt Arrigo

Heavy traffic off Cornwall as Concise rounds the Rock

Monday 7 August 2017 - PM

At 15:49:37 BST Tony Lawson’s MOD70 trimaran Concise 10 became the first boat to round the Fastnet Rock off southwest Ireland. At the time the next boat in the race, George David’s Rambler 88, was 111 miles astern. However thanks to their upwind passage, their time of 28 hours 49 minutes was well outside of record to the Rock of 22 hours and 21 minutes, set in 2011 by the Loick Peyron-skippered 40m Banque Populaire Maxi trimaran.

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Picture sent to us from Initiatives Coeur of Sam Davies helming the IMOCA 60. Credit: Initiatives Coeur Picture sent to us from Initiatives Coeur of Sam Davies helming the IMOCA 60. Credit: Initiatives Coeur

Concise approaches the Rock as Portland Bill pays

Monday 7 August 2017 - AM

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.

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Magnificent conditions for the start of the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race © Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi Magnificent conditions for the start of the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race © Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Classic upwind start for record breaking Rolex Fastnet Race

Sunday 6 August 2017

The Solent laid on ‘classic’ conditions for the start of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s 47th Rolex Fastnet Race. In brilliant sunshine and with brisk westerly winds gusting up to 20 knots, the giant fleet tacked up the western Solent before compressing through the usual bottleneck at Hurst Narrows. 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.  

The first start got underway at 11:00 BST for the nine multihulls and within minutes, the blue three-hulled streak that is Concise 10 had pulled out a lead, frequently heeling to an alarming degree, just one hull immersed. By the time IRC One was starting at 12:20 Tony Lawson’s MOD 70, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, was already off Poole. Crewman Paul Larsen, who five years ago became the world’s fastest sailor setting a world record of 65.45 knots, reported Concise 10 was sailing under reefed mainsail and staysail. “We’re making 20 knots tacking past Poole and just dropping into the watch system. Glamour start conditions in the Solent. I can just see the next boats clearing Hurst Castle.” However Larsen warned that unless the wind freed up, there was little chance for them to break the multihull race record. By 1500 Concise 10 was already level with Portland Bill.

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Sharing their thoughts on tomorrow's Rolex Fastnet Race, a selection of skippers from across the fleet took part in a Q& A session for media © Paul Wyeth/RORC Sharing their thoughts on tomorrow's Rolex Fastnet Race, a selection of skippers from across the fleet took part in a Q& A session for media © Paul Wyeth/RORC

2,700 Fastnet sailors face their personal Everest

The eve of the Rolex Fastnet Race is a nervous time for the 2,700 sailors about to embark on this 605-mile offshore classic. For the competitors gathered in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, a few are out to win one of the most coveted trophies in ocean racing, the Fastnet Challenge Cup. However for most of the crews on the 368 participating boats from 29 nations it will be sufficient to make it safely to the finish in Plymouth a few days from now.

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The guns of the Royal Yacht Squadron signal the start of the iconic Rolex Fastnet Race. Credit: ROLEX/Daniel Forster The guns of the Royal Yacht Squadron signal the start of the iconic Rolex Fastnet Race. Credit: ROLEX/Daniel Forster

Following the Race

The Rolex Fastnet Race starts Sunday 6th August, at 1100 BST

The start sequence begins with the first warning signal at 10.50 BST. The sequence lasts for two hours from 1100 to 1240.

PROPOSED START TIMES

1100 Multihull

1110 IMOCA 60 & Class40

1120 IRC 4

1140 IRC 3

1200 IRC 2

1220 IRC 1

1240 IRC Zero & VO65

WHERE TO WATCH: COWES START

The best vantage points of the start will be along Cowes Green and Egypt Esplanade on the Isle of Wight. Spectators will also be able to listen to the live commentary on the speakers along Cowes Parade and The Green.

As the fleet funnel out of the Solent there will also be a good chance to see the yachts from Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, and Hurst Castle on the mainland. Further along the coast, Anvil Point, St Alban's Head and Portland Bill should also give a good view of the race on its outbound leg.

FASTNET RADIO & TV - LIVE STREAMING OF START

Fastnet TV will cover the entire start sequence live. It will be streamed online from the official race website and will be shown around Cowes on big and small screens.

Live Fastnet Radio commentary will be broadcasting the start on 87.7FM on Sunday and will be simulcast in Plymouth on 87.9FM.

Out of VHF range? Then go to the web site - www.rolexfastnetrace.com

Facebook LIVE

The Royal Ocean Racing Club will cover the entire start sequence on Facebook LIVE. 'Like' our page for the latest updates, photos, press releases and live video.

RACE WEBSITE

The easiest way to follow the fleet is via the RORC’s web site. Here you can find the latest news and images as well as blogs from the boats, web updates and morning and afternoon race reports during the entire race.

RACE TRACKER

Track the Rolex Fastnet Race fleet online with the YB Tracker Player. View by class or select your favourites and check out boat speed and weather conditions in real time. Read the social media feed and see the live leaderboard.

