Rolex Fastnet Race Archives

News 2017

Rock-bound flotilla

Nikata round the iconic Fastnet Rock in front of a spectacular sunset. Credit: ROLEX/Kurt Arrigo Nikata round the iconic Fastnet Rock in front of a spectacular sunset. Credit: ROLEX/Kurt Arrigo

Tuesday 8 August 2017 - PM

The first monohull arrivals are due into Plymouth tonight with George David’s Rambler 88 leading the charge, rounding Bishop Rock, the mandatory mark of the course southwest of the Scilly Isles, at 1515 BST.

But the hottest contest in this group is between the seven one design Volvo Open 65s. They finally reached the Fastnet Rock at around breakfast time this morning with the Chinese entry Dongfeng Race Team in first place, making the turn south at 0758, followed by Team Akzonobel, MAPFRE, Sun Hung Kai Scallywag, Team Brunel, Vestas 11th Hour Racing and with the Dee Caffari-skippered Turn the Tide on Plastic bringing up the rear almost an hour later.

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Concise home as Dongfeng Race Team leads VO65s around the Rock

The crew of Concise 10, the MOD70, celebrate at the finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race. Credit: ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi The crew of Concise 10, the MOD70, celebrate at the finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race. Credit: ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi

Tuesday 8 August 2017 - AM

Unchallenged, Concise 10 blazed into Plymouth this morning, first boat home in the 47th Rolex Fastnet Race. Tony Lawson’s MOD70 trimaran crossed the finish line off Plymouth breakwater at 05:55:00 BST with a race time of 42 hours and 55 minutes. This time didn’t come close to the overall multihull record for the Rolex Fastnet Race but it was still respectable considering they sailed upwind all the way to the Fastnet Rock.

Dockside at Plymouth Yacht Haven, a beaming Tony Lawson commented:

“To take the record for the Round the Island Race just a few weeks ago and then this… they deserve it, they have sailed well. Everyone thinks multihulls can’t go to weather, but we led three state of the art monohulls around the Rock by about 100 miles and we led them into Plymouth by 200 miles. So if you want to go fast you have to get yourself a multihull!”

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Heavy traffic off Cornwall as Concise rounds the Rock

Concise 10, the Ned Collier-Wakefield skippered MOD 70, was the first round the Fastnet Rock on Monday 7 August. Credit: ROLEX/Kurt Arrigo Concise 10, the Ned Collier-Wakefield skippered MOD 70, was the first round the Fastnet Rock on Monday 7 August. Credit: ROLEX/Kurt Arrigo

Monday 7 August 2017 - PM

At 15:49:37 BST Tony Lawson’s MOD70 trimaran Concise 10 became the first boat to round the Fastnet Rock off southwest Ireland. At the time the next boat in the race, George David’s Rambler 88, was 111 miles astern. However thanks to their upwind passage, their time of 28 hours 49 minutes was well outside of record to the Rock of 22 hours and 21 minutes, set in 2011 by the Loick Peyron-skippered 40m Banque Populaire Maxi trimaran.

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Concise approaches the Rock as Portland Bill pays

Picture sent to us from Initiatives Coeur of Sam Davies helming the IMOCA 60. Credit: Initiatives Coeur Picture sent to us from Initiatives Coeur of Sam Davies helming the IMOCA 60. Credit: Initiatives Coeur

Monday 7 August 2017 - AM

Overnight the fleet in the Rolex Fastnet Race has been made solid progress upwind, tacking on shifts and dipping in and out of the land according to whether or not the tide is favourable.

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Classic upwind start for record breaking Rolex Fastnet Race

Magnificent conditions for the start of the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race © Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi Magnificent conditions for the start of the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race © Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Sunday 6 August 2017

The Solent laid on ‘classic’ conditions for the start of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s 47th Rolex Fastnet Race. In brilliant sunshine and with brisk westerly winds gusting up to 20 knots, the giant fleet tacked up the western Solent before compressing through the usual bottleneck at Hurst Narrows. A record-sized fleet of 368 boats started the race, 12 more than two years ago, confirming the Rolex Fastnet Race’s position as the world’s largest offshore yacht race.  

The first start got underway at 11:00 BST for the nine multihulls and within minutes, the blue three-hulled streak that is Concise 10 had pulled out a lead, frequently heeling to an alarming degree, just one hull immersed. By the time IRC One was starting at 12:20 Tony Lawson’s MOD 70, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, was already off Poole. Crewman Paul Larsen, who five years ago became the world’s fastest sailor setting a world record of 65.45 knots, reported Concise 10 was sailing under reefed mainsail and staysail. “We’re making 20 knots tacking past Poole and just dropping into the watch system. Glamour start conditions in the Solent. I can just see the next boats clearing Hurst Castle.” However Larsen warned that unless the wind freed up, there was little chance for them to break the multihull race record. By 1500 Concise 10 was already level with Portland Bill.

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