August 16, 2015 in the enchanting Solent yacht charter location, will be marked by the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race, the world’s biggest offshore race. This year’s regatta is expected to host a record-sized fleet of as many as 350 offshore racing yachts.
An impressive sight as The Rolex Fastnet Race fleet heads out of the Solent in the last race © Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
The 603 mile course will once again take the fleet west along the south coast of England, across the Celtic Sea to the Fastnet Rock off the tip of southwest Ireland, south around Bishop Rock and the Scilly Isles and back east to the finish in Plymouth.
The Rolex Fastnet Race also represents one of the most popular events in sailing: the original limit of 300 boats racing for the overall handicap prize under IRC was increased to 340 in 2013 due to the increased demand. When registration opened in January 2015, all 340 places were filled within just 24 minutes!
This year’s race for monohull line honours will be attended by two brand new American maxis, both launched late last year: George David’s 88ft sailing yacht Rambler 88 and Jim Clark’s 100ft superyacht Comanche.
George David’s Rambler 88 in the 2015 RORC Caribbean 600 © Tim Wright/Photoaction.com
This year’s battle of the multihulls will include the world’s fastest race boat – the 40m (131’) trimaran Spindrift, skippered by Yann Guichard and Dona Bertarelli. In 2009 this superyacht covered 908,2 miles a day at an average speed of 37,84 knots and has been first home in the last two editions of Rolex Fastnet Race.
The 2015 regatta will also see the participation of the three MOD70 trimarans, comprising Musandam-Oman Sail, skippered by Sidney Gavignet. In 2014, this yacht participated in an amazing Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, setting not only a race record time, but also becoming the outright record holder for the Round Britain and Ireland course.
Eddie Warden Owen, Chief Executive of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, explains the uniqueness of the Rolex Fastnet Race: “The Rolex Fastnet Race is a world classic and probably the largest, most famous of its type. This year the demand has been huge with places selling out in 24 minutes and a waiting list of over 80 boats. The challenge for many is completing what can be a very tough adventure, but also its attraction for the experienced offshore racer is that they can compete with the top professionally raced yachts and have a realistic chance of winning. In 2013 the race was won by a very experienced father and son team sailing two handed which shows that anyone has a chance of winning the most prestigious race in the world calendar.”