Rolex Fastnet Race News

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49th Rolex Fastnet Race – one year to go!

The Fastnet Rock off southwest Ireland is the symbol of the  Rolex Fastnet Race. The 2021 edition will be the 49th © Kurt Arrigo The Fastnet Rock off southwest Ireland is the symbol of the Rolex Fastnet Race. The 2021 edition will be the 49th © Kurt Arrigo

In one year’s time a new era will begin for the world’s largest offshore yacht race. On 8 August 2021, the Rolex Fastnet Race will set sail from Cowes bound for the Fastnet Rock as usual, but then, once the boats have rounded Bishop Rock, they will, for the first time in the race’s 96 year history, point their bows towards Cherbourg, the new finish for the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s premier event.

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ROYAL OCEAN RACING CLUB TO FINISH ROLEX FASTNET IN CHERBOURG

Port of Cherbourg ©JM Enault /Ville de Cherbourg en Cotentin Port of Cherbourg ©JM Enault /Ville de Cherbourg en Cotentin

The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), organisers of the Rolex Fastnet Race, announced at a press conference today that the City of Cherbourg will host the finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race for the 2021 and 2023 editions of the biennial race. The move encourages and secures the future development of the race and will open it to more competitors; in 2019 the race had a waiting list of 150 boats.

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Wrapping up - Rolex Fastnet Race Finish Video

Its a wrap! The 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race Prizegiving © Rolex Its a wrap! The 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race Prizegiving © Rolex

The 48th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race has almost come to close - while the final few boats are making their way in to the finish line off Plymouth, we look back on what has been a record-breaking edition of an iconic race. © Rolex

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Fastnet one design claims Hobo Trophy

With Alacrity, Sigma 38 © Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.com With Alacrity, Sigma 38 © Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.com

Sigma 38s hold a significant place in both the Royal Ocean Racing Club and Rolex Fastnet Race history. Following the 1979 Fastnet Race tragedy, in 1985 the David Thomas-design won a competition run by the RORC and the Royal Thames Yacht Club to design a yacht that could stand up to being raced in tough offshore conditions.

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1979 Spanish yacht returns to finish the race

The crew of Mar Menor celebrate reaching the Fastnet Rock as the boat returned to finish the race 40 years after it started in 1979 The crew of Mar Menor celebrate reaching the Fastnet Rock as the boat returned to finish the race 40 years after it started in 1979

Eight friends from Spain finished the Rolex Fastnet Race Thursday morning in high spirits, pleased with their 52nd place in IRC Four.  “We are just amateurs and we are sailing a 40 year old boat, so we are very happy with our position” says owner Pablo Bernabe. 

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France dominate an international top 10

IRC Zero contained several of the IRC Overall top 10 including the TP52s: David Collins' Tala and Tilmar Hansen's Outsider © Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.com IRC Zero contained several of the IRC Overall top 10 including the TP52s: David Collins' Tala and Tilmar Hansen's Outsider © Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.com

The top ten of the overall IRC corrected time rankings for the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race have proved to be quite an international affair. Not only did the Stars & Stripes take line honours with Rambler 88, but also overall victory in the race and IRC Zero, won by the VO70 Wizard.

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Classic winners in the Rolex Fastnet Race

Ben Morris' S&S Yawl Lulotte is the winner of the Sparkman and Stephens Trophy in the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race ©  Kurt Arrigo/Rolex Ben Morris' S&S Yawl Lulotte is the winner of the Sparkman and Stephens Trophy in the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race © Kurt Arrigo/Rolex

With only 18 boats left to finish, the winners of some of the special awards can now be determined, including those for the classics, the Sparkman and Stephens Trophy for the best yacht of that design, which has been claimed by the S&S Yawl Lulotte owned by Ben Morris. Also winning a special prize this year is Carina II, which will take home the Dorade Cup for the best IRC corrected time for a classic yacht. 

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Multihulls earning their stripes in the Rolex Fastnet Race

Five Dazcats, built in Plymouth, took part in the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race, including Nigel Passmore's Apollo and Simon Baker's Hissy Fit © Dazcat Five Dazcats, built in Plymouth, took part in the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race, including Nigel Passmore's Apollo and Simon Baker's Hissy Fit © Dazcat

Twenty years ago the Royal Ocean Racing Club allowed multihulls to participate in the Rolex Fastnet Race. Today, while the numbers remain relatively small compared to the giant IRC fleets, the quality and diversity of the multihull fleet is of note.

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US Rolex Fastnet Race winner breaks French winning streak

David and Peter Askew's VO70 Wizard is the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race winner, claiming the Fastnet Challenge Cup for 1st in IRC Overall © Kurt Arrigo/Rolex David and Peter Askew's VO70 Wizard is the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race winner, claiming the Fastnet Challenge Cup for 1st in IRC Overall © Kurt Arrigo/Rolex

An American VO70 has continued its phenomenal winning streak to claim the Fastnet Challenge Cup, the overall prize for the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race. David and Peter Askew, aboard their VO70 Wizard, came out on top under IRC corrected time, beating French boat builder Nicolas Groleau’s perennial entry on their canting keel Mach 45 Bretagne Telecom by 45 minutes. This was despite the 2019 race being the Askew’s first attempt at the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s pinnacle 600 mile offshore.

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