Sailing Yachts Luxury Yacht & Superyacht News

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2013: Day 4

August 22, 2013

Today, August 22, 2013, was marked by a wind lottery for the 157-yacht fleet entering the second half of the currently running Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, taking place in the Queensland Whitsunday Islands.

Aerial view of the Audi Hamilton Island Race week 2013 Fleet - Photo by Andrea Francolini/Audi

Aerial view of the Audi Hamilton Island Race week 2013 Fleet - Photo by Andrea Francolini/Audi

With light winds and plenty of tidal flow, the 30th anniversary event has been a test for navigators and tacticians, and today delivered up more of the same, quickly snapping crew from their layday reverie.

Marcus Blackmore’s gun-metal grey TP52 Hooligan with its awesome line up of Richie Allanson, Tim Wiseman, Sam Hunt, Dan Slater, Billy Merrington, Malcolm Page, Will Oxley, among others, and consistent top three finishes is creeping towards a Race Week trifecta in the IRC Racing division.

Two-time Australian Olympic gold medallist Malcolm Page as navigator and four-time Olympian Dan Slater from New Zealand as strategist really showed their credentials today. The pair put Hooligan into a private breeze line to the top mark in the first race and went on to beat Ernesto Bertarelli and Brad Butterworth on the much bigger Wild Oats X yacht, which has been loaned by the Oatley family, to the finish line.

Aerial view of the AHIRW2013 - Photo credit to Andrea Francolini_Audi

Aerial view of the AHIRW2013 - Photo credit to Andrea Francolini/Audi

“We are in good shape,” said Blackmore this afternoon. “The guys down the back of the boat are doing a great job.”

Last year Blackmore backed up his 2011 IRC win, also stamping his name on the 2012 Audi IRC Australian Championship. This year he’s seven points clear of main rival, Rob Hanna’s Shogun V, with two days of competition remaining. Third on the series pointscore after seven races is Sam Haynes’ Rogers 46 Celestial.

On the IRC Racing course north of Pentecost Island Race Officer Greg Sinclair reported between 3-9 knots and significant wind shifts early afternoon. It was “touch and go” whether they ran a third windward/leeward race this afternoon. Sinclair went for it and that third race ended up being the best of the day with an 8-10 knot easterly creating magic conditions.

Grant Wharington’s 100-footer luxury yacht Wild Thing edged in front of the Mark Richards skippered superyacht Wild Oats XI in two of today’s three races, but the six-time Sydney Hobart line honours winner prevailed on both occasions giving them the perfect score of seven firsts over the line.

Sailing yacht Celestial - Photo credit to Andrea Francolini_Audi

Sailing yacht Celestial - Photo credit to Andrea Francolini/Audi

In the MC38 division Chris Hancock’s Vino is the slim leader in a division perfectly separated by two points between every boat. High class tacticians such as Michael Coxon, Jamie MacPhail and David Chapman and many experienced owners and crew are making the most of the conditions on these latest one-design boats, a new addition to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.

In the new Multihull Division, Matt Johns’ brand new one design, Australian built carbon fibre Box 8.5m catamaran called Box Office is leading the way.

The crew of just three is having a blast at Race Week with plenty of spray flying, even in the light winds. One of the pitfalls of being more than an hour ahead of the entire fleet contesting today’s island course is the crew must know the course. There is no one to follow around the track. They never erred in their navigation and blitzed the other multis on line honours, but weren’t quick enough to get the double, Ian Johnson’s Salacia taking out the important corrected time win.

MC38s - Photo credit to Andrea Francolini_Audi

MC38s - Photo credit to Andrea Francolini/Audi

“The room for growth in multihulls at this event is amazing,” said Johns, who is sailing with two Airlie Beach locals.

Windward/leewards are on the menu tomorrow for Performance Racing, MC38s and the First Fleeters, the rest will complete an island course on the penultimate date of racing.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for SE to E winds 8-14 knots.

