A Good Problem to Have
Published on January 13th, 2015
RORC Racing Manager Nick Elliott predicted ‘a scramble for places’ when it was announced last October that priority would be given to RORC members wishing to secure a place in the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race celebrating its 90th year. He wasn’t wrong.
Just 24 minutes after the online entry system opened at midday on January 12, over 300 boats had registered for the historic race. The frenetic trend continued and by the end of the afternoon, 375 boats had signed up for the 608-nautical miler, which has been an established fixture on the ocean racing circuit since 1925.
“Within 24 hours of online entries opening in the race two years ago it was oversubscribed, and with a waiting list. We thought that was remarkable, but this year we reached the same number in 24 minutes! The Rolex Fastnet Race has great reverence with sailors worldwide wishing to compete in this iconic race and add it to their bucket list,” says Elliott.
But all is not lost for those who still wish to enter. Following the popularity of the 2013 race, when the entry limit was increased to 340 boats, the RORC Committee decided that RORC members would get priority for the first week of registration.
Boats have to meet the strict entry qualification and training criteria of the race and after January 18, all registered boats will be sorted and places offered on a first come, first served basis, with RORC members receiving priority over non-members. Boats registering after this date will be allocated places in the order in which they apply, regardless of membership.
Among the first boats to register their entry for the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race was one of the best-known and loved classic yachts sailing today, Stormy Weather, the 1934 Sparkman & Stephens 52ft yawl that won the 1935 Fastnet Race. So far, six S & S-designed classic yachts have signed up for the race, including Matt Brooks’ 52ft yawl, Dorade which claimed victory for the second time in 2013 Transpac, 77 years after she won it in 1936.
The 46th edition of one of sailing’s greatest contests – the Rolex Fastnet Race – reconvenes on August 16, starting from Cowes, Isle of Wight to Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock.
Race details: http://fastnet.rorc.org
Report by Trish Jenkins, J2 Communications
The 608nm Rolex Fastnet Race is organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and just 7 boats sailed in the first race in 1925. The race has been sponsored since 2001 by Rolex SA of Geneva and is legendary within the world of ocean racing. The 46th edition of the biennial race will start off the Royal Yacht Squadron line, Cowes, Isle of Wight on Sunday 16th August 2015. It is the largest offshore race in the world and attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts.
Established in 1925, The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) became famous for the biennial Fastnet Race and the international team event, the Admiral’s Cup. It organises an annual series of domestic offshore races from its base in Cowes as well as inshore regattas including the RORC Easter Challenge and IRC National Championship in the Solent
The RORC works with other yacht clubs to promote their offshore races and provides marketing and organisational support. The RORC Caribbean 600, based in Antigua and the first offshore race in the Caribbean, has been an instant success and the RORC has extended its organisational expertise by creating a new Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada, the first of which was in November 2014.
The club is based in St James’ Place, London, but after the recent merger with The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club Cowes, now boasts a superb clubhouse facility at the entrance to Cowes Harbour and a membership of over 4000.