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In 3 months, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin will host the Rolex Fastnet Race

The Rolex Fastnet Race, the world's biggest ocean race, will once again stop in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin this summer, between 17th and 29th July. The finish line of this 695-mile (1,200 km) race, which starts in Cowes (England) and winds around the emblematic Fastnet Rock in the south of Ireland, will be moored in the Grande Rade of the Normandy port. Nearly 480 boats - an all-time record - are expected to participate in this 50th edition. This year, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin is pulling out all the stops. The crews who wish to do so can make a stopover before the start to take advantage of the Norman welcome before crossing the Channel and starting the race on 22nd July. The giant trimarans, the Ultims, must complete this course in less than 48 hours and will be the first to cross this line, which will see the arrivals follow one another throughout the week.

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A week of festivities


The boats will begin to moor in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin on the 17th July, where they will be able to finalise their registration forms, but the week of festivities officially begins on the 20th with a big presentation evening, followed by a concert. From 22 July, at 10am, the village will open its doors to allow the public to follow the start of the race from Cowes on a giant screen, while enjoying the many activities on offer. Two prize-giving ceremonies are planned to meet the sailors. The first, on 25 July, is for the professional skippers, while the amateurs will have their moment of glory on 28 July. Each ceremony is followed by a free concert open to all. And for the first time in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, a drone show will light up the sky above the Chantereyne port and the finishing boats.

10 jours

Great sailors and exceptional boats

Born in 1925, the Rolex Fastnet Race is a mythical race and this anniversary edition brings together a colourful and eclectic fleet where vintage yachts meet the latest machines. Some of them even cross the globe to take the start, like Maluka, a veteran yacht with rounded lines that is loyal to the Sidney - Hobart, twin sister of the Rolex Fastnet Race. This South Sea yacht will be racing alongside Moonbeam, a sumptuous Fife design launched in 1903 and skippered by Jacques Caraës, race director of the last two editions of the Vendée Globe. The fastest machines are of course the Ultims, with the Maxi Edmond de Rotschild at the forefront, winner of the last two editions and holder of the race record. The IMOCA boats, the Vendée Globe boats, are expected in large numbers, as are the Class40s and the Ocean Fifty, spectacular 50-foot (15m) trimarans. Several spectacular boats, such as the large Lucky (27 metres), are also registered and will delight the specialists as they are more often seen on the Anglo-Saxon circuit.

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Key figures :

  • 10 days of festivities (from 20 to 29 July)
  • 480 boats expected.
  • 30,000 m² of space dedicated to the race, including
  • 1.8 km of specially designed pontoons
  • 10 concerts scheduled
  • More than 50 stands and activities on land and on the water
  • 40m of zip line, skimboard, diving pool, sailing simulator...
  • 3 giant screens to follow the race
  • 200 drones in the sky for a unique show on 28 July
  • 150,000 visitors expected
  • 4500 sailors at the start
  • Nearly 300 people mobilised for the organisation
  • 3 highlights not to be missed.

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