Luxury classic yacht TEMPUS FUGIT launched by Arkin Pruva Yachts

August 22, 2013

The Turkish yard, Arkin Pruva Yachts, has just launched the first yacht of the Tempus Class Series, luxury yacht Tempus Fugit, designed by Rob Humphreys. Sailing yacht Tempus Fugit is a J-Class inspired classic sloop, constructed by a team of highly skilled professionals in cold moulded wood/ epoxy at the Arkin Pruva facilities in Antalya.

Sailing yacht Tempus Fugit leaving her shed at Arkin Pruva in Antalya, Turkey

Sailing yacht Tempus Fugit leaving her shed at Arkin Pruva in Antalya, Turkey

The 90’ sailing yacht Tempus Fugit combines the tradition of craftsmanship with today’s high end technology, and is imbued with 40 years of the Humphreys Design pedigree.

Luxury classic yacht Tempus Fugit at launch - side view

Luxury classic yacht Tempus Fugit at launch - side view

The clean hull lines and appendages are carefully optimised through the use of modern CFD techniques, giving her an excellent turn of speed on the regatta circuit as well as exquisite balance and handling characteristics for the helmsman.

Tempus Fugit Yacht ready to hit the water

Tempus Fugit Yacht ready to hit the water

Superyacht TEMPUS FUGIT has a double deckhouse layout with the lounge area, open plan galley and guest cabins forward and the master in the aft. To reflect the era of classic sailing, the galley and all bathrooms are fitted out in lavish marble and sumptuously fashioned solid timber panels are used generously throughout.

Classic yacht Tempus Fugit on the water

Classic yacht Tempus Fugit on the water

After the completion of sea trials TEMPUS FUGIT yacht will set sail on her maiden voyage to the Western Mediterranean for the end of season regattas in Cannes and St. Tropez.

Technical Specifications of Tempus Fugit Yacht

Loa: 27.4 m
Lwl: 18.9 m
Draft: 3.2 m
Beam: 5.6 m
Displacement: 62 t
Ballast: 24 t

Guests: 6
Crew: 2-3

Rigging & Sails
Type: Sloop
Mast: Hall Spars Carbon Mast
Boom: Hall Spars Classic Style V Boom
Standing Rigging: Navtec Nitronic rod rigging
Furling: Reckmann
Sail Area: 354 m²

Arkin Pruva Yachts launches 90′ sailing yacht TEMPUS FUGIT

August 22, 2013

The Turkish builder, Arking Pruva Yachts, has successfully launched its all-new 90-foot sailing yacht Tempus Fugit. Designed by Rob Humphreys, superyacht Tempus Fugit is a majestic J-Class inspired classic sloop, belonging to the Tempus Class series, which also includes Tempus 125 and Tempus 150. Following her sea trials, Tempus Fugit will embark on her maiden voyage to the enchanting summer yacht charter destination – the Western Mediterranean.

Tempus Fugit Yacht by Arkin Pruva and Rob Humphreys

Tempus Fugit Yacht by Arkin Pruva and Rob Humphreys

Luxury yacht Tempus Fugit will comfortably sleep her guests in the lovely guest cabins positioned forward and one magnificent master cabin, which can be found in the aft.

Below is a selection of the lovely charter yachts built by Arkin Pruva.

New sailing photos of Baltic 107 Yacht INUKSHUK designed by German Frers

August 21, 2013

German Frers has released the new sailing photos of the Baltic 107 yacht Inukshuk. Launched by Baltic Yachts in May 2013, sailing yacht Inukshuk is a beautiful and elegant sloop, expected to be displayed at the 2013 Monaco Yacht Show in September.

Baltic 107 Yacht INUKSHUK designed by German Frers

Baltic 107 Yacht INUKSHUK designed by German Frers - Image courtesy of German Frers

Designed by German Frers for a discerning owner with cruising and high performance priorities, the Baltic 107 superyacht Inukshuk has an open deck with plenty of sunbathing and socializing areas protected by a special retractable bimini.

