Rolex Fastnet Race Minisite
Return to the RORC Homepage
Sam Davies Initiatives Coeur Sam Davies Initiatives Coeur

Women in the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race

While crew lists for August’s Rolex Fastnet Race are far from finalised, currently just over 10% of those competing in the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s biennial voyage from Cowes to Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock will be women. While this is a long way from parity between the sexes, it is at least a step up from races say 20 years ago when the equivalent figure had yet to reach 5%.

To date only one female skipper has won the Rolex Fastnet Race – French solo sailor Catherine Chabaud (with a full crew) on board her IMOCA 60 Whirlpool-Europe 2 in 1999. Dona Bertarelli claimed line honours in both 2013 and 2015 with her partner Yann Guichard on board the 40m maxi trimaran Spindrift 2.

One reason for increased female participation, not just in the Rolex Fastnet Race, but also sailing generally, is thanks to female role models from Tracy Edwards and her high profile Maiden, Royal & Sun Alliance and Maiden II campaigns and, before her, Dame Naomi James and Clare Francis’ round the world voyages. Since then there have been the phenomenal, headline grabbing exploits of Ellen MacArthur and the round the world voyages of Dee Caffari. In France there has also been a wealth of accomplished female offshore sailors from the late Florence Arthaud, outright winner of the 2000 Route du Rhum to Isabelle Autissier, and an exponentially large group of contemporary sailors benefitting from their ground work. There are similar, albeit fewer, examples across the globe.

Continue Reading

The diverse team on board the French VO60 Team Jolokia promoting the message 'Difference is a Strength' through their Rolex Fastnet Race campaign © Ministères sociaux DICOM Arnaud Pilpré Sipa The diverse team on board the French VO60 Team Jolokia promoting the message 'Difference is a Strength' through their Rolex Fastnet Race campaign © Ministères sociaux DICOM Arnaud Pilpré Sipa

More than just a race

Among the 300-350 boats in this August's record-sized Rolex Fastnet Race fleet, many of the 3,000 crew members are competing to fulfil a personal challenge or to tick the world's largest offshore race off their 'bucket list', but several crews are also using the Royal Ocean Racing Club's premier event to convey a special message, or support a chosen charity.

Continue Reading

Ultimes threaten Rolex Fastnet race record - Francois Gabart's MACIF© Jean Marie Liot/DPPI Ultimes threaten Rolex Fastnet race record - Francois Gabart's MACIF© Jean Marie Liot/DPPI

Ultimes threaten Rolex Fastnet Race record destruction

Unless there is a flat calm, it is very likely that the outright record will fall in this August’s edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s premium event, the Rolex Fastnet Race. For leading the charge in the world’s biggest offshore yacht race, with a fleet of 300-350 competing, will be the world’s fastest offshore boats – the Ultimes.

Continue Reading

RORC regular: George David’s deep draft Rambler 88

Race for line honours - Rolex Fastnet ‘double’ long overdue

While the main kudos in the Rolex Fastnet Race comes from class wins or ultimately the Fastnet Challenge Cup for the overall IRC winner, who will simply be first home to Plymouth often turns into an engaging, heavyweight bout.

Among the monohull contenders this year, in one corner is the Hong Kong newcomer - Seng Huang Lee’s 100ft Scallywag, skippered by Australian David Witt with a crew featuring many of the sailors from their Volvo Ocean Race campaign. In the other is George David’s familiar Juan K-designed Rambler 88, a boat that has been tweaked to within an inch of its life by its fastidious crew including many former Alinghi/Team New Zealand America’s Cup heroes.

Continue Reading

With the latest foiling technology, Jérémie Beyou's Charal will be one of 28 IMOCA 60s competing in this year's  Rolex Fastnet Race © Yvan Zedda /Alea/ Charal With the latest foiling technology, Jérémie Beyou's Charal will be one of 28 IMOCA 60s competing in this year's Rolex Fastnet Race © Yvan Zedda /Alea/ Charal

Giant IMOCA 60 turn-out for 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race

One of the largest fleets of IMOCA 60s ever gathered is due to set off on the Rolex Fastnet Race on Saturday, 3rd August.

Continue Reading

The 48th Rolex Fastnet Race starts on Saturday 3 August 2019. The immense fleet in the world's largest offshore yacht race is an impressive sight as they head into the English Channel © Rolex/Kurt Arrigo The 48th Rolex Fastnet Race starts on Saturday 3 August 2019. The immense fleet in the world's largest offshore yacht race is an impressive sight as they head into the English Channel © Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Rolex Fastnet Race's most complete pantheon of offshore race boats

The most impressive collection of offshore racing hardware from across the globe is set to gather off Cowes for the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race on 3 August.

Continue Reading

Yachts from all over the world will be descending on Plymouth for the Rolex Fastnet Race © Rolex/Kurt Arrigo Yachts from all over the world will be descending on Plymouth for the Rolex Fastnet Race © Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Plymouth to host the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race

Plymouth City Council and the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) have confirmed that Plymouth will host the finish of the 2019 Rolex Fastnet race.

Continue Reading

Rolex Fastnet Race © Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex Rolex Fastnet Race © Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex

ROLEX Fastnet Race 2019 - Change of Date  

The 2019 edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race will start on Saturday 3rd August 2019, which is two weeks earlier than the original published date.
 
Unusually, the race will now run the week before Lendy Cowes Week, whose dates remain unchanged, starting on Saturday 10th August. This break with tradition, in consultation with Lendy Cowes Week, has been made for a number of reasons, including weather concerns over late August.
 
"We have been wrestling with this decision over the summer and particularly the relative timing with other events in Cowes and the Solent," said RORC Commodore Steven Anderson. "A late August start has weather implications for our big fleet and we anticipated running into the summer bank holiday would cause difficulty for many participants. Bringing the race forward by two weeks addresses these issues and allows us to encourage the fleet into Cowes in the pre-race days before the start."

Continue Reading

Race Office at the Finish

  • Shaw Way, Mount Batten, Plymouth
  • +44 (0) 1983 295 144
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Partners & Suppliers

  • Plymouth - Britain's Ocean City
  • MUSTO - Official Clothing Provider

Race Office at the Start

  • 82 High Street, Cowes
  • +44 (0) 1983 295 144
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rolex Fastnet Race Logo