Horses for courses with David Askew

Published on August 13th, 2019

Andy Rice (left) and David Askew

American David Askew has to pinch himself that – along with his brother and co-owner Peter – he keeps on winning major offshore races with his VO70 Wizard. This is the Volvo Open 70, Groupama, which won the Volvo Ocean Race in 2011-12 before the round-the-world format switched to the VO65 one-designs.

Of course it was going to be a solid offshore boat, but for it to perform so well to IRC – a rule it wasn’t designed for – must come as a surprise even to the Askews. SailJuice editor Andy Rice spoke to David just after he won the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race in Plymouth….

Here’s an excerpt:
“We’ve been racing the boat a lot recently IRC and we’ve been doing well, so it’s kind of surprising to us too. My brother and I had been looking at a boat like this for a while because we really wanted to do all of the big iconic ocean races, the Rolex Fastnet, the Rolex Sydney Hobart, Newport to Bermuda race, which we’ve done on tons of other boats, the Rolex Middle Sea race, the Transatlantic.

“And really the reason we got this boat was for the Transatlantic Race, we knew that it was the right kind of boat for that race. And our approach has always been to decide what racing you want to do and then find the right boat for the race. And so that’s what we’ve been doing. Just kind of ticking off these races and now we’ll go to the Rolex Middle Sea Race and hopefully have a good result there too.”

Enjoy the complete podcast here:


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Background: The biennial 605 nm Rolex Fastnet Race is organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) with just 7 boats sailing the first race in 1925. A record-sized fleet of 362 boats started the 2017 race, 12 more than 2015. The 2019 race, which has 388 starters, was the 48th edition when it set off on August 3.


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