The interior accommodations of Inukshuk yacht include space for the owners plus 8 guests and 4 crew members, with a comfortable raised saloon.

Inukshuk superyacht under sail

Inukshuk superyacht under sail - Image courtesy of German Frers

Baltic 107 luxury yacht Inukshuk is powered by a generous sail plan and benefits from a low 3.40 m draft thanks to a state-of-the-art telescopic lifting keel at the same time reducing overall displacement and increasing stability.

Interior styling comes from Adam Lay and Nigel Ingram from MCM was responsible for the project management.

Luxury yacht Inukshuk - aft view

Luxury yacht Inukshuk - aft view - Image courtesy of German Frers

Superyacht Inukshuk was built at Baltic Yachts in Finland using a high tech carbon/foam sandwich construction.

Technical Specifications of Baltic 107 yacht Inukshuk designed by German Frers

LOA: 32.64 M 107.09 FT

LWL: 29.16 M 95.67 FT

BEAM: 7.43 M 24.38 FT

DRAFT: 3.35 M 10.99 FT

Below is a gallery for the magnificent charter yachts with design by German Frers.

Swan 80 sailing yacht Plis Play wins Swan Challenge Trophy at Rolex Fastnet Race 2013

August 21, 2013

The last week’s Rolex Fastnet Race was attended by a total number of 14 Swan yachts. The Swan 80 sailing yacht Plis Play has become the first Swan to cross the finish line in Plymouth, UK, winning the prestigious Swan North European Challenge Trophy.

Swan 80 superyacht Plis Play rounds the Fastnet Rock - Photo credit to Rolex Daniel Forster

Swan 80 superyacht Plis Play rounds the Fastnet Rock - Photo credit to Rolex/Daniel Forster

The biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club is the world’s largest offshore yacht race; with 347 boats from 20 nations participating this year, setting a new record for entry numbers. Racing began on Sunday, 11th August from Cowes, Isle of Wight.

After three days of racing, the Spanish Swan 80 superyacht Plis Play was the first Swan to complete the 611 nautical mile offshore race to Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock off Southwest Ireland; completing the challenging course in an elapsed time of three days 21 minutes. Plis Play took 2nd place overall in IRC Z Class and won the Swan North European Challenge Trophy.

The Swan Challenge Trophy is part of the Swan Challenge Series 2013, which consists of three further events and trophies; the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Transatlantic Challenges.

Oscar Ibanez, skipper onboard Plis Play yacht thoroughly enjoyed the race
: “The boat performed very well, the speed and performance of the Swan were fabulous and we didn’t have any problems. Everything worked perfectly which is so important in this type of race; this guaranteed reliability only comes from a Swan. Highlights include the start on the Solent and the upwind to the Needles, and the close reaching from Fastnet to Scilly islands.  The boat was very fast in these conditions with 20 to 22 knots of wind. Rounding the Fastnet Rock was very exciting also.

We came over to race in the Rolex Fastnet Race as it is one of the most important offshore yacht races in the world, all sailors dream of taking part, Plis Play is starting to take part in some of the most remarkable races. We celebrated with a perfect onboard dinner with the all crew onboard with fantastic food and good Spanish wine and ham. This is the Swan philosophy, a great performance boat that can achieve good results in the races but you can also relax onboard with all the home comforts and facilities.”

After handicap and a corrected time of three days 23 hours and 35 minutes, the best placed Swan at the event was Swan 411 R Best Buddies (GER); they were presented with the Whirlwind Trophy at the final prize giving on Saturday, 17th August.

Susann Eggers of Best Buddies is delighted with their results: “Best Buddies performed tremendously well, running at an average of nearly 7.8 knots the whole time. She was enjoying the race after her first Rolex Fastnet Race experience in 1979. The highlight of the race was definitely the 6 hours downwind run from the rock to the Scillies, with 20 knots of wind in the middle of the night in that heavy fog that we had.  To celebrate our really unexpected success we ordered lots of Pimms and celebrated with the trophy on the lawn with the whole crew, and then we all went to have a gorgeous dinner together. The next plans are sailing the boat to Monaco, then to Mallorca this year and entering some races in the med, for instance the Rolex Swan Cup, the Middle Sea Race and perhaps Les Voiles de Saint Tropez.”

