Rolex Fastnet Race Archives

Race Updates 2011

Class and Honour

Rives Potts (Carina II) and Ross Appleby (Scarlet Oyster) after the finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2011. Photo: Rolex/Carlo BorlenghiIRC Two winner Carina II is skippered by Rives Potts. The Rear Commodore of the New York Yacht Club raced the 1969 48' sloop in last month's Transatlantic Race to take part in the Rolex Fastnet Race. Carina II is a family affair: Rives Potts has his son William working the bow, navigator Dirk Johnson has his 16 year old son Dirk Jr. on board and Watch Captain, Richard du Moulin's son, Edward works on trim.

The three families represent a dynasty of sailors for Newport Rhode Island. Rives Potts has competed in several America's Cup campaigns. Potts sailing Carina is a veteran of 20 Newport Bermuda Races and has won the coveted St. David's Lighthouse Trophy on three occasions.

"I think the Rolex Fastnet Race is one of the most fabulous races in the world," exclaimed Potts dockside in Plymouth. "I think it's probably filled with more passion than any other race that I know of. I think the Bermuda Race rivals it, but the Fastnet Race has probably been greater. The second thing is I wanted to sail with my son and some of my best friends' sons. So we had a bunch of fathers and sons on the boat and we had a great time."

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The ape speaks!

Joe Powder, mainstay crew on Desperado joined the race team in the office following his Rolex Fastnet Race and enjoyed the blogs!Joe Powder is one of the main-stay crew on Richard Loftus' Swan 65, Desperado, whether its hammering away at a winch or climbing the pole to spike a kite, Joe is an an all action monkey with a cheeky nature. Joe is a long standing RORC member, (overseas as Joe lives in the Jungle).This year, due to the inaugral presentation of the Joe Powder Trophy, Joe has stayed on in Plymouth after the Rolex Fastnet Race to help the race team and be available at the Prizegiving Ceremony. During his time in the Race Office, Joe has especially enjoyed reading the 'story of the race' and here are his favourite blogs from the boats.

"As a veteran of the Rolex Fastnet Race I know what agonies and ecstasies it takes to round the Rock when people start pilfering my secret banana stash." Chattered Joe. "This year I preferred to follow from the comfort of the jungle and with such a choice of ways to keep up with the crews I found myself drawn to reading the blogs. Swinging from my tree, I sympathised with the grim tales of malfunctioning heads, equipment breakdown and the inevitable repercussions of choppy seas. It seems the preoccupation with food has not changed since my day, but dried food, vats of chilli and 'come dine with me sailor' - what happened to a good old-fashioned banana and monkey nuts?

I read tales of endurance, initiative (fixing heads with a champagne cork - genius!) and hearty debate on the proper etiquette of offshore racing (etiquette isn't the word I'd use to describe the land-based antics...and I'm a monkey) I suggest you read them too!"

[Editor's Note: You can now help to decide the Best Blog Trophy; a brand new iPad, in a poll on the RORC's Facebook page]

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Fastnet Soul

The start for Class IRC Four of the Rolex Fastnet Rave 2011. Photo:Rolex/Carlo BorlenghiArguably the heart and soul of the Rolex Fastnet Race are the sailors racing in Class IRC Three and IRC Four. Sutton Harbour Marina in Plymouth is now ram-packed with finishing yachts and 135 of them have been racing in Class Three and Four. The boats come in all shapes and sizes and fly the flags of nine different countries; Belgium, Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Sweden and the United States.

Noel Racine's Foggy Dew, repeating their success in 2007, won IRC Class Three. The 33' JPK built in Morbihon Brittany, France is a real pocket rocket, which enjoys fast downwind conditions, however this year, the race for Foggy Dew was mainly upwind.

"It was a very hard battle with the other JPK Wasabi, we were neck and neck all the way to the Fastnet Rock and then the wind died and shifted unexpectedly and Wasabi got there before us by about 40 minutes. So after that we really had to do a lot of hard work," said Racine.

"We had good strategy in the Celtic Sea and as we reached Bishop's Rock, we were just a few metres ahead of Wasabi but still behind on corrected time. 90-miles from the finish, we were beating into light wind and it was there that we made up our time, tacking on every wind shift. This year was very different to 2007, it was a like a 600 mile regatta with several races. The Rolex Fastnet Race is a very interesting race, there are many different parts, you have to change your thinking all the time, to win you have to be able to adapt."

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