Rolex Fastnet Race News

News

Big boat race on the cards as the Plymouth deluge begins

Dominique Tian's Tonnerre de Glen rounds the Fastnet Rock at sunset © Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex Dominique Tian's Tonnerre de Glen rounds the Fastnet Rock at sunset © Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex

Like a tap slowly being turned on, the quantity of Rolex Fastnet Race boats arriving in Plymouth has been steadily increasing since yesterday afternoon, with crews clambering off boats into the welcoming arms of the race office before heading for a beer in the race village.

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Charal shakes off competition to claim Rolex Fastnet Race honours

IMOCA 60 Charal, skippered by Jeremie Beyo, takes the hard-fought class win in the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race © Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.com IMOCA 60 Charal, skippered by Jeremie Beyo, takes the hard-fought class win in the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race © Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.com

While IMOCA 60s are renowned for racing non-stop around the world in the Vendée Globe, the doublehanded crews of these extraordinary space-age craft appreciate the Rolex Fastnet Race as it offers most conditions of a round the world race within just a few days.

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Doublehanded leaders round the Fastnet Rock

Two-handed class leader at the Rock, JPK 10.30 Léon is skippered by Alexis Loison - 2013 winner of the 2013 Fastnet Challenge Cup and Jean-Pierre Kelbert of JPK - maker of the boat © Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex Two-handed class leader at the Rock, JPK 10.30 Léon is skippered by Alexis Loison - 2013 winner of the 2013 Fastnet Challenge Cup and Jean-Pierre Kelbert of JPK - maker of the boat © Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex

Monday 5 Aug PM - IRC Two-Handed 

With 63 teams starting the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race in the IRC Two-Handed division, Robin Verhoef & John Van Der Starre's racing J/122 Ajeto! was the first to round the Fastnet Rock at 16:18:36 on Monday 05 August, in an elapsed time of 2 days, 2 hrs, 48 mins and 36 secs.

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Sorcha wins her battle with Jethou

Sir Peter Ogden's Mini Maxi Jethou rounds the Fastnet Rock and makes for Plymouth © Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex Sir Peter Ogden's Mini Maxi Jethou rounds the Fastnet Rock and makes for Plymouth © Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex

Monday 5 August PM - IRC Zero, One and Two

While all the big news has been going on in Plymouth today with the line honours victory of Rambler 88 and Wizard’s fast finish making her look like a hot candidate for overall victory, the vast majority of the fleet continues to battle away in the Celtic Sea.

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Wizard looking like a winner

The crew of Wizard at the finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race in which they have put in a strong performance to contend for IRC Overall © Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.com The crew of Wizard at the finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race in which they have put in a strong performance to contend for IRC Overall © Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.com

You won’t get co-owners David and Peter Askew to acknowledge it, but all the talk around the Fastnet Race Village is that Wizard is looking like a shoo-in for overall race winner on IRC handicap.

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David beats Goliath in the battle for line honours in the monohulls

David and Goliath on the start line of the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race © Kurt Arrigo/Rolex David and Goliath on the start line of the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race © Kurt Arrigo/Rolex

It has been a big morning in Plymouth with Rambler 88 taking monohull line honours, closely followed by arch-rival 100ft SHK Scallywag, and the VO70 Wizard scorching in behind the front two and looking like a very good bet for victory in IRC overall in this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race.

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Rambler 88 claims consecutive monohull line honours

Rambler 88 set a new monohull record from Cowes to the Fastnet Rock and finished to claim monohull line honours © Kurt Arrigo/Rolex Rambler 88 set a new monohull record from Cowes to the Fastnet Rock and finished to claim monohull line honours © Kurt Arrigo/Rolex

Rambler 88 has won monohull line honours this morning, after crossing the Plymouth finish line at 09:55:02. American Owner George David and his all-star crew were delighted to have beaten their rivals on the 100-footer SHK Scallywag to the punch.

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Bumpy ride to the Rock

IRC Three and Four are making their way towards the Fastnet Rock IRC Three and Four are making their way towards the Fastnet Rock

Monday 05 Aug 0900 - IRC Three and IRC Four

The vast majority of the Rolex Fastnet Race armada racing in IRC Three and IRC Four passed the Isles of Scilly on the second night of the race. As they enter the Celtic Sea they are in for a bumpy ride.

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MACIF pipped at the post by Maxi Edmond de Rothschild in Ultim competition

The crew of Maxi Edmond de Rothschild celebrate their record-breaking race today © Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.com The crew of Maxi Edmond de Rothschild celebrate their record-breaking race today © Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.com

The 32m long Ultim trimarans laid on a spectacular finish in this 48th Rolex Fastnet Race resulting in MACIF, the leader since rounding the Fastnet Rock earlier this morning, being beaten to the finish line in the last breath of the race by her arch-rival Maxi Edmond de Rothschild.

As Maxi Edmond de Rothschild’s skipper Franck Cammas explained: “Just after they gybed onto the layline for the finish we crossed them and decided to overlay. It was our last chance to see if there was something still possible. But until five minutes before we finished we never thought it was possible!”

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Rambler 88 knocks 88 minutes off the Rock record

Rambler 88 have broken the monohull record for fastest to the Fastnet Rock © Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.com Rambler 88 have broken the monohull record for fastest to the Fastnet Rock © Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.com

Rambler 88 broke the monohull record to the Fastnet Rock by 88 minutes when the canting-keeled sloop from New York passed the rock at 16:45:47 this afternoon. George David and his crew have set a new time of 1 day 2 hours 47 minutes, breaking their own record which they set back in 2011 with the bigger Rambler 100 (1 day 4 hours 15 minutes). However, that was the same occasion when the keel fell off the 100-footer, not long after rounding, requiring the crew to be rescued.

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First Blood to Dream Pearls and Foggy Dew

Dream Pearls, JPK 10.80 sailed by Eric Mordret and Arnaud Delamare © Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.com Dream Pearls, JPK 10.80 sailed by Eric Mordret and Arnaud Delamare © Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.com

Sunday 04 Aug 1200 - IRC Three and IRC Four

After leaving the Solent the fleet enjoyed a fresh breeze along the south coast of England but after sunset on the first day, the wind evaporated during the night. By dawn the fleet was concentrated in an area offshore from Start Point, devoid of breeze. After a frustrating first night, a south westerly wind materialised by late morning. Those teams that had ventured further offshore got into the new breeze first, reaping the rewards on their respective leaderboards.

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The Hare and the tortoises

Ultim Maxi Edmond de Rothschild sets a new record to the Fastnet Rock © Yann Riou Ultim Maxi Edmond de Rothschild sets a new record to the Fastnet Rock © Yann Riou

Day One - Morning report

Overnight in this 48th Rolex Fastnet Race, the much forecast park-up caused by the wind transition between the southeasterly and southwesterly gradient breezes created a driftathon and a major compression in the fleet between Start Point and the Lizard. This meant a park-up for the majority of the fleet…but for some more than others.

Across Lyme Bay the majority of the fleet took a southerly course, passing closer to the Casquets traffic separation scheme than to Start Point, the idea being that the all-important transition zone leading to the new southwesterly breeze would be at its narrowest here. As they were headed and tacked, the boats most fully committed to the south – especially the IMOCA 60s PRB and Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco - had sailed as far south as the Channel Islands before the breeze shifted enough for them to tack.

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