Best Buddies are not the only boat with cause for celebration, as 84 year old Ken Newman completed his 28th Rolex Fastnet Race this year onboard Swan 46 Marinero, chartered by Ken for the 5th time for this race. Ken Newman selected the Nautor’s built Swan yacht due to his personal admiration of Nautor’s Swan quality, believing that Swan are good strong boats which you can take out to sea in in all conditions.

The Gazprom Swan 60 Class fleet were also competing in the Rolex Fastnet Race for the first time, with Swan 60 Petite Flamme taking first place in the Class. The Swan 60s will now head to Germany ready for the final event on their 2013 circuit, the Nord Stream Race.

Sailing yacht GOLDEN OPUS created by Ron Holland

August 20, 2013

Ron Holland is delighted to present a recent photo of sailing yacht Golden Opus, taken during her latest cruise in the waters of the lovely yacht charter destination – Indonesia. Golden Opus yacht has been developed by Ron Holland to fulfill his design goal of creating the ultimate ‘family cruising yacht’.

22m luxury yacht Golden Opus by Ron Holland

22m luxury yacht Golden Opus by Ron Holland

At 72 feet (22 metres) in length and with a modern high aspect ratio self tacking rig, Ron Holland felt the Golden Opus yacht was the largest yacht that an experienced yachtsman could handle (with a couple of paid hands involved to allow limited chartering).

With his partners, Howard Kilroy and Andrew Winch, and their families, Ron Holland cruised luxury yacht Golden Opus from New Zealand through the Western Pacific to European waters, well-proving his original design concept.

Golden Opus Yacht - Interior

Golden Opus Yacht - Interior

Golden Opus yacht and her sister, sailing yacht Volare, have many successful ocean miles under their keels.

Below is a gallery for the superb charter yachts with design by Ron Holland.

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2013: Day 3

August 20, 2013

Today, August 20, 2013, saw the race committee think on its feet, with a tricky beginning to the third day of competing at the currently running Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. There was the perfect aperitif before layday, with a building afternoon breeze to bring weary crews back to Hamilton Island.

Audi Hamilton Island Race week 2013 Day 3 - Photo by Andrea Francolini/Audi

Audi Hamilton Island Race week 2013 Day 3 - Photo by Andrea Francolini/Audi

For most of the 157-boat fleet today’s varied island courses were a leisurely meander after some stopping and starting.

The MC38s began their program in Whitsunday Passage only to have the breeze collapse and the race abandoned. The racetrack was moved to the east of Hamilton Island where the best of the day awaited, a 10 knot SE breeze allowing the completion of two races.

Decision making was equally fluid in Dent Passage. Cruising Division 1 boats were sent off the line before the nor’easter swung through to the sou’east and killed the breeze. That race was also abandoned then the pause button was pushed, the AP flag flying while the course was changed.

AHIRW 2013 - whale - Photo credit to Andrea Francolini/Audi

AHIRW 2013 - whale - Photo credit to Andrea Francolini/Audi

One boat’s start unfortunately didn’t have a happy ending. On a falling tide ACT entry Azure ran aground at Plum Pudding Island and that’s where the Sunsail 39i remained this afternoon, high and dry on the reef.

IRC Racing, IRC Passage and the Performance Racing divisions completed island courses, superyacht Wild Oats XI leading luxury yacht Wild Thing to the finish making it three from three line honours triumphs.

The IRC Racing handicap prize belonged to Darryl Hodgkinson and his Cookson 50 Victoire which enjoyed a leg stretch as they chewed through the ocean miles, and their opponents.

