Rolex Fastnet Race Archives

Race Updates 2009

Sail the Virtual Fastnet Race

Sail the Virtual Fastnet Race!RORC launch virtual game online - sign up now!

Armchair experts around the world now have the chance to test their skills against the 2,500 sailors racing on 300 yachts in the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race, starting on Sunday 9th August.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club has launched The Virtual Fastnet Race which will mirror the 608-mile race known to all as a true test of offshore sailing skill. To win this race is the ambition of every racing sailor. The course runs from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, around the Fastnet Rock off the South West coast of Ireland and back to Plymouth. It is a difficult race and tests inshore and offshore skills, preparation and speed potential. The virtual race will be no different!

For some, taking part is a once-in-a-lifetime personal challenge, but if you can’t be on the race yourself, sit back and become a virtual racer, competing in real time and real weather conditions on the same rack track against the fleet.

Developed by Virtual, The Virtual Fastnet Race is free to play and is designed to be as close as possible to the real thing.

Eddie Warden-Owen, Chief Executive of the RORC said: "We are now giving fans the opportunity to take part in their own race with our virtual game. The competitors can create their own Rolex Fastnet Race campaign without even having to get wet or leave the sofa!"

"Over 200,000 virtual players participated in the Volvo Ocean Race game, making it the largest online sailing community. It was huge and we are sure the Virtual Fastnet Race will be just as popular. The game is designed for non-experienced sailors as well as professionals and is all about strategy but easy to use."

Sebastien Destremau of Virtual commented: "Well over half a million players worldwide are participating in the largest oceanic races in the world with Virtual Regatta ! The game is simple: Create your yacht, adjust your heading, choose your sails and do battle with the skippers from around the world. The Game has fast become a phenomenon with 340 000 players competing for three months during the last Vendee Globe and 220 000 in the just completed Volvo Ocean Race. It is now one of the largest sailing promotional mediums reaching the wider global audience."

To play, visit the The Virtual Fastnet Race Website.

Your virtual race begins at 1200 BST on Sunday 9th August.

Rolex Fastnet Race 2009 - Deadline for IRC Rating Changes

IRC Rating System LogoIRC ratings for the Rolex Fastnet Race 2009 must be notified to RORC not later than Wednesday 5th August.

No rating changes will be permitted after this date except with the express permission of the Rating Authority.

Rating requests must be received by RORC Rating Office or UNCL no later than 1700 BST on Monday 3rd August.

Expedited Processing Fees (fee x 2) will apply to rating requests received at the Rating Office later than 1700 BST on Wednesady 29th July.

No Recession for the Rolex Fastnet Race

Ger O'Rouke's Chieftain in the 2007 Rolex Fastnet RaceWith 300 yachts already registered for the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race, the Royal Ocean Racing Club has taken the unprecedented step of closing the entry list some three months ahead of the date set in the Notice of Race.

Eddie Warden Owen, RORC Chief Executive summed up the Club's feelings: "Naturally, we are delighted at the level of interest shown in race once again. The Rolex Fastnet is one of our flagship events and reaching the entry limit so early is wonderful news for the RORC and for the sport of offshore yacht racing, especially in these testing times".

The Rolex Fastnet is a challenging 608 nautical-mile offshore race. All yachts registered have to undergo a rigorous qualification process to comply with the entry requirements before being allocated a confirmed place in the race. The entry criteria are in place to ensure that crews are suitably prepared for all conditions.

All is not lost for those interested who have missed the cut, since the RORC has started a waiting list. Prospective competitors who have not already entered the Rolex Fastnet Race should register themselves and their boats online at and then email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. confirming their wish to be added to the waiting list; emails should include the boat name and sail number in the subject field of the email.

And those on the waiting list in search of encouragement that the wait may not be in vain need look no further than Ger O'Rouke and Chieftain - the overall winner of the 2007 Rolex Fastnet. Chieftain was only confirmed as entered during the week leading up to the start.

Note: A high resolution version of the image is available to registered media at