Rolex Fastnet Race Archives

Everyone a winner

Sutton Harbour, Plymouth Photo: Rolex/Carlo BorlenghiNiklas and Catherine Zennström were rightly very proud to win the prestigious Fastnet Trophy. The oldest ‘Blue Ribbon' trophy has over 80 years of yacht racing history etched on its plinth. "Team RÁN put an enormous amount of effort into this race, we were lucky with the weather but we did not leave anything to chance, the team worked extremely hard especially ion preparation and we sailed almost perfectly, I would especially like to mention Steve (Hayles) who did a fantastic job navigating on RÁN. The Zennström's received a fantastic ovation from a packed marquee at the Royal Citadel overlooking Plymouth Sound and rightly so, the couple always race on the boat and treat their stellar crew as an extension of their family, they are a credit to the sport.

However over 300 yachts started the 2009 Rolex Fastnet and not all of the competitors made it home before the 5 pm prize giving. There will be another prize giving at 1800 today on the Rolex Fastnet stage at Sutton Harbour. During the night and the early hours of this morning, the vast majority of the yachts finished, at the Plymouth Breakwater and are now safely moored up in Sutton Harbour. The conditions may have been fairly gentle but five days, racing at sea, is very demanding. There were some tired but triumphant sailors on the dock and in the bars along the Barbican. However, currently there are 15 yachts still racing and they are expected to finish, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's flagship race, during the course of today or the early hours of tomorrow.

The conditions conspired against the smaller boats in this race, especially adverse tide at Portland Bill and less wind on the race course after the big fast boats finished. The yachts finishing the Rolex Fastnet Race today, will not be winning the major trophies, not this year anyway but every one who finishes this great race is a winner. The Rolex Fastnet Race is tactically and physically challenging and all of the competitors can feel rightly proud to have completed the oldest and most prestigious offshore yacht race in the world.