AHIRW2013_Victoire shadows Wild Oats X credit Andrea Francolini_Audi.

AHIRW 2013 - Victoire shadows Wild Oats X yacht - Photo credit to Andrea Francolini/Audi.

While they recorded a fourth today, Andy Kearnan’s L’Altra Donna is still leading the hotly contested IRC Passage division 2 after three races. Of their race, tactician Steve McConaghy said, “The hardest part of today was trying to pick the first wind shift and the last current. It was very tricky.”

It was a big boat race for Cruising Division 1 honours with Gerry McGann’s Hammer of Queensland taking out the top result. Mary and Robert Kelly’s immaculate carbon fibre and fibreglass Farr one-off, Virago II, which was built for Alan Bond in the 1990s, placed third behind Eureka II.

The Kellys have brought together a crew who have all worked on the boat – a shipwright, a spar maker and a rigger, old sailing hands who are getting the most out of the boat with plenty of “bling”.

In the MC38s one-design division there have been five races and five different winners. The teamwork came together today on Cone of Silence helmed by Jono Morris from McConaghy with Michael Coxon calling tactics.

“It all clicked today,” said Morris. “As a team we first came together here at Race Week, we have been chipping away getting the teamwork right.”

Tomorrow crews will enjoy the traditional layday for all classes with plenty on offer including the Audi Final Drive Challenge, glamorous Charles Heidsieck lunch and Beachside Pool Party with DJs at the main pool.

The most breeze of the week is forecast early tomorrow morning, a 20 knot southerly which is expected to ease to 12-15 knots from the SE for the resumption of racing on Thursday.

The competition at the 30th anniversary of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week wraps up this Saturday.

Superyachts to start racing at 2013 Newport Bucket Regatta this weekend

August 20, 2013

To be hosted by the Newport Shipyard, the annual Newport Bucket Regatta will kick off this weekend. The event will be once again attended by some of the world’s most spectacular classic as well as contemporary superyachts.


Executive Director Ian Craddock shares everyone’s enthusiasm about the upcoming regatta: “2013 will write another great chapter in Bucket history. The superyachts are always a magnificent sight under sail and Newport provides the perfect sailors’ venue both on the water and ashore. We’re really looking forward to a fun reunion and celebrating the Spirit of the Bucket.”

Racing begins Saturday August 24 in the beautiful waters of Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound.

Eight elegant yachts ranging in size from 76 to 180 feet will compete in two classes: Les Gazelles des Mers and Les Grandes Dames des Mers. Daily and series class trophies will be awarded. The overall winner will receive a special trophy and have her name inscribed on the coveted perpetual “Bucket” trophy.  The two class winners will each receive custom inscribed Ship’s Bell clocks. Chelsea Clock is providing these beautiful, authentic nautical timepieces.

The largest competing yacht in the Newport Bucket is the beautiful 180 foot sailing yacht Marie. The Vitters Shipyard built, Andre Hoek design recently captured second overall in her New England debut at the Shipyard Cup in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

Stunning Sailing Yacht Marie - Image credit to Tom Nitsch Image

Stunning Sailing Yacht Marie - Image credit to Tom Nitsch Image

Mega yacht Marie’s Captain Wes Cooper has raced in many Bucket regattas and is looking forward to this one. “The Bucket regattas we participate in are a huge part of our program. The owners and guests are able to enjoy an even higher level of sailing than they are normally used to in a controlled and safe environment. These regattas are very well organized and supported by industry sponsors with a number of excellent post-race events for owners, guests and crew.”

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2013: Day 2

August 19, 2013

Day two of competing at the 2013 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week was marked by more glorious conditions for the 12 divisions, participating in the premier Whitsunday regatta.

AHIRW2013 - whale tail - credit Andrea Francolini_Audi

AHIRW2013 - whale tail - credit: Andrea Francolini/Audi

Light winds out of the north nor’west saw all classes bar IRC Racing and the MC38s head off on two different island courses around White and Denman islands and back to the finish in Dent Passage.

