Fastnet Race Documents

Facts & Stats

2007 Fastnet Challenge Cup winner Chieftain. Photo Rolex/Carlo BorlenghiThere is a comprehensive history of the great race on this web site; but here are some more facts about the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Q: Where in the world is approx. 695 nautical miles from Cowes?

A: Faroe Islands, Oslo, Vienna, San Marino, Palma and Cherbourg via Fastnet Rock.


Are we there yet?

The race course for the Rolex Fastnet Race is 695 nautical miles along the rhumb line.

Distances between notable points on the course

  • Cowes, Royal Yacht Squadron Start Line: 0 nm
  • Cowes – Needles 16 nm
  • Needles – Portland Bill 34 nm
  • Portland – Start Point 54 nm
  • Start Point – Lizard 60 nm
  • Lizard – Lands End 22 nm
  • Land's End – Fastnet 170 nm
  • Fastnet Rock – Scillies 150 nm
  • Scillies – Cherbourg 189 nm

Finish in Cherbourg after 695 nautical miles

It all adds up

In 2019 there were 390 boats entered for the Rolex Fastnet Race, end to end they would stretch to over 13,000 ft (4000m) equivalent to the height of the Matterhorn mountain, overlooking Zermatt in Switzerland.

The beautiful game

The total sail area of the competing yachts was in the region of 200,000 sq.ft (18580m) enough to cover the pitch at Wembley Stadium, twice over.

Little and Large

The magnificent 105 foot (32m) Ultime trimarans were the largest yachts in the 2019 race with Maxi Edmond de Rothschild setting a new multihull race record of 1 day, 4 hours, 2 minutes and 26 seconds . The Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi, skippered by Ian Walker holds the monohull record set in 2011 of 1 day, 18 hours, and 39 mins.

Smallest Yachts

There were two contenders for the smallest yachts in the race:
Freedom, 9m sloop: owned by David O'Shea 
Buzz, Seacart 30 (9.15m) owned by Ross Hobson

United Nations

Entries have been drawn from near and far. The Rolex Fastnet continues to attract competitors from around the globe and 26 countries and four continents were represented by boats and crews in the race.

Armchair Admirals

Armchair sailors will be able to test their skills on the same course as competitors in the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race by playing the Virtual Fastnet Race. Details will be in the Follow the Race area.