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.
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.
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.
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild set a new multihull record following an intense match race to the line with fellow Ultim, MACIF. See the video below:
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!”
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.
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.
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.
The 48th edition of the epic offshore race got off to a spectacular start. See the video below:
A record fleet of 388 yachts set sail this afternoon from Cowes on the Rolex Fastnet Race.
From the outset this 48th edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s pinnacle event was unusual. Whereas in most ‘normal’ Rolex Fastnet Races, the giant fleet embarks on a highly tactical race, tacking down the Solent and out into the English Channel, then having to figure out how to make the best of the strong tide, instead today they were treated to a southeasterly wind allowing them to broad reach in a straight line down the western Solent and through the usual bottleneck at Hurst Narrows and on past the Needles.