VIRTUAL RACE

Join over 8,000 armchair sailors and test your skills on the same course as competitors in the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race by playing the Virtual Fastnet Race. Watch out - its addictive!

SOCIAL MEDIA

The Rolex Fastnet Race attracts an enormous amount of posts, photos and videos on our facebooktwitterinstagram and youtube channels. To receive all of the news and gossip from the race simply 'like' our facebook page or 'follow' the race on twitter and instragram.

Don’t forget to add #rolexfastnetrace to your posts!

 

 

 

Virtual Regatta - 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race Virtual Regatta - 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race

Join the fleet with Virtual Regatta

Once again, Virtual Regatta are giving armchair yachtsmen the opportunity to race the iconic Fastnet Race course from the comfort of their homes.

Tackling the race online has never been so realistic and challenging, allowing you to choose your strategy taking into account the currents, tides and the ever-changing conditions which are based on live weather forecasts.

Ever popular, in past years the virtual fleet has numbered as many as 15,000 entries and this year's list of competitors are already over 8,000.

So, select your yacht, set your sails and join the fleet as they cross the startline on Sunday 6 August 2017!

Enter the Virtual Rolex Fastnet Race

 

 

Ajeto! One of the Two Handed Class entries sailed by Dutch pair, Robin Verhoef and John Van Der Starre. Credit: Jasper van Staveren Ajeto! One of the Two Handed Class entries sailed by Dutch pair, Robin Verhoef and John Van Der Starre. Credit: Jasper van Staveren

Doublehanded demons

Thanks to our modern day lifestyles, a frequent problem facing race boat owners is finding willing and available crew. One solution is to sail with less people, an ultimate expression of this being two handed racing. Therefore it is no surprise that the IRC Two Handed class in this Sunday’s Rolex Fastnet Race has swelled, with 60 boats entered (plus nine IMOCA 60s). 

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In the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race the father and son team, Pascal and Alexis Loisin on their JPK 10.10 Night and Day became the first ever doublehanded winner © Rolex Kurt Arrigo In the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race the father and son team, Pascal and Alexis Loisin on their JPK 10.10 Night and Day became the first ever doublehanded winner © Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Can France make it a Rolex Fastnet Race hat trick?

In the last two editions of the RORC’s biennial flagship event from Cowes to Plymouth via southwest Ireland’s most famous rock, French boats have not just won, they have dominated.

For example in the last race in 2015, Géry Trentesaux’s JPK 10.80 Courrier Du Leon won by more than two and a half hours, and, despite racing in IRC Three, beat all of the IRC Two boats on the water. That year seven of the top ten boats overall were French.

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Skippered by Charles Caudrelier, the Chinese Dongfeng Race Team will compete in the Rolex Fastnet Race as Leg Zero of the Volvo Ocean Race © Benoit Stichelbaut Skippered by Charles Caudrelier, the Chinese Dongfeng Race Team will compete in the Rolex Fastnet Race as Leg Zero of the Volvo Ocean Race © Benoit Stichelbaut

Ocean racing's big guns in the Rolex Fastnet Race

Setting off from the Solent on 6 August in the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race will be three of the most prestigious classes in offshore racing.

Significantly it will be the first occasion the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race fleet of VO65 one design will line up on the race’s ‘Leg Zero’. This is the first occasion the VO65s will get to race against one another in anger, in the build up to the start of the race proper from Alicante on 22 October.

The line-up includes three teams which competed in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race: Team Brunel, second last time and again skippered by Bouwe Bekking; Dongfeng Race Team, third last time and fourth placed MAPFRE, the Spanish team hoping to make it fifth time lucky. In one designs, experience is everything, giving these teams the edge, yet crew from the last race have been distributed across all of the new teams too.

This time VO65 crews can come four configurations : seven men; seven men and one or two women; seven women and one or two men and five men and five women. So, while Sun Hung Kai Scallyway is going with seven men, Turn the Tide on Plastic will have five men and five women.

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Ludde Ingvall still holds the double record set 22 years ago in the Rolex Fastnet Race, taking both line honours and handicap victory. He's back this year with the 100ft DSS foiling CQS © Andrea Francolini Ludde Ingvall still holds the double record set 22 years ago in the Rolex Fastnet Race, taking both line honours and handicap victory. He's back this year with the 100ft DSS foiling CQS © Andrea Francolini

Fight to be first home

While the Judel-Vrolijk 115 Nikata will be the largest yacht competing among the 350 or so yachts starting the Rolex Fastnet Race on Sunday 6 August, the battle for line honours glory looks set to be between two titans of the grand prix racing world.

2017 rfr nikataThe largest yacht in the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race is the 115ft Judel-Vrolijk - Nikata

Finnish Whitbread Round the World Race legend Ludde Ingvall returns having previously put in one of the most exceptional performances in the 92 year history of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s flagship event.

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Race Office at the Finish

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