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
|Event||Date (2023)||Competitor Info|
|Registration Open||Wed 11 Jan
1200 hrs UTC
|From this date you can log into your SailRaceHQ account and add your boat to the Registration List for the Rolex Fastnet Race 2023.
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 crew mileage qualification requirement.|
|Qualification||As per proposal||You must email the Race Team once your crew have completed the mileage qualification as per your proposal.|
|Closing Date||Thu 22 June||
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 13 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||Mon 17 - Fri 21 July||At the RORC Office, The Disrespect, Cowes, Isle of Wight. Sailing Instructions are available only after completing registration.|
|Skippers Briefing||Fri 21 July, TBC||Cowes Parade & broadcast through RORC Social Media Channels.|
|Start||Sat 22 July||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 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
- 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 World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations within 5 years of the start of the race
- 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.
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 as France. The RORC 2023 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.
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.
RE: "Sail Number", "Boat Name", Skipper "Captain Cornish" Experience Qualification Proposal Rolex Fastnet Race 2021
I and at least 50% of the crew intending to participate on my First 40.7 GBR1234L Boatname in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2023 propose to do the following races:
Cervantes Trophy Race Sat 29 Apr 110-160 nm De Guingand Bowl Race Sat 13 May 110-160 nm Morgan Cup Race Fri 16 Jun 110-160 nm
Total : 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.
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 World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations. The training course must have taken place within the five years before the start of the race. Please note that in accordance with World Sailing guidelines, the RORC will NOT accept STCW training courses (except First Aid).
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 World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations which can be found 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.
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). Details of acceptable First Aid training courses in other countries can be found at:
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 Appendices H-J of the World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations for details.
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.
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.
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. Rolex Middle Sea 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.
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 World Sailing 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.
|All boats must hold a valid rating/class certificate by the end of Thursday 13th July 2023. 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.|
* The Committee may make an exception to the minimum or maximum lengths on application.
Please see the full requirements in "Hull Construction Certificate" below.
|Boat Equipment||The Rolex Fastnet Race is organised in accordance with Category 2 of the World Sailing Special Regulations with RORC Prescriptions. Please view the Offshore Special Regulations 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 completed within SailRaceHQ
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?
You don't need to lodge a hull construction certificate with the RORC.
after the above, but before January 2010?
on or after January 2010?
You must have
- a certificate of building plan review from a notified body recognised by World Sailing
- a declaration, signed and dated by the builder, to confirm the yacht is built in accordance with the plans reviewed by the notified body.
The boat is entered into the Rolex Fastnet Race through the SailRaceHQ Online Entry System which has been designed to make the entry process as easy and transparent as possible. The crew must be added through this system once your boat has been entered into the race.
The steps to enter
Login to existing SailRaceHQ account or register new account
All competitors are now required to register for an account on SailRaceHQ, or simply log in with your email address and password ifd you have previously registered with SailRaceHQ. 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 have never sailed with the RORC and need to register a new account start by going to SailRaceHQ. You can either bookmark the address or find it in the Racing dropdown menu on the RORC website.
You will now see SailRaceHQ's Login Prompt. Click on the "Sign up now" 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, your Membership details should be automatically connected to your account (see 'My Membership' once logged in. Depending on your connection to the boat you might be eligible for the discounted race entry fee for RORC Members.
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 find that is set out in the Notice of Race. Note: The Race Declaration must be agreed and signed before the 'Boats' and 'Races' options become available on Sailgate. You will not be able to see or add boats or enter races unless this has been accepted.
Choose a boat to enter into races or register a new boat
Once you have logged on to SailRaceHQ, please select 'My Account'.
On the left, you should be able to see some options, including 'My Boats'. Here you will be able to add a boat to your account by selecting the option 'Add Boat'.
Once the boat is registered or your account has been connected to an existing boat by another registered user it will be listed in your 'My Boats' page, along with a few options.
Enter one or more races
To enter or manage races, select the menu item 'Racing', followed by 'Enter Races'.
Firstly; ensure the correct boat is selected within your account.
Once the boat is selected, click on the race name you wish to enter in the list of races; a menu will appear where you can choose the division you wish to race in. This menu will also allow you to select if you are sailing in the double-handed division, or fully-crewed.
Entry Fees 2023 - shown in £ Sterling
RORC members are entitled to a discount of 30% of the entry fee, up to the equivalent value of a Full UK Ordinary subscription (2023 - £377). This fee discount structure is applied to all RORC Offshore races so, as a RORC member doing your qualifying mileage, you can expect to have saved more than your subscription rate through fee discounts over the course of the season!
|LH (LOA) (m)||Non-Member||RORC Member (discount)|
|Below 9.00||564||395 (169)|
|9.00 - 9.99||641||448 (193)|
|10.00 - 10.99||721||505 (216)|
|11.00 - 11.99||842||589 (253)|
|12.00 - 12.99||949||664 (285)|
|13.00 - 13.99||1192||834 (358)|
|14.00 - 14.99||1385||1008 (377)|
|15.00 - 15.99||1813||1436 (377)|
|16.00 - 16.99||2357||1980 (377)|
|17.00 - 17.99||3028||2651 (377)|
|18.00 - 18.99||3613||3236 (377)|
|19.00 - 19.99||3932||3555 (377)|
|20.00 - 20.99||4264||3887 (377)|
|21.00 - 21.99||4582||4205 (377)|
|22.00 - 22.99||4851||4474 (377)|
|23.00 - 23.99||5051||4674 (377)|
|24.00 - 24.99||5250||4873 (377)|
|25.00 - 25.99||5478||5101 (377)|
|26.00 - 26.99||5680||5303 (377)|
|27.00 - 27.99||5874||5497 (377)|
|28.00 - 28.99||6066||5689 (377)|
|29.00 - 29.99||6300||5923 (377)|
|30.00 and above||£210 / metre||£210 / metre (377)|
Check the status of your entry - Live!
After the above steps, your entry will be submitted but registration process requires further information before it can be marked as complete. On the 'Races' page, ensure the correct boat is selected, tick the box next to the race name, and click 'Live Entry Status' towards the top of the page. Alternatively, click the list icon next to the race date. The Live Entry Status 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. Some items require a manual update, such as the OSR Checklist which must be checked by the RORC Race Team, Crew Mileage Qualification proposal/completion, and the overall race Registration Status (first item in the list) which will only show as complete once all other requirements have been met.
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 'Overview' screen in your SailRaceHQ account 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 submit your World Sailing 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.