Rolex Fastnet Race Goes Big(ger)
Published on October 3rd, 2016
The Royal Ocean Racing Club, organisers of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017 starting on Sunday August 6, has relaxed the limit of a maximum monohull length of 100ft (30.48m).
The last edition of the biennial 603nm event attracted a record-sized fleet of 356 starters, and the 47th race is expected to be no different, with a diverse fleet of yachts from around the world eager to secure a spot when the online entry system opens at midday (UTC) on January 9, 2017. The 2015 race was oversubscribed in under 24 minutes.
Following interest from a number of superyacht owners and skippers wishing to take part in this classic offshore race, the RORC Race Committee has elected to lift the 100ft (30.48m) monohull limit and open the race up to the new breed of fast and agile cruiser/racer designs such as Peter Harrison’s 115-foot Farr designed ketch Sojana, the new Swan 115’s and Baltic 115’s, to name but a few. These yachts are regularly seen on the superyacht race circuit and have always been eligible to race in another RORC classic 600-miler, the annual RORC Caribbean 600 from Antigua.
In the last Rolex Fastnet Race there were two monohulls at this upper limit of 100ft: Mike Slade’s British Farr 100, Leopard who was competing in his 5th consecutive race and from the United States, Jim and Kristy Hinze Clark’s Maxi Comanche. The 100ft Comanche was the fastest monohull finisher in 2015, but narrowly missed the chance to break Ian Walker’s VO70’s 2011 monohull race record of 42 hours 39 minutes.
For more information on the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race: http://fastnet.rorc.org/
Background: The 603nm 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 47th edition of the biennial race will start off the Royal Yacht Squadron line, Cowes, Isle of Wight on Sunday 6th August 2017. It is the largest offshore race in the world and attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts.