Rolex Fastnet Race Minisite
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Crew member on GBR130 Imerys

“The race was very intense as we were pretty much going upwind the whole

way to Fastnet Rock, and we virtually covered twice the distance from

tacking. It was like a never ending day, the conditions were too

uncomfortable to sleep and the close competition meant that we couldn’t

relax until we had rounded the Rock and could finally hoist the spinnaker

for some fast sailing.

“Going upwind for this long meant that the race was very tactical as it

wasn’t as simple as going from A to B, and I spent most of the race working

on strategy. As the weather forecasts were incredibly unreliable this was

very tiring indeed...

“The wild sprint back from Fastnet Rock last night was a really liberating

experience. We were able to take the lead back and had a fantastic night

sailing at 16 knots in full moon light. It was incredible to be sailing at

last with the elements rather than battling against them…

“We had V&B breathing down our necks for a lot of the course, which pushed

us right to the Isles of Scilly when unfortunately for us they were able to

speed past. It was here this morning, where we had a very strange incident

as we approached the Scilly TSS exclusion zone. Sailing under spinnaker the

boat suddenly lurched to a stop and the object holding us, perhaps a huge

mooring rope, began to drag us towards the no go zone… We rapidly took down

the spinnaker, and then became free. This then happened again just five

minutes later and soon we were surrounded by both *Campagne de France* and

also *V&B*, who soon shot off into the distance!

“The team were great, spirits were always high and everyone was proactive,

so we were able to get into a nice rhythm right from the start.”

“It was brilliant to be part of such a great race, every Rolex Fastnet is a

unique experience. It really is an incredible experience that tends to mix

pleasure with pain. The conditions make strategy and tactics quite

challenging and there is usually a fast ride back from the Rock, which is

why I love this race. Work hard play hard!”

*Phil Sharp, Skipper of Class 40 Imerys – 2nd with an overall race time of

three days, four hours, 7 minutes, and 19 seconds.*


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