A fast flowing tide in the passage caused some to misjudge their start and be caught on the wrong side of the line while the sand bar running along Dent Island trapped a couple of unsuspecting skippers.

Out to the east of Hamilton Island two windward/leeward courses were set for the IRC Racing and MC38 division but their luck ran out as the areas were becalmed, forcing a race committee rethink. Anchors were pulled up and the impressive entourage headed over to Whitsunday Passage to the breeze where they completed a second and final race.

AHIRW2013 - MC38s - credit Andrea Francolini_Audi

AHIRW2013 - MC38s - credit Andrea Francolini/Audi

After a shortened first race, the five-boat MC38 one design fleet had their windward/leeward racetrack moved to Catseye Bay where the breeze was steadier.

Marcus Blackmore’s TP52 Hooligan from Sydney claimed its second outright win in the IRC Racing division to be early pointscore leader with points from this afternoon’s race still to be added to the progressive scoresheet.

After the nervous creep to the finish line in dying breeze with Rob Hanna’s Geelong-based Shogun V coming up on the inside in more pressure, Blackmore was relieved to claim the win, particularly after they started late, locked out by Wild Thing, then spent the race trading places with the other TP52 as opportunities faded with the breeze.

AHIRW2013 - Hooligan Yacht - credit Andrea Francolini_Audi

AHIRW2013 - Hooligan Yacht - credit: Andrea Francolini/Audi

“It was very shifty,” admitted Blackmore, who is carrying a dream team including dual Olympic gold medallist Malcolm Page calling tactics, navigator Will Oxley and Billy Merrington adding their know-how to the already talented line-up.

Swiss yachtsman Ernesto Bertarelli and his international rock star crew on the chartered sailing yacht Wild Oats X are currently second on the pointscore on 5 points to Hooligan’s 3 after two races.

Grant Wharington’s 100-foot superyacht Wild Thing was scored a non-finisher in their first short race today, a broken furler fitting costing them precious time. Wharington figured it was better to regroup and come back for the next race so they pulled the pin and installed the spare.

Ross Hennessy’s MC38 Ghost Rider is leading the one design division after three races, a clean start and more pressure in today’s second race making all the difference.

AHIRW2013_MC38s start_credit Andrea Francolini_Audi

AHIRW2013 - MC38s start - credit: Andrea Francolini/Audi

“We got out in front and we stayed there,” said Hennessy who has been coming to Hamilton Island for 20 years but always sailed on others’ boats. This year he told his crew he’d bring the boat to the regatta if they placed well in another class regatta in Sydney. “We won that, so I had to bring them,” he laughed this afternoon.

Tomorrow’s scheduled Club Marine Classic long and medium distance race has been postponed due to light winds. Passage races will start at 11am from Dent Passage and the eastern course area while the MC38s will continue with their windward/leeward format, also starting at 11am.

Wednesday will be a layday for the entire 157-boat fleet when the attention shifts to shoreside activities including the Audi Final Drive Challenge from 8am and Beachside Pool Party at the main pool from 11am.

Rolex Fastnet Race 2013: Prizegiving

August 19, 2013

There was no shortage of drama throughout a memorable and legendary 45th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race. The race came to its end on Friday, August 16, 2013, with the final prizegiving fittingly taking place in glorious sunshine on Mount Batten, overlooking Plymouth.

The 2013 Rolex Fastnet fleet leaving the Solent - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

The 2013 Rolex Fastnet fleet leaving the Solent - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Diverse and global
336 yachts from 20 countries started the biennial race that runs from Cowes to Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock on the south-west tip of Ireland. The line up had everything: professional and Corinthian sailors; some of the world’s fastest, most technologically sophisticated yachts competing against 30-ft family crewed boats; participants from as far afield as Australia, Oman and the United States.

