1200 UTC 11th January 2023: this time should be double underlined in the calendar of those wishing to enter next year’s Rolex Fastnet Race, as it will be the moment when registration officially opens for the 50th edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s flagship event.
Just like Glastonbury tickets when they go on sale, registration opening prior to recent editions of the Rolex Fastnet Race have seen available places snapped up within just a few minutes.
In the last pre-pandemic edition of the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race in 2019, the entry capacity was reached in just four minutes and 37 seconds - 13 seconds outside the record time set two years earlier.
With next year’s edition of the world’s largest offshore yacht race marking a special anniversary, demand is expected to be higher than ever, with more than 450 expected on the start line, ranging from maxi monohulls and multis to 30ft club racers and cruisers and everything in between.
Entries are available on a ‘first come-first served’ basis and any late comers beyond the RORC’s limit will be placed on a waiting list.
Will the sign-up record be broken for this special edition? CEO the RORC, Jeremy Wilton advises: “The message is: Get your entry in immediately registration opens, otherwise you will end up on the waiting list. If the Rolex Fastnet Race is going to be the highlight of your 2023 season, why take the risk that you might not get in at this first stage?”
As in 2019, next year’s Rolex Fastnet Race is an ‘early one’. Setting sail on 22nd July (chosen because of availability in the Cowes marinas, as it is outside of Cowes Week and favourable tides on this date), this Saturday start will enable the fleet to complete the 695 mile course, rounding the Fastnet Rock and finishing, once again, in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, France in ample time to return to the Solent for Cowes Week.