Rolex Fastnet Race Archives

Blogs 2011

Crew member on GBR979R Malice

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Photo of malice minus rudder, on the wall in Hugh Town, and sailing to

Plymouth on Saturday with transom mounted jury rigged J24 Rudder. Parted

company 0330 on Thursday 45m west of the scillies.

We rigged a drogue and continued on to the Scillies where we were towed in

by the RNLI. The J24 rudder was then modified in Plymouth and sent out to

us in Hugh Town

(More pictures and commentary available)


Mike Moxley

Crew member on USA21847 Dawn Star

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Thursday Noon. All the bad things of Wednesday turned to good things over the next 24 hours. Dawn Star spent hours drifting in the lightest possible wind Wenesday while rounding Fastnet light while her competition sped 50 miles ahead. As though Dawn Star had won a huge coin toss, everything reversed.Good winds in the high teens -- strong but not too strong -- drove us at top speed toward the finish. And at the same time, the boats ahead saw their wind fade to almost nothing. Our morning report told us that our 50-mile deficit had been chopped dramatically to 18 miles. We were fifth in our class, almost into the prize circle. Dawn Star loves the heavier winds. Beating upwind in strong winds is great for our competitive result, but is,as always, pretty miserable below.. You have to hang onto the grabrails, floors become wet and slippery. plates slide off tables, you fall out of seats, clothing is difficult to put on or take off, and things just fall apart. After Dawn Star hit some rock-hard waves this morning, a seven-foot long ceiling panel, together with its installed lighting fixtures tore loose from its Velcro attachments and fell on Mark, who was asleep in his bunk; the panel was not damaged.. But spirits are high. Stacey's watch, with Paul C, Paul J, and Rob held a raucous joke-telling contest. And the food continues to inspire. Robin Hubbard's chicken blend was consumed eagerly at dinner time, with three portions extra set aside for later. Will ate them all. And last, we should finish our 608 mile adventure late today. Bugs

Crew member on GBR1702T Scarlet Oyster

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Beginners Blog Star Date 13 August 2011, Time, 21.34

My position on Scarlet Oyster had only been confirmed about a week

beforehand. A 48-foot Oyster Lightwave, she is 24 years old and has done

some hard sea-miles, occasionally with success. Winning her class at the

2007 Rolex Fastnet, the toughest race of recent times, was proof of

potential, crew competence and sea-worthiness. I have some long, lost

experience of offshore racing, overnighting in cold latitudes, following a

stint in the USA many years ago. Despite doing the 606nm Rolex Middle Sea

Race last year and reassuring myself that my sea legs were still in gear, I

was nervous going into this race. Like Tony Blair, I had three objectives

dont be sick, dont be sick, dont be sick. After that, it was in order of

importance: dont screw anything up, dont annoy the regular crew and be

useful as best I could.

A brief chat with skipper Ross Applebey on the phone and being included on

some last minute emails was my only contact with the crew before today. The

final email came from Chris King. His tone was authoritative and clear. Meet

at the boat at 1000 on Saturday, do not be late or be given an unpleasant

sandwich to eat. Nervous, me? I was at the dock at 0930. The email had said

bring all your kit in a 40 litre dry bag. Anything extra would be

discardedbut what about my laptop, cameras and paraphernalia? Did my

sleeping bag have to fit in the dry bag, along with my sea boots and

foulies? What was I doing? I felt a bit happier when only two others Daryl

and Richie (one of two) showed up before 1000 and the boat was late

arriving. No one paid any attention to my bags. Some people seemed to have

bags bigger than 40 litres too, maybe my sack of goodies would escape

notice. We then set about a list of tasks that ranged from cleaning the

heads (which Im not sure was done) to putting protective sheaths on

halyards (definitely done, I helped) to rewiring the AIS so it worked (must

have been done, all the green lights came on). I was given one task: put the

bow stickers on. Thanks. My position on the boat confirmed.

The jobs were completed, stores organised by Clinch (the name fits the man)

were loaded. We then headed off to the Hamble to overnight and pick up the

sails which had spent the day being primped and preened at the Banks loft,

courtesy of Daryl. On the journey over I gained some valuable intel:

mid-layer clothing was essential. What type did I have? Er, the type that

doesnt exist. Great. Nervous. Yes. Even more so now. Oh, and be at the boat

by 1000 tomorrow.

Crew member on GBR1509R Jibe

The crew of JIBE were too busy on the wet and windy run up to the Rock to worry about the developing leak on the inlet circuit to the heads. The boat was wet anyway.

On the reach back across the Celtic Sea the problem was addressed with determination and vigour. A blanking plug was found to be leaking.

No problem: the cork from the Rock Rounding champagne was still on board. Nifty whittling with a penknife and the problem was solved. Dry heads: bliss.

Robin Taunt

Sent from my iPhone

Crew member on GBR1367R KORU

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[Note: this post is slightly delayed due to unreliable comms at the Rock

and on the way back]

Wed 0859 precisely and we are round ... and in good company. As we

approached the Fastnet Rock we could see lots and lots of boats

streaming away under spinaker looking stunning in the glorious sunshine,

but even better we could see many more boats working their way up behind us!

Since we left the Lizard and Lands End we have seen more dolphins than

boats, and where we also saw a couple of the enormous multihulls already

on their way home.

So now, mightily encouraged and armed with a new and favourable

forecast, the crew are trimming the kite inch-in inch-out and looking

very every bit like we are going to be able to keep this up until we

cross the line - well Bishop Rock maybe. OK, well until right now, the

Pantaeneus bouy is here already and the shout has just come to drop the


All is well on Koru, any trace of seasickness forg§otten, and everyone

fired up for the return - and variously pints of beer, champagne and /

or Perroni (and maybe a nice long bath) when we get in!

More to follow...