Superyacht Esimit Europa 2 leads the maxis away from the race start - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Superyacht Esimit Europa 2 leads the maxis away from the race start - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Overall Winner: The Formidable French
The most remarkable story of the week belonged to a father and son crew from Cherbourg, France, sailing the 33-ft JPK1010 Night And Day. No double-handed crew had ever won the Rolex Fastnet Race; hardly surprising given the gruelling demands posed by offshore sailing.

Pascal Loison and his son Alexis, a professional solo sailor, arrived in Cowes with the ambition of winning their double-handed class. They will sail back to France tomorrow with the Rolex Fastnet Challenge Cup and a Rolex timepiece for company as the overall winner of the biggest offshore yacht race in the world.

Sailing yacht Night and Day Overall Winner of the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race

Sailing yacht Night and Day Overall Winner of the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

“If you compete in offshore sailing, winning the Rolex Fastnet is really a pinnacle of success. It’s nice, it was not expected, I don’t know how to describe it,” said a shell-shocked Pascal. “We are a small boat, two handed and we have managed to win this race, beating all these large professional boats and crews,” added Alexis. “It’s my day, a good surprise and I will remember this victory all my life.”

Conditions during the race, light for the first few days before an upturn in breeze after the second half of the fleet rounded the mythical Fastnet Rock  – the midway point  –  proved advantageous for the smaller boats. It was an especially good year for the French. Twelve of the first fifteen placed yachts, indeed the top five, hailed from across the English Channel.

Night And Day, named after the Cole Porter song, is the first French boat to win the Rolex Fastnet for eight years. Curiously, the 2005 winner – Jean-Yves Chateau’s Iromiguy – was also a 33-ft boat.

2013 Rolex Fastnet Overall Winners

2013 Rolex Fastnet Overall Winners - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Line Honours: Debut success for Esimit Europa 2
An impressive clutch of boats were competing for line honours, awarded to the fastest monohull yacht. Igor Simcic’s 100-ft Maxi yacht Esimit Europa 2 (SLO) started as marginal favourite having dominated Mediterranean offshore sailing over the past three years but arrived as a Rolex Fastnet debutant. In unfamiliar territory she would have to be even more wary of the first-class competition on offer. The fleet’s other 100-ft Maxi charter yacht ICAP Leopard, owned by Mike Slade, is a two-time Rolex Fastnet line honours winner and set a race record in 2007. The Ian Walker-skippered Volvo 70 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing set a new race record in 2011 (42 hours, 39 minutes) and along with the predominantly female crew on Team SCA (SWE) were primed to impress.

While her rivals all suited heavier, punishing offshore conditions, Esimit Europa 2 is comfortable in lighter airs. Once she made her way through the Solent and passed the entire monohull fleet by the first evening, her leadership was never threatened. On the turn from the Rock, she built an ever-increasing lead. “It was a huge up and down race as we sailed the 300 or so miles up to the Rock upwind and then (after the Rock) in very light downwind conditions with a lot of gybes,” explained skipper Jochen Schümann. “That’s why we are not close to a race record but it was long and challenging. It was my third Rolex Fastnet Race and more Mediterranean in terms of conditions – although the weather could have been a lot warmer!”

Superyacht Esimit Europa 2, Monohull Line Honours Winner 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race

Superyacht Esimit Europa 2, Monohull Line Honours Winner 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Multihull: Fastest home
Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard’s 131-ft Maxi trimaran yacht Spindrift 2 was the largest boat in attendance. She was also to prove the fastest.

Completing the course in 38 hours, 53 minutes and 58 seconds, she sealed multihull line honours although six hours short of the record time set two years earlier by the same boat under the name Banque Populaire V. “We’re very pleased, very happy to be here because the outcome was not certain,” said Bertarelli on arrival in Plymouth. “We knew it would be difficult, especially with the light conditions, but we managed to manoeuvre well, keep good speed and have the right sails up to stay ahead.”

Trimarans at the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race

Trimarans at the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

By the final prizegiving at 17:00 BST, 322 of the 336 starters had completed the race. Eight boats had retired.